More Pleaze Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Take a look and learn more about us! Scroll down for chef, client, and food-specific sections. Feel free to email directly via our contact form with any other questions that come up! 

about us

the quick pitch

More Pleaze is a collective of health-oriented chefs. We began as the country’s first yoga retreat catering service, and have evolved into an ever-growing collective of natural food chefs with a vested interest in holistic well-being, who offer an array of services, such as private dinners, meal prep, workshops, and recipe development. Food is medicine, and More Pleaze chefs aren’t just chefs; they are healers, artists, and health advocates. We pride ourselves on pioneering the private chef health and wellness sector! We hope you join our movement!

faq - about more pleaze

More Pleaze is the largest collective of private chefs in health and wellness in the US. We began as the country’s first yoga retreat catering service, and have evolved into an ever-growing network of conscious food chefs who offer an array of services, such as private dinners, meal prep, workshops, and recipe development. We offer a custom digital platform to streamline connections and communications between chefs and clients so that clients can easily and safely book chefs for onsite service or delivery. Our goals are to empower both chefs and clients to live their best lives, either by working their dream job or by having healthy food support. 

 

The mission of the business is a three-fold:

  1. Provide community and support the careers of chefs whose work revolves around healing with food, respecting the earth, and wanting to offer more to the profession than the classic restaurant paradigm.
  2. Provide access to beautiful healing food to retreat leaders, families, individuals, or anyone looking for healthy food; with a variety of chefs offering a variety of services for a variety of budgets.
  3. Inspire health, wellness, and community by bringing awareness to conscious food of all types; without attaching judgment, ego, or dogma to anyone on a different path.
 

Our custom platform allows chefs to create and post their profiles publicly, and for clients to browse through our chefs, and post gigs for chefs to bid on. Chefs and clients can connect and book safely through our system, knowing there is integrity and intention on both sides. Ultimately we want to support conscious business, creating ease for all parties involved with us, whether they are a chef or a client, we are all community. 

For our initial spring 2021 launch, we are focussing on Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, with plans to expand east during 2021, however we receive chef and client inquiries across the contiguous United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond, and where we have chefs, we are happy to connect. Feel free to email us directly via our contact form if you are in a region where there are not chefs or options.

While we require all of our chefs to be proficient in plant-based cuisine, we are not a vegan company. We honor our clients; and chefs’ autonomy as individuals empowered to make their own decisions about their bodies and what to put in them. We emphasize a well-rounded diet focussing on seasonal and local ingredients, and offer chef referrals to connect clients to a variety of chefs trained in a variety of nutritional theories, including high-end plant-based, raw-vegan, Ayurvedic, paleo, Whole30, Weston A Price, holistic nutrition, and more. Some of our chefs only prepare vegan food, and you are welcome to submit private gig requests to them, or indicate on your public gig you are specifically interested in working with a vegan only chef. 

The short answer is no, but we see why we could be perceived as one. We are a women-owned and managed company.  90% of our chefs identify as women, while in every other chef collective we’ve seen online, the reverse ratio seems to be true. This was not intentional, and we do not discriminate. Our branding, mission, and intentions all revolve around consciousness, playfulness, nurturing, space-holding, sweetness, and mindfulness. This is not to say that men or male-identifying individuals cannot represent these qualities, and we love all of our chefs! But organically we attract more womxn who do, and we are proud to represent them! 

If by political do you mean do we support womxn’s rights, pro-choice rights, LGBTQ rights, environmentalism, and all that other “liberal” agenda – then YES. Our slogan is “conscious playful food” and we think that being conscious and playful should also be a life’s mission. By default, by supporting others’ autonomy in a conscious way, we must stand by the right’s of our chefs, clients, and advocates to live their lives to the fullest – on their terms. If you are a client and have any specific chef requests (for empowerment NOT discrimination) please feel free to include on your gig request so you can connect with an aligned chef who matches your values – whether it is a POC, womxn, LGBTQ+, religious affiliation, zero waste, reiki, yoga, raw vegan, paleo, birth workers, Ayurveda, etc etc. And if you are a chef wanting to work with a specific client, feel free to include that in your bio and information. We want YOU to feel happy, secure, and empowered to be YOU.

We have invested a great deal of time, money, and energy into creating this platform, and for energy exchange, we take a service fee for every paid gig booked and consider it a marketing and admin fee to cover the cost of keeping More Pleaze’s website, social media, blog, advertising, and administration active. 

Please know that More Pleaze is a small independently woman owned and operated business. It is solely funded by one individual, and is a project based on love and a desire to empower and market private chefs, as well as create a one stop connection platform for retreat leaders, families, individuals, and anyone seeking healthy food to access these chefs. 

Please note: we do have a small application fee for chefs to apply, in order to cover the cost of a background check, but there is little to no profit involved with this fee. There is no charge for clients to post gigs or to hire chefs.

faq - food questions

This is not a traditionally defined cuisine. In our definition, it means that plants form the foundation of the meal, and that all other components (plants or otherwise) revolve around plants. We require all of our chefs to have an understanding of plant-based cuisine, and in our experience, all diets can be made healthier by the integration of more local, seasonal, plant-based cuisine. To us, this does not negate animal products in general, but rather it insinuates that plants are the center of the experience. For a plant-based menu expect grain and vegetable heavy dishes, with optional animal protein additions, depending on the menu and chef.

Vegan cuisine is 100% plant derived. Beans, legumes, sea vegetables, and the such form the protein base. Starch, grain, and grasses are used for sides. Honey, bee pollen, and the like are specifically not allowed as they are technically animal derived products. Plant-based materials are used in new and innovative ways to create new dishes and create balanced meals with fusion ingredients. For vegan menus, expect vegetable based meals with balanced grains, starches, and sauces. 

Raw vegan food is not cooked at all, nor exposed to temperatures between 104-115 Fahrenheit (opinions vary). The intention of this food is to honor the full enzyme and nutrition capacity available in each fruit, vegetable, and plant item. With cooking, enzymes become defunct, and no longer carry the same magic healing antioxidant properties as raw. Raw vegan can sometimes use an excessive amount of nuts and seeds, which can negatively impact the body for those with certain digestive systems. For raw-vegan menus, expect lots of fresh veggies, creative cheeses made from nuts, crackers made from fiber rich seeds and vegetables, and more creative expressions.

Although this may sound like a term from the 1970s, ovo-lacto vegetarian cuisine is still an approachable way to enjoy plant-based foods with an intentional mindset. Ovo-lacto vegetarian foods encompass all foods that do not require the killing of an animal for food. Dairy products, including cheese, milk, butter, and ghee are allowed as are eggs, honey and bee pollen. Ovo-lacto products emphasize plant-based but allow sustainable cruelty free animal proteins. Expect: farm-to-table style cuisine with vegetable rich mains with local cheese and eggs added in alongside plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, seitan, and beans.

Ayurveda is an ancient healing system that has base principles centering around the maximum healing potential of each food ingested, the way the body reacts and can utilize them, and the external forces that can jeopardize digestion. Each individual has various energies inside of them called doshas (vata, pita, kapha) that create unique constituents and complexities for diet and lifestyle. 

Most Ayurvedic menus will strive to balance the doshas of a large group – but targeted and individual Ayurvedic menus will strive to balance an individual’s doshas. In general, Ayurvedic nutrition will be ovo-lacto vegetarian but utilize ancient Ayurvedic principles for personalization. 

As Ayurveda becomes more widely popular alongside yoga ideology, so do simplified and isolated “Ayurvedic” practices. We work to support traditional Ayurvedic in a nonjudgmental or dogmatic setting, but still staying true to ancient practices. 

For groups, Ayurvedic chefs will strive to create a dosha-balancing menu suitable for all, while for individuals they will aim for a personalized menu, aiming at the individual’s constitute. Ayurvedic offerings are primarily plant-based with ghee and high-quality dairy added.

Paleo food promotes returning to traditional food roots, what hunter-gathers ate centuries ago. It emphasizes high-quality produce and proteins, and does not include any processed foods grains, beans and legumes, dairy, and others. In essence it is food at pure form, and advocates intentional choosing of ingredients to mitigate any toxins or harmful additives. It is generally animal protein heavy, but plant-based paleo is also available, although options are limited and it can be difficult to get full protein sources. For a classic paleo menu expect high quality protein like grass-fed beef or line caught fish combined with farm fresh veggies, and a fun grain substitute like cauliflower rice.

Ketogenic diets are extremely low carb – so low in fact that the body is forced into “ketosis” where the body has no carbohydrates to eat so it eats its own fat deposits. Keto diets are trendy and have amazing results with weight loss for individuals struggling to achieve results in more traditional diets. They are very high fat and protein, and should emphasize sustainable sources of both, along with insoluble fiber to aid digestion. We recommend having a doctor or nutritionist work with your chef if you are choosing this path. 

For a keto menu expect high fat and low carbohydrate vegetables such as avocado (fine, avocados are technically a fruit), greens, and cauliflower, and an emphasis on high-quality sustainable proteins and dairy products.

Whole30 is a dietary trend and elimination diet popularized by the best selling book Whole30. It eliminates potentially triggering foods for thirty or more days, including sugar, processed foods, legumes, grains, alcohol, and dairy products. It emphasizes healthy whole foods primarily vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, eggs, and meat. Ghee, eggs, and peas are allowed. Expect a menu similar to paleo, with an emphasis on whole foods, sustainable proteins, and lots of vibrant veggies cooked in good oils. 

The Plant Paradox diet is based on a popular book, based around avoiding lectins, an anti-nutrient found in plants. According to this philosophy and research, lectins cause weight gain, inflammation, and chronic disease. Plant paradox diet avoids any foods with lectins, including grains, legumes, nightshades, and dairy products. It has overlap with paleo and Whole30, but a different foundation. Expect 

According to nanp.org: “The philosophy of holistic nutrition is that one’s health is an expression of the complex interplay between the physical and chemical, mental and emotional, as well as spiritual and environmental aspects of one’s life and being. As such, professionals who are trained in holistic nutrition approach health and healing from a whole-person perspective. Using nutritional education as a primary tool, holistic nutrition professionals emphasize the building of health by approaching each person as a unique individual. This requires fully engaging the individual in their health recovery process and honoring their innate wisdom by working in an empowering and cooperative manner to chart a course to optimal health.” 

Zero waste lifestyle and cooking emphasizes leaving no trash behind from consumption. This means food packaging as well as consuming all usable parts of a plant or animal. Chefs who offer zero waste cooking will generally work directly with local farmers and purveyors to drastically reduce or completely eliminate packaging and any waste. This philosophy is often carried out in the presentation as well, with all reusable items. Some chefs may be 100% zero waste, and some use it as a guide to eliminate waste in all ways possible with the tools, resources, and budget they possess.

faq - client questions

More Pleaze centers around health and wellness and chef empowerment. There are other chef platforms out there – but they tend to market traditional chef services or cheap meal deliveries and cooking classes. 

More Pleaze was created by a practicing personal chef to serve the chef community and support a wide range of clients interested in supporting conscious business and conscious cooking. We began as a yoga retreat catering service, and have expanded to include traditional chef services, meal prep, weddings, cooking classes, and we have more services launching later this year! 

We vet and background check our chefs to be sure we are only representing the best of the industry, and those who align with our values. Everything at More Pleaze is done from the heart, from management to cooking. 

If you’d like a traditional masculine chef or a budget quick meal, maybe More Pleaze isn’t right for you, but if you want a holistic intentional playful experience, and to know that you are investing in your health and supporting both a like-minded independent contractor and a woman-owned small business, then we are here for you!

Amazing! We are so happy to have you! Here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:

  1. Create your unique profile so you can connect with More Pleaze chefs through our platform. Take a look at the chefs we have currently to see who we work with! 
  2. Follow the prompts to post a gig. You can check out each “services” page to get an idea of what to expect and what to ask for. Your gig can be “public” and open for any chef to bid on, or you can create a “private” gig that is only viewable to 1-5 chefs of your choice. 
  3. Interested and available chefs offer proposals with menu options, pricing, and information. You can request phone interviews to get a feel for who you will be working with. 
  4. Approve the proposal of your choice by putting down a deposit through our secure third party system, and the chef will accept. 
  5. Stay in touch with your chef leading up to the event, and be sure to notate any changes in the gig or in messages for everyone’s records
  6. Delicious magic making occurs.
  7. Note: You have up to 24 hours after the gig completion to request any changes or file any complaints.

We pride ourselves on representing the best of the wellness industry, and only approve chefs we have personally vetted and who have passed a third party certified background check. We have strict policies for chefs who don’t honor our contract, conditions, and clients, and actively work to maintain communication and quality standards. While we do take and distribute a deposit for all services, the remaining balance will not be charged until 24 hours after a gig is completed, allowing for space for any complaints or change requests to be filed before you are fully billed. 

We screen with zero-tolerance for any violent crimes, felonies, or sex offenses, as well as DIUs and misdemeanors within the past 5 years, and anything else that triggers a red flag. Please note: we DO NOT discriminate against non-violent marijuana-related offenses. You may request a full background check from any chef you wish to hire, they all have theirs on file.

Please be as thorough as possible as to give the chefs as much information as possible to submit proposals to you. If you are not sure of a details, or are open to seeing different styles of food, notate this and let the chefs know! If you are simply looking for quotes and not looking to book a chef, consider scrolling through chef profiles and menus rather than asking them to take time submitting a custom proposal for a service that may not translate to a paid gig – or make a note that says “At this time I’m just looking for quotes- thank you for your time if you’d like to begin a dialogue!” We pride ourselves on attracting conscious chefs and conscious clients, and ask that both respect the other’s time and boundaries. 

We pride ourselves on representing the best of the industry, and bringing on chefs that are communicative, kind, and professional. We encourage you to speak to your chef first, and see if you can find a resolution. If you cannot, you have up to 24 hours from the gig’s end time and date to file a dispute, and our team will work with you to find a resolution. If nothing is filed, you will be charged for the full service and it will be considered closed, per our contract and mutual agreements. We want everyone to come out of each booking feeling good and empowered, and work hard to be transparent in our services, but also to set our own business boundaries. 

Your deposit acts as the first installment payment for a booked gig, as well as insurance for the chef for reserving that time for you, and a show of your commitment to working with the chef of your choice. Deposits will be at the time of booking, held by a third party, and paid out to the chef 4 weeks days out from the gig’s start to account for food purchases and equipment rentals. We are a chef-friendly network, and we know firsthand that when a chef accepts a gig, they hold that space and do not take other work. Oftentimes they pre-purchase ingredients or equipment for the Gig. 

25% is the standard deposit for all gigs 4 weeks out, if the gig is within 4 weeks, then a 50% deposit will be taken. The deposit amount will be deducted from the final invoice, and the final remaining amount will be charged 24 hours after the gig is completed (to allow for time for any changes to the invoice or disputes), and then paid out to the chef directly.

Canceling any confirmed events is frowned upon. We trust both our chefs and clients to be impeccable with their word and honor their commitments. When a chef accepts a gig, they hold that space and do not take other work. Oftentimes they pre-purchase ingredients or equipment for the gig. When a client books a chef, they do so with trust in that chef to show up and honor their agreements. 

However, life does happen. If a client cancels, they are still responsible for a portion of the agreed upon invoice- 25% if over 4 weeks out, 50% if under 4 weeks but over 48 hours, and 75% if under 48 hours. If a chef cancels a gig without a good reason, they may be immediately terminated from More Pleaze, or deregulated in status. 

If a chef is sick (including COVID-19) or has a medical emergency, we will work our hardest to find a replacement chef, and if none is found then no charges will be made and all deposits will be refunded in full. 

If a client has a medical emergency, we will review and work with the chef to try to find a fair solution for both parties, if no solution can be found, the maximum charge for the client will be 25% cancellation fee. 

If the gig is cancelled due to an Act of God (does not include pandemic cancellations, as those should be planned for in 2021), then only the 25% will be charged if a suitable rescheduled date cannot be confirmed with the chef.

Please feel free to email us directly through our contact form, and we will be more than happy to work our magic and see who may be available for you as a custom service! 

faq - chef questions

We are so happy you want to join us! We can’t wait to e-meet you! Nutshell registration below:

  1. Register with a username, password, name, and email address. We do charge a small one-time enrollment fee to cover the costs of a background and administrative work- but you get to keep your background chef for your own records. 
  2. Once you verify your email, you’ll be prompted to login and fill out an application form so we can get an idea of your past experience and overall energy. You’ll receive an email from our independent background check provider to fill out. 
  3. After we approve your application, you are live and able to bid on gigs! 
  4. We may have follow up questions about your application, and request references or an interview if you do not have a great deal of experience available for us to check online. We do approve chefs from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, but we also keep our standards high. 
  5. Once you can login to your portal, we encourage you to make your profile unique and reflect you! The more information and high quality images and menus, the better chance you have of having clients request you. You can also up your visibility by writing blogs for us and being active on social media.

Each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Overall we are looking for a combination of culinary professionalism and experience in conscious cuisine and lifestyle. Our ideal candidate has the following (but not all is mandatory): 

  1. 2+ years experience as a private chef or caterer
  2. Front of house and/or management experience
  3. Two references
  4. Proof of liability insurance
  5. ServSafe certification
  6. A clean background check 
  7. Sample menus and images from past events
  8. Currently live in location desired for service
  9. Experience including traditional restaurant work, event work, retreats, private work, educational work, weddings, etc
  10. Desired private work, for example: weddings, retreats, dinners, meal delivery, etc
  11. Front of house experience
  12. Well versed in plant-based food
  13. Holistic nutrition background or training
  14. Love for life and for food
  15. Reliable, trustworthy
  16. Good communication in person, over phone, and via email
  17. Preferred candidates have experience in at least 3 of following (or corresponding): holistic nutrition, raw food, Ayurvedic cooking, satvic cooking, vegan cooking, ovo/lacto vegetarian cooking, paleo cooking, bone broth preparation, yoga training.

We screen with zero-tolerance for any violent crimes, felonies, or sex offenses, as well as DIUs and misdemeanors within the past 5 years, and anything else that triggers a red flag. Please note: we DO NOT discriminate against non-violent marijuana-related offenses. Clients may ask to see your background check before hiring, please keep it on file and be prepared to share upon request.

If you have a catering company (instead of being an independent chef) – we would still love for you to make a profile. We do not allow any business or personal branding, so you will create the profile as a chef, but you can indicate in your bio and menus that you have access to more resources. You can also choose which gigs you will see, so you can specifically choose larger events such as weddings or corporate events, rather than meal prep or small dinners. 

We are not a brick and mortar organization, so we do not offer official in person stag opportunities. We work to empower chefs with experience to gain more opportunity and experience, but do not guarantee any employment. Each applicant will be reviewed individually. If you don’t have enough experience and want to reapply later after you have more, you will not need to pay the application fee again. 

We are working on creating training programs and information for chefs! Sign up for our mailing list to keep up on that! Also, please join our Facebook group for conscious chefs and ask the community if they have any opportunities for mentorship or stag opportunities! 

We’ve worked very hard to build up a chef-friendly community and platform, and we ask that you respect it and our boundaries. From a practical standpoint, we want to maintain privacy for you and clients, and ensure safety. From a business perspective, we want to have a record of all communications in case there are any disputes. If any chef is discovered sharing personal information or encouraging clients to locate them off of the platform, it will result in termination. Thank you for understanding and respecting our boundaries! 

Yes! Please do! You can upload menu PDFs to your profile, and send menus to clients in reference to gigs. Menus must be in PDF form, and cannot contain any links to chef’s personal websites or social media platforms. Menus are encouraged to be well written, formatted, and presentable, as to best represent the chef’s professional and conscious offerings.

Yes! You can upload any images of yourself and your food, but they may not contain any logos, websites, social media links, or information that would lead clients off of More Pleaze. 

Yes! Please do! You can upload menus in PDF format with signature items and prices if you wish. Menus may have your first name, but may not contain any logos, websites, social media links, or information that would lead clients off of More Pleaze. 

We recommend responding as quickly as possible to all messages, and submitting proposals as quickly as possible. While we do promote slow food, we live in a society today where prompt online communication is highly valued, and the faster you respond, the higher your chances of getting booked become. If you are onsite cooking, and cannot respond in full, a quick message to acknowledge communication goes a long way. Something like: “Thank you for your message! I’m currently onsite with other clients giving them my full attention, but I have you in my notes and will respond tomorrow when I am back at my computer.” 

Reviews are amazing for showing new clients that you are  You can receive reviews from completed gigs from on clients you serve through More Pleaze. Clients receive reminders to write reviews, and you can (gently) remind them at service to leave you a review. If you were previously a More Pleaze chef on our old platform, you may contact support to manually add up to two reviews from verified clients. 

Featured chefs are chosen from a variety of factors, including: length of time with More Pleaze, overall chef and hospitality experience, reviews, number of proposals approved, contribution to our blog and social media channels. The best way to become a featured chef is to make your profile unique and professional with a great bio, and high quality photos and menus, then invest in our community by writing a blog, being active on our social media feeds, and submitting high quality proposals to posted gigs. 

Yes! As a chef-friendly network, we know firsthand that when a chef accepts a gig, they hold that space and do not take other work. Oftentimes they pre-purchase ingredients or equipment for the gig. We believe that chefs deserve monetary compensation to reserve their service, and pre-purchase ingredients or equipment for the gig. 

A client deposit acts as the first installment payment for a booked gig. Deposits will be at the time of booking, held by a third party, and paid out to the chef 30 days out from the gig’s start to account for food purchases and equipment rentals. 

25% is the standard deposit for all gigs 30 days out, if the gig is within 30 days, then a 50% deposit will be taken. The deposit amount will be deducted from the final invoice, and the final remaining amount will be charged 24 hours after the gig is completed (to allow for time for any changes to the invoice or disputes), and then paid out to the chef directly. 

Canceling any confirmed events is frowned upon. We trust both our chefs and clients to be impeccable with their word and honor their commitments. When a chef accepts a gig, they hold that space and do not take other work. When a client books a chef, they do so with trust in that chef to show up and honor their agreements. 

However, life does happen. If a client cancels, they are still responsible for a portion of the agreed upon invoice- 25% if over 30 days out, 50% if under 30 days.

If a chef cancels a gig without a good reason, this is grounds to be immediately terminated from More Pleaze, and all deposits need to be returned immediately or legal action will ensue. 

If a chef is sick (including COVID-19) or has a medical emergency, we will work our hardest to find a replacement chef, and if none is found then no charges will be made and all deposits will be refunded in full. 

If a client has a medical emergency, we will review and work with the chef to try to find a fair solution for both parties, if no solution can be found, the maximum charge for the client will be 25% cancellation fee. 

If the gig is cancelled due to an Act of God (does not include pandemic cancellations, as those should be planned for in 2021), then only the 25% will be charged if a suitable rescheduled date cannot be confirmed with the chef.

You have 24 hours from the completion of your gig to modify the final amount and notify the client for approval. Things happen, such as extra people or requests at the last minute, and accepting extra work is your choice, we both encourage flexibility as it is the nature of the job, but we also trust you to maintain your own personal and business boundaries, and honor both your YES and your NO full heartedly. We recommend communicating verbally with the client at the gig so they are aware the charge may change. If no changes are made within the 24 hour window, the client will be charged the agreed upon amount, and the gig will be closed. 

We pride ourselves on representing the best of the industry, and bringing on chefs that are communicative, kind, and professional. We encourage you to speak to your client first, and see if you can find a resolution. If you cannot, you or the client has up to 24 hours from the gig’s end time and date to file a dispute, and our team will work with you to find a resolution. If nothing is filed, the client will be charged for the full service and it will be considered closed, per our contract and mutual agreements. We want everyone to come out of each booking feeling good and empowered, and work hard to be transparent in our services, but also to set our own business boundaries.