Personal Chef To Go Meal Delivery Service Review 2024: All You Need To Know

Last Updated : December 22, 2023

Personal Chef To Go review

In this post, we will review what Personal Chef To Go is, its meal-delivery service, and who its target clients are.

Let’s get started.

Personal Chef To Go is a meal-delivery service providing cooked and ready-to-eat meals.
The meals are mostly animal protein-based. So those with vegetarian diets may not find much as options.

When you receive the meal delivery, you only need to heat the meal and serve it. The food can remain fresh in the fridge for a week or more.

What is Personal Chef To Go?

Blair Grossman founded Personal Chef To Go with Chef Gene in 2003. The core vision was to provide guilt-free gourmet meals to people’s doorstep. To that end, they offer world-class service, source the best products, and have rave reviews from everyday customers.
Time Magazine recently listed Personal Chef To Go in their top 100 websites.

Personal Chef To Go offers prepared meals you need to heat and serve. The company assures us that the food packages will remain fresh in the fridge for 10 to 12 days. It offers healthy meals made of fresh ingredients.

The service reviews are generally positive; however, a few users complain about the lack of vegan or vegetarian options with the service.

How does Personal Chef To Go work?

Personal Chef To Go specializes in delivering weekly meals. The company ships meals every Wednesday, with deliveries on Friday or Thursday. The meals come in single-serving, microwave-friendly trays. There’s no preparation work required.

The single-serving trays are another addition to your garbage pile and can concern some.

Subscribers from the Eastern parts of the United States get boxes delivered for free. Those outside need to pay additional amounts for express shipping.

You can buy five, eight, or ten meals as a subscriber. If you don’t select the meals by the end of the deadline, the company sends meals based on the preferences you ticked on when signing up.

Read more: ModifyHealth Review

How's the Personal Chef To Go menu look like?

Personal Chef To’s meals have plenty of classic American recipes, comfort foods, steaks, and salads.

Here are a few examples of different meal options:

  • Grilled chicken with brown rice
  • Cilantro and lime chicken
  • Lean sliced beef loin
  • Citrus salmon
  • Lavender chicken

Inside the delivery box, you get a description of the ingredients of each meal and nutrition information to see if the food meets the dietary requirements of people who subscribe to it.

There are just a few vegetarian meal options and no meals that state they are exclusively gluten-free. This is a great option for people who prefer more variety or want protein-based meals.

Personal Chef to Go offers meals that are targeted to different palates. However, the meals are designed to highlight proteins.
If you enjoy traditional American cuisine, this meal-delivery service is a great choice to save money and time cooking.

This service isn’t the right choice for those with different dietary needs.

Personal Chef To Go is a simple and lean meal-delivery service. It offers a menu of 12 meals that rotate every week. You can simply put it inside your microwave to reheat the food and serve warm tasty food. You can order five, eight, or up to 10 meals every week. You can either make your own meal selections or let the Personal Chef decide for you based on your preferences at the start.It’s a basic service.

Personal Chef To Go is a simple-to-understand meal-delivery service. You can order five meals each week for $78. You order eight meals per week for $118 and 10 meals per week for $138.

The free shipping is only limited to 25 states in the Eastern region of the United States. For all other states, the shipping is $45 per order.
Weekly menus have meals ranging from 11 to 12 meal items.

The menu also repeats after every eight weeks.

There are no meal plans that cater specifically to alternative diets and very few vegetarian options. No extras like snacks or drinks or breakfast options. Just 12 meals every week.

How to choose the meals on Personal Go To Chef?

You have two options. Either choose the meals on your own or let the service choose the meals for you based on your dietary preferences. You can indicate in your settings which ingredients you want to avoid. You can avoid fish, gluten, pork, shellfish, beef, dairy, and nuts.

If you prefer to make your own selection of meals, the process isn’t too different from any other meal-delivery service. Click on the meals you want, which will be added to the weekly order. There are very few extra options like potion sizes or alternate food items to think of. However, you need to add your choices by 9 am. ET on Monday, which is the cut-off time for delivery by Friday.

Here are a few sample meal options from Personal Chef To Go:

  • Chicken breast stuffed with crab meat
  • Garlic fajita beef loin cut
  • Chicken cacciatore
  • Chicken salad

What are the support materials available?

Personal Chef To Go doesn’t go overboard with support materials. It’s just the basics here.

When you open a meal, the first thing you may see is a label that shows the ingredients. You get nutrition information and microwave instructions. There’s a small section dedicated to FAWs that you can get from the contact us page on the site. That’s the only support material you get.

The company’s blog isn’t updated frequently. The YouTube channel has even fewer videos from when the company started. The social media posts aren’t much help either.

The mailing list promises nutrition, tips, weekly menus, and recipes. Join the list by entering your email address at the bottom of the site.

What's the Personal Chef To Go packaging like?

The meals are shipped inside a cardboard box with a recyclable insulating liner. It has two gel ice packs and cardboard separators. The packaging is similar to what you get with other services. The meal trays are made of recyclable plastic. It’s sealed with a plastic film which may or may not be recyclable.

Read more: RealEats review

How's the Personal Chef to Go meal cooking process?

You can reheat Personal Chef To Go meals right inside a microwave. Start by peeling off the corner of the film. The instructions are simple enough to follow. You need to place the meal inside for two-to-three minutes. Depending on how powerful the microwave is and the wattage you chose, you may want to test it out a few times, so you don’t overcook the meal.

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality of Personal Chef To Go meals

The meals all carry the flavor of garlic and powdered xanthan gum. These ingredients are present in all the meals, including the salad. The xanthan gum is potent, and being a thickener, it coats the tongue and stays there.

It feels a bit slimy. The garlic and sauces don’t stand as much compared to xanthan gum. The freshness of the salads and other meals is top of the line. According to reviewers, the proteins come precooked and moist when reheated and retain juiciness. Most found that to be a pleasant surprise. The baby carrots are al-dente.

Overall the meals retain their texture and flavor.

Food freshness from Personal Chef To Go

personal chef to go

When you think about having meals delivered to your doorstep, you’re likely wondering just how fresh everything will be. That’s one thing you don’t have to worry about with Personal Chef to Go. Everything is delivered fresh straight to your door and is never frozen. They use refrigerated shipping containers to keep all of your food at optimal temperature during transportation. These are containers they’ve thoroughly tested and will maintain the flavor of your food for up to 60 hours of transit time, which is pretty impressive.

For the food itself, their weekly menu is created by professionally-trained chefs who work under Corporate Chef Gene Castelluccio. With professional chefs in the kitchen putting these meals together, they have to be great. The meals are packaged in a way that the meals are kept oxygen-free. This helps in keeping them fresh for longer.

This packaging locks in flavor and maintains the freshness of your meals for over ten days.
Since everything is kept cold during transit, you don’t have to worry about food spoiling during transit. All you have to do is place your meals in the fridge upon their arrival. There’s no need to freeze them right away!

Personal Chef to Go has also clearly labeled everything with consume-by and freeze-by dates, so you always know what to do. Fortunately, the meals can stay fresh without freezing for up to 12 days, giving you plenty of time to eat before moving them to the freezer.

How's the nutritional value of Personal Chef To Go meals?

The meals from Personal Chef To Go are between 300 and 500 calories.

The meals are generally low in calories and carbs. Some meals, however, have higher carbs, like rice meals. The chicken cacciatore comes with brown rice and has 36g of carbs.

Personal Chef To Go is an excellent option if you reside east of the Mississippi. You get free shipping. You may want to give Personal Go to Chef a trial run and see if you like the food.

Most reviewers dislike the xanthan gum present in every meal and the salad. It’s in the sauces and kills everything with its intense flavor.

Most people don’t like it as a recurring presence.

Personal Chef To Go may not be wise if you live west of Mississippi. There’s a $45 charge that will destroy the value of what you get from the meal service. It’s too high. Most services charge $9 for shipping.

There are no add-ons. There are only 12 meals every week.

How's the Personal Chef To Go customer service?

You can contact Personal Chef to Go via phone or email as a customer. The company promises responses within a business day. Most people get answers to their queries in about eight hours.

How to make changes or cancel your Personal Chef To Go Order?

You have until the Monday morning deadline to make changes to your order or the address where you want the delivery to be made. You must contact their support if there are issues after placing the order. Personal Chef To Go lacks a critical feature in almost all meal-delivery services reviewed on Mealfan. You cannot skip weeks in your delivery schedule. You can pause your subscription for a week but cannot pause the subscription for multiple weeks by tweaking your account settings.

You can use the email support option to cancel the service. However, they are working on introducing a new shopping cart where customers will be allowed to cancel their accounts on their own. Needless to say, the cancellation process takes time, and the fact that you need to contact customer support for this only adds to the mess. They don’t delete your information or account from their servers when you cancel. That’s still there. The meal delivery is paused indefinitely. If you choose to go back, simply log in and place your orders.

Read more: Daily Harvest review

How does Personal Chef To Go compare to RealEats?

Personal Chef To Go provides you with fresh, fully-prepped single-serving meals. But in other areas, the services are a bit different.

RealEats offers more options and is very different. RealEats has twice the menu size of Personal Chef To Go with 12 meal options. You get salads, soups, sides, a la carte meats, and chicken. RealEats also charges less, starting at just $10.99. On the flipside, Personal Chef To Go starts its pricing at $13.80. Plus, there’s the $45 shipping fee for those in the Western region of the United States. RealEats services only 19 eastern states with limited delivery in the ten other states it delivers to.

RealEats’s meals typically have more calories than what you would find with Personal Chef To Go. Personal Chef To Go is better if you want to restrict your calorie intake. Both services have few vegetarian meals. Those who prefer keto, paleo, and vegan diets should find another service.

Personal Chef To Go has higher service than its counterparts. The menu is limited and hasn’t many exciting dishes. The xanthan gum is probably not great for most of us. It doesn’t allow you enough variety, and there are far better competitors who serve way better meals for lower prices.

Personal Chef To Go Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Minimal packaging: The meals come ready-to-eat and hence require minimal packaging. There are no raw ingredients to add to your order: less plastic and the greater good for the environment.
  • Personal Chef To Go ships freely to the Eastern States in the United States.
  • The cost of the meals is similar to the prices you get when you buy raw ingredients.
  • People who don't want to cook or can't find Personal Chef To Go to as very important to their lives.
  • As you're buying fully-prepared meals, you're going to waste less since you're not doing any grocery shopping
  • The meals contain less than 500 calories. This is lower than a restaurant or takeout meals
  • You can choose from the variety of balanced meals available.
  • You get more control over your diet since you decide which calories to each and balance your diet that way
  • Personal Chef To Go provides you with chef-prepared meals made with high-quality ingredients. The meals are healthier compared to fast food.
  • Those looking to lose weight can use a personal chef to lose weight with its low-calorie meals.
  • If you avoid meals that have pasta, you can make your Personal Chef meals gluten-free.
Cons
  • The price for a meal is between $13.8 to $15.6. This is way more expensive compared to similar services.
  • Personal Chef To Go doesn't let you filter meals by gluten-free or soy-free options. This can be difficult for people with dietary restrictions to select the right meal.
  • There are no vegetarian meals. All options have either fish or meat leaving you no choice if you're a vegan or vegetarian.
  • Personal Chef To Go doesn't mention if the ingredients are sourced from local farms or if they are sustainable or organic. This isn't great for anyone who wants organic food.
  • The service doesn't cater to food allergies.
  • The meals are about 450 calories only. That may leave you hungry and wanting more food.

Delivery locations

Personal Chef To Go now delivers to all 50 states in the United States. The company is based in Virginia.

If you live west of the Mississippi river, the shipping is $45 per box.

You can see the entire shipping map on their website.

Who should try Personal Chef to Go?

  • Personal Chef To Go is great if you want a balanced nutritious meal. It’s great if you don’t have any dietary preferences. The meals are low in calories and are such an idea for anyone who wants to lose weight. The portions are too low to meet the minimum requirements for a 2000-calorie diet.
  • Personal Chef To Go may be the right choice for individuals or small families than their larger counterparts.

You can pause your deliveries for up to three weeks as a customer. If you don’t pause your deliveries and forget, the company keeps sending meals based on your meal preferences.

There are no tray leakage issues because the boxes are sturdy. Shipping boxes are light enough for most people to carry into the house.

How are Personal Chef To Go portion sizes?

The portion sizes seem big enough.

  • Sometimes it can be difficult to choose from the limited variety of meals. This is especially difficult when salads come with the same pricing as full-on meals and are charged that way.
  • Nobody wants to pay $15.6 for a salad. The meals aren’t entirely balanced. Sometimes vegetables are missing. There’s a carb missing and more.
  • If you can select meals from the selection, you would get doubles to fill the dietary requirement because the inventory ran dry.
    Some of the entrees, sides, and vegetables are being outsourced and not being cooked by the company-employed chefs.

Sample Personal Chef to Go meals

Crab Cakes with Broccoli and Sweet Red Peppers – $15

This meal-delivery service uses real lump crab meat instead of imitation crab meat. The price of crab meat is high, but at $15, they give you two portions. They are cooled well with a slight crunch on the outside and proper seasoning inside.

Tuscan Style Stuffed Chicken Breast with Rice Pilaf – $15

The chicken breasts with rice pilaf have spinach, red peppers, mozzarella cheese, and walnuts. The portion size is larger than what you get from other suppliers.

Mongolian Pork Stir-Fry – $15

The pork stir fry is a part of its international cuisine and is marinated with sauce. The vegetables add crunch and textural variety. The rice was cooked well, almost al-dente. Rice gets soggy when you are reheating it.

Oven-Roasted Beef Loin with Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes – $15

This is an oven-braised beef shoulder. The meat is tender and has sherry reduction sauce paired with mushrooms. The Roasted Sweet Potatoes are equally good, and once again, we would have liked to see a green vegetable side to create a balanced meal.

Roasted Turkey with Homestyle Gravy – $15

The meal doesn’t skimp on ingredients. The turkey used in the roasted turkey with homestyle gravy is from a turkey breast. The cranberries lack flavor and fall flat. The gravy isn’t seasoned well. Only the potatoes shone in the recipe. There are no green vegetables to make this a balanced meal.

Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan – $15

The baked chicken parmesan avoids being roasted in oil, and that’s a good first step. However, there’s too much-breaded crust in it that gluten-intolerants won’t love. There’s sauce in it that doesn’t feel very good. The cheese looks half-burnt too. The penne was fine, but the sauce itself fell flat and took along the penne with it.

Pesto Shrimp – $15

The Pesto shrimp retained its texture upon reheating. The sauce tasted more like buttery scampi than real pesto. The baby carrots aren’t part of the actual recipe. It should have paired well with a side of either Orzo or pasta.

Roasted Chicken Breast in Sweet Marsala Sauce – $15

The roasted chicken breast in this sweet marsala sauce was good, but the sauce was watered down way beyond redemption. It tasted flavorless. The company used canned mushrooms instead of using real mushrooms. Again there are no vegetable sides to make it a balanced meal.

Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

The Philly Cheesesteak Pasta has no identity of its own and looks like their chicken marsala meal. Some companies give you alternate foods, but you get the same recipe with a new name here.

Instead of loading up on chicken dinners, the company should have spent time and money on a beef dish or alternate protein. It’s poor management that shows they don’t really care about customers.

FAQs:

Personal Chef To Go has been serving meals since 2003. They have one-time orders, and there’s no need to commit to subscriptions. You can choose weekly or fortnightly deliveries. You can cancel or pause the order any time before Sunday 10 pm EST.

The orders ship out on Wednesday every week, arriving at your home on Thursdays or Fridays. The shipping is free nationwide. However, a fee of $6.95 is added for e-friendly shipping.

The meals come in tamper-proof sealed trays. You can heat them in a microwave for 3 minutes.

Personal Chef To Go is a gourmet meal delivery service that’s definitely priced on the high-end but for a good reason. And the fact that you can add a little more to the order for environment-friendly shipping helps calm our nerves.