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Featured in Lincoln View Magazine

Chef stirs up business model

Have gourmet meals prepared right in your own home
By: Paige Smith
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Culinary Comfort

  • Chef Serena Olson
  • 916-295-3527, culinarycomfortforyou.com

The quote at the outset reflects Serena Olson, owner and chef of Culinary Comfort out of Lincoln, and reveals just the beginning of her story as a personal chef.

Olson was born and raised in California and grew up with her dad pulling various things out of the cupboards and making meals. She watched him cook and it became her creative outlet.

“Growing up we always cooked out of necessity,” Olson explained. “Out of necessity for cooking, came a passion for cooking.”

That passion drove her to obtain her bachelor’s degree in business management and from there, cooking became a personal chef business. She is a certified personal chef and received her certification from the American Personal Chef Association, but otherwise her passion drives her to continue learning and teaching herself.

“There’s always something new to learn, I never get sick of reading cookbooks or watching the Food Network,” she said. “It never gets old.”

Culinary Comfort was designed to allow couples, friends or families to have small dinner parties from two to 15 people. The menus are customized and based off the clients' needs. This allows the client to enjoy a meal to be prepped, cooked and cleaned up in the comfort of their home, while they can entertain guests or simply relax.

“It makes for a great anniversary present, a dinner for two,” Olson said. “It is a nice treat when you don’t have to cook.”

Her business doesn’t end there though, she offers meal prep services, home cooking class parties and teaches homeschool children how to cook. Olson is an approved vendor for local charter schools, where part of the curriculum is to learn how to cook.

When it comes to home-cooking class parties, there are many options. With a minimum of four people, an afternoon of cooking demos can be enjoyed or eat food and simply have a good time. There is even an option for wine or beer pairings.

One of Olson’s favorite items to create? Cheese boards. They are fun, and can have a variety of foods and just have fun with it, she said.

As the weather starts to warm up, food selections change, and Olson has the key to great ideas for the warmer seasons. From mocktails to grilling fresh fruit, she has the eye of delicious and healthy options.

“I like to incorporate California flavors and Mediterranean, clean eating into my recipes,” she said. “I don’t use a lot of salt or sugar in my recipes, I try to get natural sugar and flavors.”