The Drive-By: Personal Chef Services


The Drive-By. Not to be confused with the drive-thru.

I arrive, I cook, I clean up, and I leave. In the time it will take you to draft the first chapter of that novel you’ve wanted to write, or rough out your basement for the home gym you’ve dreamed of having, you can have a refrigerator stocked with fresh, healthy, truly home-cooked meals.

Legal Pantry focuses on preparing meals that are macronutrient balanced, nutrient dense, and delicious by using lean proteins, the freshest produce and herbs available, healthy fats, and antioxidant rich spices. My goal (and passion) is to provide you with meals that will energize you to live your best, bravest life. A personal chef service is an investment in your health. Services can be provided on an ongoing basis, or as an occasional service for those weeks you’ve over-booked your calendar and don’t want to be tempted by over-processed, unhealthy convenience foods.

With this service, clients receive:

  • A custom designed menu based on your personal tastes,  preferences, and any dietary restrictions you may have.
  • Hand-selected fresh, local, and organic ingredients.
  • Meals prepared fresh in your kitchen.*
  • Neatly packaged, labeled, and stored meals for your convenience, with detailed reheating and serving instructions.
  • Your kitchen will be as clean as you left it (or better).
  • More free time to focus on doing the things you love.
  • An investment in your health.

Sample menu items can be found here. If you do not see something specific, or if you have special dietary restrictions, please don’t hesitate to inquire. I can accommodate most special dietary restrictions.

General Pricing for 2 or 4 people: 

2 People:

2 x 2 (2 entrées @ 2 portions/4 meals) = $150 + cost of groceries

3 x 2 (3 entrées @ 2 portions/6 meals) = $250 + cost of groceries

4 x 2 (4 entrées @ 2 portions/8 meals) = $300 + cost of groceries

5 x 2 (5 entrée @ 2 portions/10 meals) = $375 + cost of groceries

4 People:

2 x 4 (2 entrées @ 4 portions/8 meals) = $200 + cost of groceries

3 x 4 (3 entrées @ 4 portions/12 meals) = $275 + cost of groceries

4 x 4 (4 entrées @ 4 portions/16 meals) = $325 + cost of groceries

5 x 4 (5 entrées @ 4 portions/20 meals) = $425+ cost of groceries

Any applicable taxes will also be added to above fees.

(This is a general service fee structure. Service fees may vary depending on client’s specific needs, number of meals, or additional travel. A single service (versus ongoing clients) may cost more. Please inquire for a specific quote.)

If you do not see a meal/per person package you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to inquire.

A few differences between going out to a restaurant and using a personal chef service:

  • A menu tailored to only your personal tastes, preferences, and dietary needs. And this means that you have knowledge of what’s really in your food.
  • Local ingredients that have been hand-selected by your personal chef within hours of their preparation, not ordered in bulk from a large food distributor and that have been sitting in a walk-in cooler with God knows what else.
  • Time saved by not having to travel to a restaurant, together with the time involved in the dining experience (from waiting for a table to paying your bill). Believe me, I love dining out more than most people, but during a busy week it’s not always practical. And let’s face it, time is money, honey.
  • How much time do you spend THINKING about what to cook for you and your family, PLANNING how you will get it done, SHOPPING, PREPPING, COOKING and CLEANING up afterwards? What else could you be doing with all of that time?

Groceries – Grocery costs are in addition to the service charge. Organic or non-organic groceries are at your discretion. We will discuss your preferences at your initial consultation.

Containers – BPA-free disposable containers will be included with your grocery cost. (NYS Heath Department mandates that we purchase and use disposable plastic containers such as Glade or ZipLock for one time use.) For long term clients, it is suggested that you purchase a set of Glass Pyrex dishware. These containers are cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, microwave, oven, freezer and dishwasher-safe. They are the best long term option, and they will be yours to keep.

*Why your kitchen? Under New York law, personal chefs are not permitted to prepare food for commercial consumption in their own kitchens. If I were to rent a commercial kitchen, that cost would then have to be passed on to my clients, resulting in higher service fees and chicken breasts that cost $400. That would be silly. Besides, if I cooked in my home, your home wouldn’t smell as good when you get home.

Please do not worry about the size of your kitchen, or the amount or condition of equipment you have. I’m not worried about this and you shouldn’t be either. I can prepare delicious meals with just a few basics and don’t need a lot of fancy gadgets. Don’t have a microplane? No worries, I can bring mine. All I ask is that your counter space is clear, your sink is empty, and there is room in your refrigerator or freezer for your meals. If you have pets and will not be home, please let me know this in advance. I love pets! But I want to be careful no one scoots out the door. The same goes for small children.

Payment – Payments may be made in cash, personal check, or by credit card using Paypal.  In order to hold your cook date, Legal Pantry requires that a deposit is made in the amount of your estimated grocery cost at the time your service is booked. An invoice will be provided on your cook date, to which your deposit will be applied. A $50 cancellation fee will be charged if a service is cancelled one week prior to the agreed upon cook date. If a cook date is cancelled the day before or the day of the agreed upon cook date a $100 cancellation fee will be charged.

“Mary has been a godsend.” Carl H., Albany NY


Inquiries: Contact Mary Kenney, Personal Chef at



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