ACI Graduate Success: Q&A with Sadye Auren, Sadye Gourmet Personal Chef

ACI Graduate Success: Q&A with Sadye Auren, Sadye Gourmet Personal Chef

From the bustling kitchens of the ACI to the intimate dining rooms of private homes, Chef Sadye Auren has embarked on a culinary journey that’s as rich in flavor as it is in passion. Graduating from ACI has not just been a milestone; it’s been the beginning of a savory adventure.

Chef Sadye’s personal chef services are a celebration of her culinary expertise, offering bespoke in-home cooking that brings the restaurant experience right to your table. She says, “Meals of choice prepared and served in the comfort of your home reflect my dedication to culinary excellence and personalized service.”

Not just confined to individual meals, Chef Sadye excels in crafting memorable private dining experiences for both personal gatherings and corporate events. Her skill in menu planning and course execution ensures that each event is both unique and unforgettable. “Available for private dining experiences, my aim is to create a culinary narrative that complements the essence of your event,” Chef Sadye articulates.

For those looking to add an elegant touch to their gatherings, Chef Sadye’s expertise extends to designing and preparing exquisite appetizer tables, hors d’oeuvres, and grazing tables. “Let your events be a space where you can mingle and relax, leaving the culinary spectacle to me,” she suggests, promising an event where the flavors linger long after the last guest has departed.

Chef Sadye’s meal prep service is a boon for busy people, ensuring you can enjoy gourmet meals throughout the week without the hassle of planning, shopping, and cooking.

Chef Sadye’s offerings are not just services; they are experiences that are carefully curated to enhance every culinary desire. Her journey with ACI has armed her with the prowess to transform everyday meals into extraordinary feasts. Contact Chef Sadye to embark on a culinary experience that’s meticulously crafted, just for you.

What inspired the start of your personal chef business?

I decided to start my own business because I’ve always loved being independent in the kitchen. When I fell into catering a few years ago, I was a one woman team running three locations worth of catering orders (cooking, delivering, and setting up) so I got used to doing my own thing, and then the chaos became my motivation! At home I always loved cooking everyone dinner, or having friends over and cooking for them, so it just felt right! 

Did ACI help to shape the development and success of Sadye Gourmet?

YES! I couldn’t thank ACI more for everything they’ve given and are still giving me. Of course the program was incredibly thorough and I was able to fully immerse myself in learning the ropes to prepare quality food and to be a Chef that is confident in the kitchen. Even today, I can reach out and have any question answered from the amazing staff, whether it’s advice on a dinner’s logistics or how to prepare something I’ve never cooked before, they support me with care. It just means the world to me to know they’re still there for me even though I’ve graduated already!

How did you manage your responsibilities as a student and launching your business?

I’ve always been a busy person and love having a full schedule, so it honestly just felt better to work on Sadye Gourmet as I was going through the program. I was in the midst of figuring out what I wanted to do, how to present myself, and was just learning as I went and it felt like it came to fruition so well because of that. If I had a question, they could help me answer it with their own knowledge and experience to guide me. They could push me to be creative, to take an idea even further. 

How would you describe your culinary style for the diverse services offered by Sadye Gourmet?

My style is making my clients happy and being someone anyone can work with. I’ve had no limits since the start and I actually love being diverse when it comes to what I’m cooking and what I offer. I think it comes with the job, whether I have clients with health restrictions or diet preferences or have a special birthday weekend-long extravaganza, I’m always curating menus based on what my clients want. I traveled to Texas a few months ago and did three dinners: Meat Fest, a Grazing Table, and Beef Wellingtons — all so different and all were so much fun to prepare. This all comes from my family, primarily my Nanni and Dad, teaching me how to cook and to just love food. Our house was full of all types of food and all types of people; I just love to create memories and the feeling of togetherness through delicious food shared around the table.

Can you share a memorable event you catered through Sadye Gourmet?

Yes! A while back I served a private dinner for a birthday and my client flew in Alaskan King Crab Legs fresh for me. They were the size of my entire arm! I could barely get them in the pot haha! It felt so special that they shared such amazing crab with me to prepare. We did a surf-and-turf style celebration, and it turned out amazing. There’s nothing like a crab leg so big it doesn’t fit on a dinner plate. 

How have your early culinary experiences influenced your approach to cooking for clients?

I really feel like how I grew up made me the type of Chef I am. I really just love to cook like you’re cooking something amazing for your family after a Sunday together or on the holidays when you have the chance to make a feast and give everyone a break. I love the experience of it all. When I was a kid, I’d walk into my Nanni’s house and I would practically float to the kitchen. It smelled so good. She, of course, would serve something amazing and not really know what she did (my Dad’s the same way) and it would be one of the best meals of your life. We’d all sit together, eat, and enjoy the company. That’s what I love, to make my meals and service feel like home. 

What advice would you give to ACI students aspiring to start their own culinary business?

A few pieces of advice:

  • Use your resources! Everyone around you, especially on campus, is there for you and you can do anything with that endless knowledge. Ask the questions! I still do! 
  • Don’t shy away from your ideas. I was so shy about starting my business and leaving my job at a busy restaurant to pursue it, but I watered the grass and it grew! I haven’t skipped a beat and the hard work really does pay off.
  • Keep learning! Starting a personal chef business is not just cooking, I’ve also learned a lot about business, taxes, logistics, marketing, and beyond throughout this time and it only grows. Every single client and experience will teach you something new. 
  • WORD OF MOUTH IS EVERYTHING! When I tell you this, I mean it. Almost every person I’ve worked with is a friend of a friend. Your community will grow before you know it! Remember that and remember to care about quality, every detail is important! 

What are your future aspirations for Sadye Gourmet?

Sadye Gourmet has really been a life-changing experience for me so far. I’m so grateful to be working for myself with such incredible clients along the way. For this next year I want to just keep nourishing it and make my growth plan. I’ve been such a busy bee, I might need an assistant here shortly! It’s so funny to look back and think how I was worried to take the leap, and here I am considering having to hire an employee. I started my business and it took over 6 months for it to take off, which was kind of my plan, start it and start slow. Then I kept working on it, building out my website, posting on social media, networking, and suddenly BOOM. It happened. I’m truly so happy to be here. 

How did ACI prepare you for the demands of personal chef services and event catering?

ACI is so special because each class is so different, each Chef has a lifetime of advice and stories to give you, every student is there to learn and create, there’s so much to gain from ACI. I can’t tell you how many times I’m working with a client on something specific and I have a flashback to something like Chef Wolf teaching me how to salt just enough to not over salt, or Chef Coopey teaching me how to be a girl boss, or Chef Boyle showing me how to breakdown any piece of meat– even if I haven’t worked with it before. Everything I learned at ACI has been apart of my journey outside of school. 

How do you believe your services impact the local community and Arizona’s culinary scene?

There’s two sides to this! First, I realized just how many families need help preparing meals. Cooking your family dinner may feel easy to some, but to others it’s the biggest challenge of their day; whether it be because of work, having young kids, or just not connecting with cooking. I have so many clients who are so relieved to have that task taken off their plates. I really feel like helping families make their days easier is so special. Knowing they can come home and really relax (with delicious food) is so important. Secondly, I absolutely love how this area is full of private parties, events, and a community of people who want to share experiences together. I love doing private parties because they are so fun and hiring me gives my clients a level of elevation and fun to their events. It’s an experience! Plus, so many businesses, families, and friend groups have so much care for one another, events where I’m hired it’s really an honor to see them all treat themselves so they can really just enjoy the experience, meaning having me there, eating food they wouldn’t usually have, and sharing real quality time with one another without the stress of cooking and cleaning on their minds.

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