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Cooking up a storm
by Andrea Tyrell
Sep 16, 2013 | 2397 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sparks personal chef Rachael Krysiak owns Rachael K’s Home Cookin’, which hosts cooking classes for both children and adults.
Sparks personal chef Rachael Krysiak owns Rachael K’s Home Cookin’, which hosts cooking classes for both children and adults.
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Rachael Krysiak (left) and her assistant, Jen Villareal,  perfect their own spin on classic recipes in their prep kitchen in Sparks.
Rachael Krysiak (left) and her assistant, Jen Villareal, perfect their own spin on classic recipes in their prep kitchen in Sparks.
slideshow
The kitchen is no place to be slaving away when your friends and family are sitting around the dining room table, having a good time without you. Sparks personal chef and owner of Rachael K’s Home Cookin’, Rachael Krysiak, understand that no one wants to be cooped up in a kitchen.

Making meals perfect for parties and potlucks, Krysiak feeds the Truckee Meadows quality meals at affordable prices. She encourages all members of the family to get involved in cooking and to seriously think about what kind of food one puts into their body.

Inspired by celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme, Krysiak began waiting and serving in restaurants at age 14. She came out to Nevada from Cleveland with AmeriCorps, working on the culinary team that fed trail crews and fire fighters that hiked and cleared mountain paths. She later traveled across the country, working in kitchens in the south. In 2005 in Louisiana, she worked on kitchen staffs that fed those hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. When she got pregnant four years ago, Krysiak grew tired of working in restaurants and decided to use her talents elsewhere, creating her business and inventing the recipes that would become her clients’ favorites.

She specializes in American regional food or has she puts it, “comfort food with a twist.” Many of her clients have food allergies and special dietary requirements, like gluten-free and paleo diets. Krysiak makes healthier versions of classic family favorites, substituting natural ingredients with those that are filled with so many calories.

“Take something like lasagna, it’s filled with greasy meat and a ton of carbs,” said Krysiak. “People love eating it but they also want the healthy version. For my take on lasagna, I layer dehydrated tomatoes, pesto and cashew nut cheese together. It’s completely vegan with no carbs. People can eat three or four servings of this lasagna before feeling full. It’s delicious and totally awesome.”

Krysiak’s services range from pre-made individual meals that she delivers to clients to cooking classes to meal planning with the price averaging about $250 a week for a family of four. Unlike some other cooking schools and personal chefs in the area, Krysiak teaches children’s cooking classes, beginning with kids as young as three years old.

“Kids learn listening and math skills and gain confidence and self-esteem when they cook in the kitchen,” said Krysiak. Children’s classes start at $25 per child. For adults looking for a cooking lesson of their own, Krysiak offers a variety of courses from a culinary boot camp where one can learn the basics of cooking, knife skills and entertaining, to a more relaxed event where she comes into your home and teaches you and your guests about regional wines.

“I bring all the food to your home, wine if there will be a wine pairing and the cookware if the hostess doesn’t have it,” said Krysiak. “It’s a lot of fun and pretty relaxing; a great date night or time with your friends.”

Krysiak is also involved with Chefs in Schools, a program within Washoe County schools that teaches children healthy eating habits and how to stay active.

“It’s all about trying to get the obesity rate down,” said Krysiak.

Rachael works out of One World Kitchen, her so-called sanctuary, away from the distractions of her home kitchen. When she’s not teaching a class, she spends time in One World, experimenting with recipes, throwing cayenne pepper into mango salsa and adding corn kernels to johnnycakes.

“Rachael puts together whatever people request,” said Krysiak’s assistant Jen Villarreal. The pair have been working together for the past two years after meeting at Sustainable Tahoe, an event that Kryisak catered. Like Kryisak, Villarreal grew up cooking. Born and raised in Pennsylvania to her southern mother and Croatian father, Villarreal was inspired by her multicultural background to create unique recipes, ones that she still uses in her kitchen today.

“Everything was surrounded by food growing up,” said Villarreal. “Me and my parents would eat breakfast together, planning out the day’s meals. We’d do all the shopping together and come up with the most wonderful recipes. Cooking keeps the family together.”

As the holidays approach, Krysiak and Villarreal are busy preparing food for Thanksgiving and holiday parties.

“We offer a lot of different things for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Krysiak. “You can order your turkey and then, we have a ton of sides to choose from: cornbread sage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, coconut pumpkin soup...”

The ladies also make their own Christmas candy and fudge at the Eldorado’s Great Italian Festival. Krysiak also caters for parties, weddings and corporate events. Orders can be placed online and gift certificates are available.

“Rachael and I are good bringing our differences together,” said Villarreal. “I can anticipate what she needs. We complement each other. There’s this natural flow between us and we enjoy working together.”

For more information about Rachael K’ Home Cookin’, visit rachaelkhomecookin.com or call (775) 750-3345.
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