About Off Duty Chef, Inc.


Wait, what?  How many times have you looked up from your phone to catch a thread of conversation? You’re multitasking, even as you read this! There is nothing you’d like better than to host some face-to-face time with your favorite people ‘cause sometimes texting and Gchat doesn’t cut it. You want to have full conversations and new dining experiences but find it a little scary to not be in total control of the medium and the message you put out there in the world.

Why not be the host you want to become? At Off Duty Chef, we believe that you can be present with your favorite people and have an easy, fun dining experience at your place! You, teamed up with our concierge service and a cool personal chef of your choice, turn the dream to reality.

Our President and Founder’s personal commitment to you

Marian Knowles, President & Founder

Marian Knowles,
President & Founder

Off Duty Chef, Inc. came to life from my own pained efforts to stay connected in a meaningful way with my favorite people after college. Given a 60-hour workweek, meeting the needs of a young family and a little self-care thrown in, I believed I didn’t have what it takes to pull off parties at home. But, it wasn’t about my multi-tasking angst or having a kitchen the size of a New York City closet. Fact is I was used to relying on e-mail, then social media to express myself in the world. Even dinner out with friends meant the smart phones on the table got more use than the wine glass or fork!

Because I always want more out of life, I had to teach myself how to host all kinds of parties without losing my mind. I’ve now hosted tons of parties at my places in New York and the Hamptons, from intimate parties of 4 to happenings of 50 guests. Now you’ll get the success secrets born from my hosting hits and misses along with access to this curated marketplace of cool, professional chefs. Why not team up with talented, fun people who love to create amazing food and entertainment value for you? With Off Duty Chef you can navigate the shoals of technology and create personalized experiences that your favorite people can’t stop talking about!

I like Off Duty Chef because it is intimate and personal. Overall, your service was a fantastic experience and enabled us to relax and enjoy our dinner party. We will definitely contact you again.

-Beryl Silver

Meet Our Chefs

Antoanela Samoila

Chef Antoanela Samoila is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in Soho and the Societe des Cafetier Restaurateurs et Hoteliers de Geneve in Switzerland.  She has experience working in fine dining establishments, including Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant. She is available for private chef service in... Read more →

Cara Lanzi

Chef Cara Lanzi is an intrepid Private Chef and Caterer who will travel in the New York area, including Nassau, Suffolk county and the East End of Long Island to bring her passion for food and cooking to your table. Cara is a proud graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute... Read more →

Lena Goldin

Chef Lena Goldin is trained in classical French and New American cuisine. Continuously inventing new menus, Lena strives to reflect not only your preferences and needs, but also the freshest (and most delicious) offerings of the season. Chef Goldin’s personal style is defined by seasonal flavors, proper techniques, focus, and... Read more →

Nikki King Bennett

Chef King Bennett is an expert in all things raw, vegan, and vegetarian and has made a career out of converting clients to her cooking style. Bill Clinton, Katie Holmes and Giselle Bundchen are just a few of health-conscious celebrities who adore her creations and have become fans of Nikki’s... Read more →

Dominique J. Romain

Chef Dominique J. Romain is a master of fine dining, including fêtes for two U.S. Presidents. He is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the prestigious NYU Steinhardt School. Chef Romain specializes in Caribbean, Latin, and... Read more →

Sabrina Sexton

Sabrina is a Lead Chef-Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, and formerly at NYC’s Chanterelle and Gramercy Tavern. An expert in New American Cuisine, Sabrina describes her cooking style as Local, Urbane and Sophisticated. Read more →

Andree Brown

Andree Brown’s mission is to produce healthy nutritious delicious meals food that look and taste inspirational from local reliable sources. Offering dining events consisting of dinner parties for 8 people to cocktail parties of 200, Chef Andree describes her style as simple, fresh, rustic, and seasonal. Andree Says… I enjoy... Read more →

Jeff Ho

Chef Jeff Ho has lived in New York for 15 years and started originally as an NYU Biology student but shifted away from a path toward medicine to pursue cooking. After graduating in 2005 from The Institute of Culinary Education, he finished his training at Per Se Restaurant and spent... Read more →

Stephen Almond

Precocious at age 12, Chef Stephen was rolling sushi and throwing food parties at his house for friends. After graduating from high school, he moved to Memphis and began working at Do Sushi where, within 2 years, he became head sushi chef where he remained for 5 years. Chef Almond... Read more →

Oscar Monterroso

Oscar Monterroso is a private chef who is passionate about producing high quality, creative and innovative dishes for his customers. Dedicated to creating memorable occasions for you and your guests, Oscar tries to identify the emerging tastes, trends, and flavors that will shape your food experience. Oscar describes his cooking... Read more →

Elena Apostolides

Chef Elena Apostolides is a personal chef serving The Hamptons as well as NYC.  In addition to international culinary training and fine dining experience, she has expertise in dessert.  So with Chef Elena you can have your cake and eat it, in NYC or The Hamptons!  Chef Elena received her... Read more →