Why the food sherpa llc?

While a sherpa may be considered your expert guide on a mountain excursion, the food sherpa llc is your expert guide to great food in the comfort of your own home!

Benefits of working with the food sherpa llc include:

  • Customization to your unique food preferences and dietary needs.
  • Consideration and accommodation of dietary allergies and related restrictions.
  • Healthy meals optimized to your tastes.
  • Compliance with the food sherpa llc’s Health & Safety Policy.
  • Valuable time saved grocery shopping.
  • Reduced food waste.

Who is the food sherpa llc?

Keith Steury is the founder and owner of the food sherpa llc. He holds a Professional Diploma from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Culinary Arts Program, a Certificate of Achievement from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia in Information Technology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington).

Keith worked in the corporate world for nine years before making the life-changing decision to seriously pursue his passion for cooking in 2005. In 2006, he graduated with honors and first in his class from the professional culinary arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Keith honed his culinary skills at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. He left to start the food sherpa llc, his own personal chef business.

In 2015, Keith was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and as a carrier for a rare genetic condition called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (commonly referred to as Alpha-1). Alpha-1 may result in serious lung disease in adults or in liver disease in individuals of any age.

The experience of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic with Alpha-1 has given Keith unique insight into the day-to-day concerns of those who are immunocompromised and/or who have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe health consequences if they become ill. He created the food sherpa llc’s Health and Safety Policy (86kb Adobe PDF file – get Adobe Reader) in direct response to these concerns.


the food sherpa llc works with the immunocompromised, those with underlying health conditions, and anyone with health and safety concerns related to dining outside of the home. This includes those who have specific dietary restrictions or requirements that are not consistently supported in the traditional restaurant setting. With the food sherpa llc, you will experience, nutritious, creative, and unique food prepared from only the best ingredients in the comfort of your home.

You will have the comfort of knowing that your health and safety is always top of mind and that a delicious and nutritious meal is always available for you to enjoy. Simply put, as the food sherpa llc, we are your guide to great food at home!


the food sherpa llc is committed to safely serving those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions by providing a fully customized restaurant quality experience in the comfort of their own home.


Proudly serving clients in the counties of Arlington and Fairfax and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax in Northern Virginia since 2007.


National Registry of Food Safety Professionals Logo

NRFSP Certified

Chef Keith is certified by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (NRFSP) as a Food Safety Manager.

United States Personal Chef Association Member Logo

USPCA Member

Chef Keith has been a member in good standing of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) since September 2019.

  • 18 years of culinary experience
  • 16 years in business
  • Member of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA) for 12 years
  • Served consecutive 2-year terms (first as the Secretary then as the President), of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MARC) of the APPCA
  • Member of the USPCA for 3+ years
  • Certified Food Safety Manager


We hired the food sherpa for our party after tasting his food at a friend’s event, and are very thankful that we did. Keith came on time, worked with me to ensure that we had more than enough food for our guests, kept the table stocked, and did a bang-up cleaning job when the party was over. As a result, I was able to enjoy the evening without worry. Most importantly, the food was delicious. In fact, we were thrilled to have some left-overs. We would be happy to highly recommend Keith to anyone interested in working with him.
Lynn and Gil, Fairfax Station, VA
Thank you so much for the EXCELLENT work you do — paying attention to my particular tastes, helping me achieve my dietary goals, introducing me to new flavors/combinations with your experience and skill.  I am very glad that I signed up for your Food Sherpa service!
Jessica, Arlington, VA

You did a phenomenal job. Josh calls you a maestro. You are so organized, food is fantastic, and the cleanliness was amazing.  Thank you so much again!!

Shejal and Josh, Alexandria, VA
Thank you so much for helping take care of my family. Your special cooking helped us through some difficult times. I very much appreciate your help. I would highly recommend [your services to] anyone you referred to me. Best Regards.
Terry, Springfield, VA
I just wanted to share my thanks for your efforts in working with us on a tight schedule and with the dietary restrictions imposed. Your professionalism and attention to detail was appreciated, your willingness to work to make our event successful was wonderful, and everyone at our home commented on how delicious the meal was; which was incredible given the restrictions of no gluten, no dairy, and no added sugar. Even after the event we were amazed at the immaculate condition of the kitchen, it was cleaner after you left than it has been for quite some time. I definitely recommend your services to anyone who may have a similar event which would need a personal chef. Thank you again and I hope your holidays are filled with joy and you have a happy new year.
Jay & Michelle, Fairfax, VA
Our family always looks forward to the day when you come to cook. Not only does our house smell divine but we all know we will be eating well in the days to come. The Moroccan Beef Meatballs were so good I almost didn’t want to share with the rest of the family! We don’t typically love fish but the Tilapia and Roasted Halibut you prepared was so delicious you have converted us. The Greek Pastitsio was better than my Mom’s (but please don’t tell her that)! My young children thought the Beef Tenderloin was better than any restaurant and my husband and I agree! Your food is complex in flavors but so easy to enjoy and my picky children love it; it is truly on par with the best restaurants in DC.
Stacey, McLean, VA
We hired the food sherpa llc to cater our Valentine’s Day party. He is the ultimate professional. He’s organized, thoughtful, thorough, and creative. Most importantly, his food is delicious. We’ve actually hired the food sherpa llc for a few private events and people always rave about the food.
Jenny & Ron, Alexandria, VA
You are a wonderful chef, and I’ve so enjoyed the meals you prepared for me, your patience, and good humor.
Elaine, Fairfax, VA
We decided to have a formal dinner party in our dining room with 4 couples for a friend’s birthday. Keith communicated with us ahead of time to help set up a fresh seasonal menu and he arrived promptly and set up his amazing cooking supplies. He then greeted the guests and offered a first course. As Keith began cooking the meal he incorporated instructional time for those dinner guests who wanted to learn about knife skills, braising, etc. We all found this fascinating. After we were seated in the dining room, we were served a delicious meal with wine pairings. His clean up was thorough! We don’t hesitate to give Keith 5 stars for a memorable evening with a truly talented chef!
Marian, Alexandria, VA
Keith is a class act.
Pat, Annandale, VA
Thank you for your fantastic service. We love walking into a kitchen full of healthy delicious meals at the end of a work day. We feel well-nourished with your menus and appreciate your kind, professional manner.
Jenny & Ron, Alexandria, VA
We would like to adopt Keith.
Stacy, Arlington, VA
I like the service. I very much appreciate how organized you are. It is very nice. I think you do a wonderful job.
Alisann, Springfield, VA
We could not be more pleased with the dishes and the ease of working with Keith!
Mike & Larisa, Burke, VA
Having Keith cook for us is one of the best things we’ve ever done. He shops, cooks, cleans and the food is outstanding! Love the ease of preparation and quality of the food. Keith has truly simplified my life. I have healthy food in healthy portions and the convenience is awesome!
Judy, Alexandria, VA
I really enjoyed everything you made for me. I can’t think of anything that I would change. I look forward to the next round of dinners as I am sure they will be just as tasty!
Carrie, Alexandria, VA
Keith’s cooking class for our group was outstanding. He took the time to make sure each of us participated and learned his techniques (cutting, searing, etc.), and he even left us with personalized recipe guides. Keith’s professional yet casual approach to top-notch cooking made it less intimidating to try new things. My husband and I have even used those recipes to make the dish since the class – it’s our favorite now!
Monica, Arlington, VA
Thank you for a great party! My daughter loved it, and we got feedback from three of her friends that ‘It was the best party!’ I hope you enjoyed yourself.
Brenda, Washington, DC
I wanted to thank you very much for the fabulous week of wonderful meals. It was such a treat to have such a great selection of meals to choose from for a whole week! I was amazed at your ability to cook the meat perfectly so as to allow for it to be cooked to perfection when I warmed it up versus being overdone. You did an incredibly thorough job of preparing for your day in our house and we greatly appreciated the accurate nutritional information that is invaluable to us as we care for our children, especially our son, with diabetes.
Mary, Kale & the TRIFECTA, Alexandria, VA
the food sherpa llc is a consummate professional! From the initial consultation to the follow up correspondence, Keith took great care to respond to our unique gastronomic preferences. We were amazed with the culinary artistry he performed from our tiny, cramped kitchen! He prepared a delectable set of meals for us, each robust with fresh flavors and filling portions. It was a treat to eat such fine entrees in the comfort and convenience of our own home. Our two young children even enjoyed the offerings and commented on how it was reminiscent of eating out at a fancy restaurant. Thanks, Keith, for providing outstanding service and delicious meals to help calm and delight our busy lives!
Erin & Andy, Alexandria, VA
Thank you so much for making my 12th wedding anniversary so exceptional. Your dinner service was a unique way to celebrate and recognize this special day.

The three course meal that you prepared was wonderful! The potatoes were especially terrific! My wife and I have never had potatoes prepared in that manner, so it was a great treat. As you know from our discussion that evening, my wife can be a tough critic when it comes to food. I just wanted to let you know that she thought everything was delicious and so did I!

Thanks again for putting so much thought and effort into our meal and for your wonderful service. We really enjoyed it!

Jason, Annandale, VA
Susan and I would like to thank you for doing such a wonderful job on our dinner party. It was so nice to be able to spend time in the evening with our family rather than in the kitchen preparing the meal. The dinner was great!!
Susan & Arty, Alexandria, VA
We wanted to thank you for doing a great job on our holiday party. The variety of food that you provided for our event was really wonderful. Between the spanakopita, egg rolls, chicken satay, vegetable trays, cured salmon, and dips there was certainly something for everyone to enjoy. And the desserts were fantastic: the cream puffs and the chocolate tart were superb!

Interestingly enough, we attended a couple of other holiday parties after this one and noted similar food items on many of the menus. Because we had already had the pleasure of sampling some of the same types of food at our party, we really enjoyed feeling like we were up to speed on the ‘culinary curve’ for the remainder of the holiday season! Your service provided a unique way to celebrate the holidays. Everyone really enjoyed themselves!

Jim, Burke, VA

The Food Sherpa, Keith Steury, has been an excellent addition to our lifestyle. Keith couldn’t be more organized, professional and accommodating. The Food Sherpa has an extensive menu that is sure to satisfy the most discriminating of palates. Keith is absolutely irreplaceable and my family is committed to maintaining a long term culinary relationship with him.

The Barnes Family, Alexandria, VA


What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef?2021-10-26T20:18:57+00:00

A private chef is employed by one individual or a family full time, is often “living in,” and preparing up to three meals per day. A Personal Chef serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are customized to the particular preferences and requirements of each client. These meals are packaged and stored so that the client may enjoy them at their leisure in the near future.

What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Caterer?2021-10-26T20:21:28+00:00

A caterer holds a commercial catering license, works out of a commercial kitchen, and typically focuses on the execution of large parties and functions. Caterers generally require that a minimum food cost be met before they will provide their service. Due to this requirement, they are not as likely to provide services for small events because it is typically not profitable for them to do so. From a regulatory stand-point, a personal chef, unless also licensed as a professional caterer, cannot prepare food off-site and transport it to the client’s home as a caterer can. Instead, all the food for an event must be prepared in the client’s own home. Given all of these parameters, the personal chef service is optimized for execution of intimate special events.

Do you cook in my kitchen?2021-10-26T20:22:01+00:00

Yes. The meals are prepared in the safety of your own kitchen. On the agreed upon cooking date, the food sherpa llc will bring the fresh ingredients for your meals along with all the pots, pans and utensils required to prepare your entrees on site. At the end of the day the food sherpa llc will leave your kitchen clean and full of the aroma of good home cooking!

How long will you be here?2021-12-03T00:06:05+00:00

the food sherpa llc provides a range of services from standard personal chef services (e.g., meal planning and preparation), on-site custom cooking classes, and the execution of intimate special events (e.g., small buffet service, plated dinners, or cocktail party-style services). The comprehensive service includes a variety of components: planning, grocery shopping, travel to your location, equipment set up, menu execution and kitchen clean up. Only a portion of this total time is spent in your home. The type of service provided and the amount of food required are the primary parameters that determine how long a given service will take.

For any given service, several different entrees, side dishes, or related items must be prepared from scratch, so it will typically take several hours to complete. The smallest job generally requires approximately 4 hours of kitchen time. Larger jobs can take significantly longer, or may even be split over two or more consecutive days.

the food sherpa llc will work with you to identify the best package and/or to define the scope of the task at hand. A much better estimate of the time required for your specific service can then be provided. the food sherpa llc is willing to work with your unique schedule or situation, and can typically make arrangements in advance so that the service fits compatibly into your schedule.

I’ll be home that day. Is it okay if I watch – or help?2021-12-03T00:07:32+00:00

the food sherpa llc is a professional that you have hired to complete a job. Being under someone’s watchful eye or being distracted by conversation or inquiries can not only slow the process, but can also cause burns, cuts, and forgotten ingredients. the food sherpa llc is always happy to visit with you before or after the cooking session is complete; however, during the process it is important to be “in command” in the kitchen in order to complete the job that you have hired the company to do. If you are interested in a “hands-on” cooking experience, the food sherpa llc would be happy to talk to you about customizing a cooking class for your enjoyment.

Do I heat the food?2021-10-26T20:23:44+00:00

Yes. Any entrees that have been stored for you in your refrigerator or freezer should typically be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator (if frozen) and heated so that they may be enjoyed at the peak of their flavor. the food sherpa llc will leave you with detailed and easy to follow heating instructions for each prepared entree and side dish.

How much refrigerator/freezer space do you need?2021-12-03T00:08:52+00:00

It depends on the number of meals you request, the sizes of the containers used to store the food, and the configuration of your refrigerator/freezer. A considerable amount of refrigerator and/or freezer space is generally required. As a general rule, a minimum of one shelf should be cleared in both the refrigerator and freezer. If a second shelf can be made available in each location, this will ensure that ample space is available for both prepared recipe ingredients that require refrigeration until they are ready to be used in cooking, as well as for the storage of the finished product at the end of the cook date.

During your client assessment meeting, we will take a look at your refrigerator and freezer to see just how much room you have available. Efficient storage is one of the reasons that the food sherpa llc prefers to select the appropriate number and size of uniform storage containers for clients.

Can you use my containers?2021-12-03T00:09:43+00:00

Potentially. the food sherpa llc will take a look at your existing containers during the client assessment meeting. It is important to note, however, that uniform size containers will take up less space in your refrigerator and/or freezer. Customarily, the food sherpa llc prefers to design a custom container configuration for you to ensure that the appropriate containers for the entrees and sides that will be prepared are available on your first cook date. If you will clean and reserve the containers that held the meals that you have already enjoyed, the food sherpa llc will be able to rotate them back in for repeated use as you continue with the service.

What type of side dishes do you prepare?2021-12-03T00:10:50+00:00

Typically, the food sherpa llc prepares side dishes that complement the entrees you have selected. For example, if you order a green chicken curry entree, a Jasmine rice side dish might be prepared to be enjoyed with the main course.  Some clients with very special dietary needs or with particularly divergent preferences may request that smaller portions of items commonly prepared for entrees be prepared as sides instead.  So, as a general rule, the food sherpa llc will pair a complimentary side with any given entree; however, if you would prefer something else, there are always other options that can be discussed.

What if I want you to prepare additional side dishes as well?2021-12-03T00:12:19+00:00

the food sherpa llc would be happy to provide that service for you; however, it will entail an additional fee.

How does this service compare to a restaurant?2021-12-03T00:14:34+00:00

The fees for the service provided by the food sherpa llc are expressed per entree or per serving. They represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service, including:

  • The client assessment meeting, which allows the food sherpa llc to determine what you like to eat, how you like to eat, and whether or not you have allergies, sensitivities or medically-specific requirements that must be considered in your meal plan.
  • After the initial assessment meeting (and for subsequent service dates), proposed menu selections are submitted for your review and approval prior to your service.
  • On the morning of your service, the food sherpa llc completes all of the grocery shopping for your plan, travels to your home, and prepare all of the entrees and sides on your menu in the safety of your own kitchen.
  • All prepared food is packaged, labeled, and stored, and a detailed set of handling instructions is provided so that you can easily warm the food when you are ready to eat it.
  • Finally, the food sherpa llc cleans your kitchen and leaves everything as it was prior to your service.

A good way to compare a personal chef service to traditional restaurant service is as follows: For a restaurant, you must drive to get there, possibly wait for a table, and take a chance that your server is having a good day. In addition, if you have food allergies or special requests you may not have the guarantee that they will be honored, since many entrees are typically prepared in “assembly line” fashion in the kitchen. After eating your meal you must pay for it, tip the server, and get back in your vehicle to drive home. With the food sherpa llc’s service, you can heat a beautiful entree that has been prepared specifically for your palate and preferences and eat it in the comfort of your own home. You can enjoy the meal seated at the dinner table, on the couch in front of a good movie, or any way you like.

Do I pay you in advance of each cook date?2021-10-26T20:25:18+00:00

It is the food sherpa llc’s policy to collect fees for recurring service or cooking classes in advance of each service date. For recurring service, a check may be written for the next cook date on the current date of service or an automated credit card transaction may be posted on the current date of service to cover the cost of the next service.

For special events, such as plated dinners, buffet set ups, or related one-time services, it is the food sherpa llc’s policy to collect a deposit at the time that the service is booked and the balance on the date that the service is rendered.

How long will the food last?2021-12-03T00:16:08+00:00

Depending on how many entrees you order, and how many evenings you eat at home, the food sherpa llc can determine approximately how long your meals will last. If you travel for business, entertain in restaurants during the week, or just enjoy eating out on occasion, the meals will last longer than if you eat in each night. With the 5 x 4 Package, your meals will typically last one week for a family of four, two weeks for a couple, or up to one month for an individual. the food sherpa llc is happy to discuss this with you in greater detail during your client assessment meeting.

How often will we need your service?2021-12-03T00:17:32+00:00

the food sherpa llc would be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule service to best meet your needs. the food sherpa llc will make sure that the service supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you!

Can I order a fraction of one of your personal chef packages?2021-12-03T00:19:31+00:00

This request is most often made when a potential client is interested in getting a smaller amount of food and/or paying a lower fee for the services provided by the food sherpa llc. The packages referenced on this website are optimized to reflect the amount of planning, shopping, and preparation involved in each offering. In order to balance the offering of cost-effective packages for clients with the demands of a profitable enterprise, the food sherpa llc can not take the same amount of cooking time to produce only a fraction of the food. A better alternative that works for many is to purchase a standard package and then schedule recurring service less frequently. the food sherpa llc would be happy to discuss this and other possible options with you during your client assessment meeting. If you would like more immediate feedback on this topic, please feel free to contact the food sherpa llc.

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