Melissa Elsmo

Busy families everywhere may have the best mealtime intentions, but after late meetings, carpools, meltdowns, and homework help the question of “what’s for dinner” often becomes unanswerable. We’ve all been there, but there’s a new solution in town.

Samantha Miola, registered dietitian and personal chef, is working to provide a healthy solution to hectic mealtime woes in Oak Park and the surrounding suburbs.

The Long Island native, traveled to River Forest, to get her MBA at Dominican University. The private university offers an exclusive program affording students the niche opportunity to fulfill a dietetic internship while simultaneously attending business school.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, MBA and a dietetics internship, Miola (now an Oak Park resident), was ready to make her dreams of launching her own business a reality. In addition to offering health coaching services, Miola now offers her personal chef services to busy local families. 

Oak Park mom and self described “really bad cook,” Rachel Fobes, enjoys a busy career as a freelance television producer and relies on Miola’s meal prep services to get her family though a week. Less kitchen prep time and quick clean up means Fobes enjoys more quality time with her husband and two children.

“This is the perfect match for me,” says Fobes, “I come home every night knowing my refrigerator is stocked for the week and I will have a healthy meal on the table in under 10 minutes.” 

Miola did not attend culinary school, but grew up in a family of cooks where sharing regular meals was a comforting part of family life. Today she is passionate about creating well-balanced, family-friendly meals without sacrificing flavor. 

While Miola’s personal chef services aim to take the guesswork out of mealtime that doesn’t mean she won’t take personal preferences and dietary restrictions into account. All of her weekly menus are fully customizable. As a dietitian Miola is well versed in overall nutrition as well as the dangers of food allergies and sensitivities. Many conditions are managed through proper diet and Miola’s educational background creates immediate trust when meeting potential clients.

“My clients are immediately liberated from the burden of shopping, prepping, cooking, serving and cleaning up after a busy day of work;” says Miola proudly, “at the same time they can feel confident they are serving healthy, safe, homemade meals to their family.” 

Miola communicates with each client in advance to determine their menu preferences for the week before heading to the grocery markets to shop for ingredients. All cooking is done in the client’s home and after 4-5 hours of prep and cooking, Miola’s clients have a refrigerator full of food to sustain them for the week. Miola also includes optional menu upgrades like overnight oats, energy balls, and homemade hummus. Once she loads up the fridge she sends reheating instructions via text to help keep her families on track.

Interested clients may be placed on a waiting list as Miola’s services are becoming popular. Fobes is happy news of Miola’s specialized services is starting to spread.

“Sure I love the convenience of what Sam does for me and my family,” says Fobes, “but more importantly, she is a woman starting a business and I want her to succeed and have as many clients as she can handle!”

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