We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Armstrong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Several years ago while at soccer training for both of my kids, the idea sort of formulated itself by accident. We found ourselves away from the house 4 days a week at a minimum, and because our kids were in two different age brackets, from the hours of 5:30-8:30. Factoring in the 30 minute commute each way, plus car pooling with other parents, dinner time was chaotic to say the least. At the same time, I realized there were countless other families fighting the same battles as we were, so why couldn’t we figure something out. Though The Hybrid Chef looks very different from Day 1, the principle remains the same-preparing high quality, healthy ingredients for families on the go, allowing them to spend the time I save them with their loved ones, focusing on what is important.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think what sets The Hybrid Chef apart from the other competition in our field is the fact that I am in the kitchen taking part in every process along the way. I create the menu, write the prep lists, order, prep, cook, cool and bag the food. And up until only 1 month ago, I was delivering a couple of mornings each week as well. I’ve always wanted to ensure every guest received the very best from me, so I do whatever I can to be involved in everything making sure I know we are doing our best. At this point, some of my clients have been with me almost every week since late in 2016, so in reality, they are an extension of my own family, even though I have only met a small percentage of them. I am most proud of the ability we have to adapt and adjust our business as things change. On day one, we basically offered family sized meals a couple of days per week. Fast forward almost 5 years, and we have done everything under the sun that relates to food from private dining events for 2 guests up to 175, cooking classes, both private instruction and group classes, pharmaceutical and office lunches, World Series Champion spring training parties along with cooking for several professional athletes, I have given a (zoom) lecture at a college as well as spoke at a Women’s Symposium with a well known local gastrointestinal doctor to name a few things. We also have clients that we shop for, menu plan for as well as pack food for their vacations.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think the foundation of who I am in the kitchen comes from a trip through 3 very important stepping stones. The first was where I learned that food was way bigger than just 3 meals that your mom cooked at home, and that was under the guidance of Rudy Speckamp, C.M.C., who passed away a few years ago. It was there that I learned about treating food with respect and working faster than I ever thought humanly possible. The second step was really a continuance of what I learned under Chef Speckamp, but not knowing how to use it until 2 jobs later. It took a lot of bumps and bruises under Rudy before moving to another very high end restaurant and still fumbling around before feeling like I was getting it right in the 3rd location. It was there that I put together what I learned at Rudy’s with the style of service in the second restaurant that allowed me to blossom in the 3rd. However, the refinement came at my first restaurant in New York City after culinary school under Chef David Cunningham. The Lenox Room was where I learned to take what I had been learning as a cook and began to understand how to use that to create food.