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The Deer-Antler Serum and Caviar a Private Chef Buys Her Celebrity Clients

Photo-Illustration: Strategist; Photos: CornucAupia, Getty

Assistant is a bit of a catchall term. Sure, assistants schedule meetings, take notes, and retrieve coffee, but they can also act as a quasi-concierge, sending fruit baskets to top clients and buying gifts for partners. While Brooke Baevsky (also known as @chefbae) isn’t technically an assistant, she is someone who shops with the needs of her powerful (and extremely picky) clients in mind. After she began working with professional athletes about two years ago, she’s since become a private chef to about 40 A-list actors, royals, top models, and CEOs through word of mouth. We spoke to her about the smelly serum NFL players swear by, the caviar she puts on nachos, and the perfectly aged steak she overnighted from Iowa to L.A.

Smoothie Supplements

Before working with new clients, Baevsky says she likes to get a 360-degree view of their preferences and lifestyles. “At the beginning, I’m asking them, ‘What are your favorite cuisines? What are your favorite restaurants?’” she says. “I speak heavily to house staff, assistants, managers, trainers, and nutritionists on their teams to understand every single thing about them.”

Smoothies are a popular request from all Baevsky’s clients. For the athletes she works with, they’re an efficient way of packing in nutrients to meet the down-to-the-milligram guidelines their nutritionists and trainers set. Her other celebrity clients, meanwhile, will ask for copycat versions of the extravagant blended drinks from luxury grocery store Erewhon. (“They love Erewhon,” she says.) Because of this, she stays on top of the latest superfood trends by learning their supposed benefits and figuring out how to add them to her clients’ diets.

An NFL team’s nutritionist told Baevsky that deer-antler serum allegedly improves range of motion, reduces muscle soreness, and shortens recovery and rehab time. Baevsky says it’s common for athletes to ask her about the ingredient after hearing their teammates swear by it, but there’s one major downside: It “smells like a cow carcass,” she says. “It is so disgusting.” She tries to mask the scent and taste with almond, vanilla, and mint extracts, or chlorophyll (which also has a minty, vegetal flavor), but the taste still comes through. “These people are tough — they know what they’re eating,” she says. “They’re willing to eat or drink anything they need to get into the best shape or help with recovery time.”

An Erewhon dupe Baevsky’s model clientele ask for frequently is the Poosh Potion Detox smoothie, which lists hyaluronic acid as one of the top ingredients. Baevsky has since found other uses for the neutral-tasting ingredient, like adding it straight into water with fruit for extra hydration. Baevsky says some of the models who consistently drink the supplement have noticed “mushrooming,” or “when there’s so much new hair growth at the top of the scalp that it looks almost puffed.” But that could also be linked to overall diet and sleep. “It’s all connected,” she says.

Special Ingredients and Party Supplies

Once she’s officially hired, Baevsky typically does a mix of everyday meal prepping and taking on more unusual, one-off tasks for big occasions or blowout meals. And Baevsky often plans larger dinners, like launch events with up to 200 celebrities, models, and influencers in attendance. While every menu is different depending on the occasion, there are a few items she’s come to expect. Truffles are one (especially when cooking for royals, she says), along with caviar and CBD-infused water for her signature mocktails.

About a year and a half ago, Baevsky was asked to cook for a BET Award–winning actor’s birthday party on a yacht. His one request: that everything be covered in 24-karat gold flakes. “I had never heard of anything like that before,” she says. “I’ve used a piece of gold flake here and there to make a dessert pop, but this was a massive amount.” In total, the gold flakes alone cost upwards of $700.

Baevsky placed gold flakes on dips, crudo, croutons (“gluten-free, of course” she says), and “gorgeous” tomahawk steaks and filets. The meat proved to be the hardest to execute, Baevsky says, because gold leaf clings to your hands, and the steaks also needed to be sent out hot. She came up with a method as each cut of meat came off the grill that involved carefully flipping the beef onto parchment paper, then onto the gold-leaf sheets. “It’s definitely a showstopping first impression of food, and eyes eat first,” she says.

From $91

Another client who owns a Fortune 500 company requested six steaks from cattle aged at least four years for their first private dinner with Baevsky. This lengthier-than-usual time results in “extremely high-quality” steaks, she says. The client didn’t provide more detail, so Baevsky ordered from Kow, one of her preferred suppliers based in Iowa. Kow overnighted the steaks to L.A. for what Baevsky calls a “good deal”: $800, with shipping fees waived. The meat arrived in a luxe cooler with fabric-lined ice packs that “looked like I had ordered diamonds,” she says. At the dinner, Baevsky cooked the steaks medium-rare with truffles and fresh herbs. The client became a repeat customer.

From $1,600

When Baevsky first began working as a celebrity private chef, one of her peers asked if she wanted a caviar plug. She thought they were kidding until she was caught in a situation where she needed a tin in two hours and had to ask for their connection. Now, her caviar concierge can get her fish roe “at the drop of a hat,” she says. Sturgeon is standard, but Baevsky has had to specifically import this beluga variety for a client. “Usually, there’s no budget for caviar,” she says. “It’s already a luxury good, and they’re trying to have a statement dinner.” She likes to serve crème fraîche and blinis alongside, or uses the fish eggs to top nachos.

Because the “sober curious” lifestyle is still huge in Los Angeles, Baevsky says, her parties rarely involve alcohol. (If there is booze, it’s usually wine.) Instead, there’s demand for her mocktails, which Baevsky says she’s known for, in particular a green juice with ginger, celery, cucumber, cilantro, and lime. She mixes in CBD-infused water to help guests feel less anxious, and she chooses varieties without added sugar or flavoring, artificial and natural. “Natural flavors are kind of questionable,” she says. “Because they’re so ambiguous that you never truly know what’s in a quote-unquote natural flavor.”

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