One has to get formal training to become a private cook. Some people may take a vocational course or get a culinary degree from a university straight out of high school. But it's not uncommon to see some people switch careers and take up culinary courses.
Aspiring personal cooks need to have organizational and people skills to do well in their line of work. Meal planning will need a lot of focus and proper organizational skills to avoid making a mistake. Some clients may need to stick to a very specific diet, and their private chef has to make sure to stick to it.
Without the right organizational skills, a personal cook cannot prepare meals on time. That is not going to sit well with clients. It is also important that aspiring cooks know how to behave around people. Even though they are treated like part of the family, they still have to observe the right etiquette especially at times when prominent guests are invited to the house.
In the United States, the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA) is the biggest trade association that helps individuals set up and operate this kind of business. In England, the North East Culinary Trade Association (NECTA) helps provide skills and opportunities to chefs, food producers, and cooks.
The following are some of the top culinary schools in the world:
Grand Rapids Community College (USA)
Le Cordon Bleu (France)
International Centre for Culinary Arts (Dubai)
Johnson & Wales University (USA)
Hong Kong Culinary Academy (Hong Kong)
The Culinary Institute of America (USA)
The French Culinary Institute (USA)
Culinary Academy of India (India)
Hattori Nutrition College (Japan)
Keiser University Centre for Culinary Arts (USA, Australia)