A private cook can wear many different hats. There are many things a cook can do; the responsibilities may include meal planning, shopping for ingredients, cooking, and even cleaning up after the meals are made. There are times when private cooks manage a team of cooks during special occasions. This profession requires more than excellent cooking skills; a cook must also make sure he or she knows a little bit about nutrition because there are times when a client needs to follow certain dietary guidelines.
Private cooks work closely together with clients. They have to take into consideration the clients' preferences when crafting a meal plan. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure client satisfaction. A private cook has to be ready to do everything necessary to get meal preparation right. Only the exact ingredients must be used in all meal plans. That means if a client prefers a certain kind of cheese or nut, the cook must use that. Even if it means he or she has to drive around town for hours, searching for the store where that ingredient is available. Precision and accuracy is important.
Compared to professional chefs, private cooks enjoy more flexible work schedules. Since families employ them, private cooks need to be at the clients' homes most of the time to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In most cases, breakfast is prepared the night before as many cooks are not required to be at the house early. Some families are also more likely to skip breakfast and opt for cereals or freshly baked bread, which can be delivered to the home.
Some cooks may work for more than 10 hours a day, depending on the needs of the family. However, there are also times when a cook can clock in only a few hours or not work for several days at times when a family is on vacation.