What does a Personal Chef do?

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What is a Personal Chef?

Also known as: Certified Personal Chef, Private Cook

A personal chef is an individual who prepares meals for families and, sometimes, for business organizations. One can train to become a personal chef. Others who are naturally skilled in cooking can start taking in clients. But it is highly recommended that someone get formal training through vocational courses or obtain a culinary degree from a university.

Personal chefs are responsible for preparing anything edible. They are in charge of the whole process of preparing meals, from planning a menu to cleaning the kitchen after all the work is done. There are many opportunities for personal chefs, since they can find employment in guest homes, on yachts and private planes, and in family homes.

A Personal Chef is a specialized type of Culinary Chef.

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What does a Personal Chef do?

A personal chef can wear many different hats. There are many things a personal chef 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 personal chefs manage a team of cooks during special occasions. This profession requires more than excellent cooking skills; a chef 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.

Personal chefs 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 personal chef 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 chef 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 as well.

Compared to professional chefs, personal chefs enjoy more flexible work schedules. Since families employ them, personal chefs 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 chefs 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 chefs may work for more than 10 hours a day, depending on the needs of the family. However, there are also times when a chef can clock in only a few hours or not work for several days at times when a family is on vacation.

What is the workplace of a Personal Chef like?

Personal chefs usually work in their clients' homes. It is uncommon for chefs to prepare meals at their own homes because specific laws prohibit this to avoid food poisoning and other issues with food preparation. Personal chefs can also rent a kitchen to prepare dishes and then just deliver them to the client's home.

Because food preparation takes a lot of time, personal chefs may spend many hours in the client's home. That means working more than 12 hours is not uncommon. Though some families treat their chefs no differently than a family member, they still have to maintain a little distance and not overstep some boundaries. It is very uncommon for personal chefs to dine together with the family.


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Further Reading

  • 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Out As A Personal Chef

    The two-income family with a desire to eat healthier, and no time to cook, creates a large market for a personal chef business. If you enjoy cooking and are thinking about becoming a private chef within your community, then here are 5 mistakes to avoid when starting your personal chef business.

  • My Private Chef

    Can't cook, won't cook ... so why bother? The latest celebrity accessory is a personal kitchen devil capable of rustling up anything from a pomegranate sorbet to a finger-food feast for 500. Charlotte Williamson hears tales of extravagance and excess.

  • Personal Chef For A Superstar: Behind The Scenes

    If you think the rich and famous are cooking for themselves, think again. Their personal chefs are doing all the dirty work, often in the background. But we got one of them to sit down with us and spill his secrets.

  • On Being A Private Chef

    A Michigan chef expounds upon the joys and challenges of working exclusively for one family.

  • How To Start A Personal Chef Company

    While you might relish the opportunity to create a great-tasting meal for your family, there are plenty of other people who don’t … or just don’t have the time. Although a penchants for cooking is important, the successful professional chef will also be personable, organized and creative.

  • Become A Personal Chef: The Industry’s Highest Paying Job

    Did I mention, personal chefs get paid on average more than any other chef-career path? More than executive chefs even? Sign you right up? Not so fast; being a personal chef comes with it’s own set of challenges.

  • The Realities Of Being A Personal Chef: What To Expect

    Becoming a personal chef does not mean that just knowing how to cook is the only requirement to the business. The responsibility lies in whether you are or are not trustworthy enough to bestow such a position.

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