Personal chef

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A personal chef is a chef who is hired by different clients and prepares meals in the clients' home kitchens, based on their needs and preferences.


A personal chef often will meet with a client and customize a multi-meal plan by determining how often the service will be provided and the number of meals cooked each time. The client will typically choose various meals and sides from the chef's menu, or request specific dished be prepared for them. The chef then will shop for all needed ingredients, prepare the meal(s) on a designated "cook date" in the client's home, package the meals for the refrigerator or freezer, clean the kitchen and leave detailed reheating instructions. Some personal chefs also provide the same services for one-time events such as dinner parties, or special events. Many personal chefs also offer personalized cooking lessons in the privacy of a client's home, either one-on-one, or in groups. According to health-department guidelines, all food must either be prepared in the home of the client or in a licensed kitchen that has passed an official health inspection.

Note that a personal chef is distinct from a private chef, which refers to a chef who is often but not necessarily employed exclusively by one client, and in some cases of a single family employment situation, lives in the client's home.

When hiring a personal chef[1] to provide either a packaged meal service or to cook for a dinner party, there is usually collaboration between the client and the chef to determine the menu, based on individual tastes and preferences as well as dietary restrictions.[2] An estimate of costs is then provided by the chef. Some chefs charge a fee based on the number of meals and servings prepared each time, and some charge an hourly fee plus the cost of food. Typically, the chef is given approval, a deposit, or (if familiar with the guest/frequent client) an expense account for the menu. The number of personal chef businesses in North America has rose from around 5,000 in 2007 to around 10,000 in 2017.[3]

In terms of experience, personal chefs tend to be chefs who have worked in restaurants, hotels, catering or all three, though many culinary students become personal chefs directly out of school. Some purporting to be personal chefs in fact, do not have a culinary background, but are passionate home cooks, some with years of experience and knowledge. Potential clients can research personal chefs in their area via online membership registries, search engines, or use a personal chef staffing agency.

The hiring of a private chef has been popular for some time but was traditionally reserved for the wealthy and was therefore broadly inaccessible to most of the population. However, the rise of private chef companies[4] worldwide has seen the utilization of a private chef become a lot more accessible and affordable, especially for customers renting self catered vacation properties.[5] It is also now seen in the UK and France as a genuine alternative to eating out.[6]

Why would one become a Personal Chef[edit]

It is regarded to be a novelty for both the Chef & Dinners alike. Chefs get the opportunity to experience very high end ingredients with sometimes unlimited budgets. High-end diners would bring chefs around the world, fly them in their private jets or bring them along to their private yachts. Being a Private or Personal Chef is a novelty on its own and opens a lot of doors. Chefs need to build a lot of experience & skills to become private chefs. There are a few different platforms around the world that offer the opportunity for Chefs to learn & gain experience through buddy network & mentoring. Some even take on extra education to the learn the variety of skills needed - menu design, planning, logistics, sourcing of variety of ingredients, dietary management, etc. One place where Chefs can learn to be a private chef is CHEFIN.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is a Personal Chef?". FAQs to Hire a Personal Chef. Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  2. ^ Taylor, Mark. "The Rising Demand for Personal Chef Services in the United States". Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Personal Chef Career". Career Research. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Come Dine With Ease". The Bristol Magazine.
  5. ^ "Family Getaways with a private chef". The Irish News.
  6. ^ "Alternative to eating out". The Telegraph.
  7. ^ "Chef Signup • CHEFIN Australia". CHEFIN Australia. Retrieved 2022-11-25.