What is a personal chef?
A personal chef prepares professional-quality at-home meals for clients in private households. A personal chef saves their client the time and effort needed to cook their own food. Private chefs and personal chefs are not the same. Private chefs are employed by a single family or person while a personal chef takes on multiple clients.
A personal chef will create a customized menu for their client based on their taste and dietary constraints. Personal chefs typically work in a client’s home to cook a week’s worth of meals. After they have completed the meals, personal chefs are responsible for safe packaging, accurate labeling and convenient storage of prepared items in their clients’ refrigerator or freezer.
Other responsibilities including shopping for groceries, providing clients with instructions, cleaning up, keeping up-to-date on culinary trends and techniques, marketing company and services, understanding nutritional needs, and maintaining safe food-handling skills. You may also be called in for a specific event or dinner party, where you’ll cook the meal, serve it to guests, do the dishes, and clean the kitchen.
There is no exact training needed to become a personal chef. Many times, chefs will work with restaurants to gain experience. They may also be mentored by a personal chef. With experience, you can begin your own catering or personal chef company, or find jobs through a company that offers an in-home cooking service.
If you want to be classically trained, many schools offer culinary programs. These programs teach you the basics to working in a kitchen. You’ll also learn basic cooking techniques, such as braising, chopping, baking and sauteing. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) also offers certifications for chefs and bakers, with two certifications aimed at personal chefs.