Tips for hiring your private chef
As your professional commitments increase, finding time to prepare relaxed family meals becomes more and more difficult. Your busier schedule means that your body has greater need for good nutrition, while your family time is more precious than it’s ever been. You’re so glad to get home, it’s so good to see your family, you’re hungry and tired — the last thing you want to do is go into the kitchen and cook dinner!
If you’d rather eat at home but find yourself endlessly stuck at restaurant tables or piling up stacks of takeout cartons, the luxury of having your own chef is the perfect solution. Below is an outline of the differences between personal and private chefs, as well as some good starting places for hiring exactly the right person.
A personal chef creates custom-designed meals, often packaging them up or freezing them so that clients can enjoy them at a later time. Most personal chefs do their food preparation in your kitchen, bringing with them the fresh ingredients and cooking utensils that they’ll need. The meals they prepare are custom-designed to your specifications, and the personal chef will consult with you and offer various options before going shopping. After preparing the meal, the chef will package it up neatly and tidy up the work area before heading out. Full-time work as a personal chef usually involves having a number of clients and a fairly tight schedule.
Occasionally, the duties of personal chef are combined with catering for a special event in the client’s home. In many cases, the personal chef has another job as a restaurant chef or caterer, and may offer personal chef services on a part-time basis. Personal chefs sometimes offer cooking lessons to their clients, and provide consultation on related topics such as nutrition and shopping.
A private chef works only for you. Usually living at the employer’s home, a private chef takes full charge of the kitchen. Your private chef will maintain your pantry and prepare and serve all of your family’s at-home meals. This person becomes intimately acquainted with each family member’s food preferences, health issues, and schedule, and will apply their creativity and expertise to your diet on an everyday basis.
When you entertain guests, your private chef may hire help in order to prepare and serve all the foods that the occasion calls for. In these instances, you will be able to relax and rely on the management expertise that this staff member brings to your home.
Hiring your Chef
Personal chefs are a bit easier to find than private ones, since the nature of their work includes a certain amount of ongoing marketing. You can search for “personal chef” along with your city in Google, but there are also some listing services that make the process easier. The American Personal and Private Chef Association has a search function by state or zip code of their personal chef members, as well as very detailed suggestions for the interviewing process. This association serves as a training and certifying body, dedicated to maintaining the highest standards among personal chefs.
Another directory website which allows you to search by specialty as well as by location is Hire a Chef. This website gives you the option of searching only among Certified Personal Chefs, or only among chefs with websites, along with specified types of dietary or ethnic culinary expertise.
Finding a private chef is a more complex proposition, since you are looking for someone who will be living in your home. Most families seeking private chefs find greater security in going through an agency who will take responsibility for candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications. The best of these agencies is Private Chefs Inc., which carefully screens and handpicks chefs for households throughout the world. The client list on their website includes a stunning array of royalty (Hollywood and actual), as well as rave reviews from The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Forbes, and many other luxury publications.