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Private Chefs/Cook

Passionate about first-class cuisine and experienced in managing kitchen staff, our Private Chefs are second-to-none.

Aware of each family member’s particular needs, private chefs are accustomed to creating inventive, diverse meals for individuals and larger parties.

A private chef will be adept at running the kitchen, managing staff, stock-taking, and maintaining professional levels of safety and hygiene. This ensures the finest levels of cuisine delivered right from your kitchen, thanks to our chefs who have logged years of experience working in luxury residences for high profile clients. 

Busy families without a surplus of time to worry about shopping for or preparing food are creating a rapidly increasing demand for the most talented chefs who, in today’s competitive market, have many employers from which to choose.  Parents whose children may have food allergies (or may be merely allergic to healthy foods) may require the skills and cajoling of a Shrek-like Genie who can grant the wishes of even the most demanding and peculiar young master.  Private Chefs get along with people and aren’t prone to emotional displays and tantrums, a common misinformed stereotype of a chef. They enjoy interacting with clients and pleasing people comes naturally to them!

People in the public eye may need to stay camera-ready and in tip-top condition for weeks or even months at a time.  Private Chefs can be instrumental in helping a client manage cravings, satisfy a need for late-night comfort food (sans regret!), and be able to fulfill unusual requests and cater to finicky palates.  They can even be called upon to function as ‘the enforcer’ when dietary and caloric restrictions necessitate a coach’s encouragement and relief from the rigors and loneliness of self-discipline.

Qualifications

While having been trained at a world-renowned school like Le Cordon Bleu, The Culinary Institute of America or competed in the famed Bocuse d’Or (Concours mondial de la cuisine/World Cooking Contest) isn’t a requirement for a Private Chef, bien sûr, many people prefer that their chefs have a level of training that exceeds that of a talented cook.  Most have attained an Associate’s Degree (2 years) or have graduated from a culinary institute (4 years) while others have interned or completed their culinary training at prestigious or even Michelin-starred restaurants.

Private chefs must have working knowledge of ingredients, recipes, cooking styles and even plating and may be required to have expertise in a variety of global cuisines or specialize in a certain regional cuisine to satisfy a client’s longing for home-cooked flavors.

Some Private Chefs have baking and pastry knowledge and skills, as preparing a full meal is often required.  Some carry a food handler’s permit or are registered with a national restaurant association from their native or adopted country of residence. Some chefs have additional certifications in areas like food safety and preparation, sanitation, and nutrition.

Private Chefs are able to accommodate and adapt to special diets and are accustomed to catering to the needs of a variety of diets: macrobiotic, raw, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, allergen-free, Paleo, pescatarian,  Mediterranean, Muslim, Kosher, Hindu (Vegetarian Jain), and prohibition of the 7 major allergens: wheat, buckwheat, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, shrimp and crab). 

Private or Personal

The terms Private Chef and Personal Chef are often thought to be interchangeable, and many people consider them to be one and the same.  They are not, and the difference can be defined quite easily.  A private chef often works in a large residential home, on a yacht, or even on their employer’s private plane and is usually employed by one person or family at a time, as a private, exclusive chef.  They most often work independently, but may also work closely with other household staff to ensure that their employer’s domestic operations run smoothly. Sometimes private chefs will work in teams if an estate’s size and scope warrants it.

A personal chef most often serves the needs of several clients, sometimes only one per day, and provides multiple meals that are custom-designed, and often prepared in advance for the clients’ particular requests and requirements for the week or month. These meals are packaged and stored for future consumption in appropriate containers, along with instructions for reheating and presentation. A personal chef may also be hired to organize special events such as dinner parties and birthday celebrations.

To be more specific, according to the American Personal and Private Chef Association (APPCA), “A personal chef serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are custom-designed for the clients’ particular requests and requirements. These meals are packaged and stored, so that the client may enjoy them at his or her leisure in the future.”

Live In or Live Out

Traditionally, the private chef worked for a single family as a live-in employee who was on-call 24 hours a day.  Today, most private chefs work for a number of different employers under a wide variety of working conditions and living arrangements, depending on a client’s needs.  A personal chef will most commonly visit a client’s home from 2-4 times a month in order to prepare meals in advance, whereas a private chef will often live on-site and be required to order or shop for and prepare all the meals for the client, family members, and guests.

Duties and Responsibilities

The list is long and varied, but a private chef’s basic duties most often include:

  • Catering for all meals & snacks for the whole family and staff – mainly lunch and dinner.
  • Coordinating with household staff to make sure the timing is correct for lunch and dinner.
  • Handling the grocery shopping as well as online orders from selected purveyors.
  • Keeping the pantry and larder of the household kitchen stocked with food and pre-ordering when necessary.
  • Preparing weekly menus for the family, ensuring that they are healthy and balanced and in accordance with dietary requests and requirements.
  • Keeping the chef’s kitchen clean at all times, as well as all other personal spaces.
  • Catering for special events including children’s school packed lunches, dinner parties, picnics, or barbecues.

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