A personal chef prepares meals for a client in the client’s home kitchen. Meals can be prepared either for dinner parties and special occasions or regularly for individuals or families who want food packaged in containers and refrigerated or frozen to use throughout the week.
A personal chef is different from a private chef, in that a private chef is employed exclusively by one client and may even live in the client’s home. A personal chef is also not a caterer, someone who prepares food in an off-site kitchen and often for large groups. Personal chefs generally prepare meals for smaller gatherings, individuals, or families.
The personal chef will meet with the client to discuss food needs, make selections, and look at the kitchen layout, appliances, and equipment. While the personal chef may bring some of his own utensils and supplies, most of the cooking process will be done using what the client has available. Personal chefs do the shopping, prepare the meal, serve the guests, and clean up afterward, giving the client a “less work – less stress” experience.
When hiring a personal chef to cook for a dinner party, a menu and a budget will be created for the client to approve. In many cases, this might be worked out at the initial meeting. Once the client approves of the menu and fee, a deposit or an expense account is agreed upon to purchase the food. The client pays for this in addition to the cost of the chef’s services and gratuity.
If the personal chef is to work on a regular basis to provide packaged meal service for an individual or family, the client and chef may agree to meet every other week or even once a month to review menus and costs. Meal planning that offers nutritious and tasty options and stays within a budget is a huge advantage for people with busy lifestyles. Many personal chefs also offer personalized cooking instruction in the privacy of the client’s home, either one-on-one or in groups.