How to Become a Personal Chef
How to become a personal chef? In order to find the answer to that question, you need to know who a personal chef is. A personal chef is someone who is usually self-employed. They are someone who runs their own professional culinary
business. They prepare meals for individual clients or companies. A personal chef has some choices that are generally not given to a regular chef working at a restaurant. Some being that they can choose their own clients.
A personal chef also has a wide range of clientele that he can choose from, like, family with children, busy couples, retired individuals, those on special duties, or simply people who enjoy fine dining in the comfort of their own house.
Some other choices a personal chef has are, scheduling their own work timing hence, many chefs continue to work in a restaurant while working as a personal chef to one or two clients to supplement their income. A personal chef can also choose who they want to work with. He/She can work solo or hire 1 to 2 assistants of their own choice. This way they do not need to worry about the abilities of people working with them and they can work more smoothly. While it might seem unlikely for a personal chef to hire assistants when they are trying to make more money, we will see why most of them actually do.
What does a personal chef do?
When we think about the word “chef”, we generally think about a person in a white uniform with a long white hat cooking meals after meals in the kitchen. While this is 100% true, a personal chef has certain duties that are not just limited to cooking. Some of the duties of a personal chef include:
- Planning meals based on clients’ needs: A regular chef cooks food that is already pre-planned by the restaurant on a daily basis, whereas a personal chef can come up with new dishes depending on their clients.
- Creating customized meal plans: A regular chef does not know who his customers are and also what their eating habits are. However, a personal chef is well accustomed to his/her clients and hence they might need to customize the meals based on that.
- Shopping for required ingredients to prepare the meal: A personal chef might have to go out on a shopping spree himself. This is when most of the personal chefs seek the help of their assistants if they have any.
- Cleaning up after cooking: This is the answer to the question as to why personal chefs hire assistants. Cleaning up after cooking can be very hectic at times and hence many chefs seek the help of their assistants.
Other duties that a personal chef has are Packaging and storing meals for future use, stocking the client’s pantry with requested food, and sanitizing the area that was used to prepare food.
How to become a personal chef?
If you are someone who aspires to become a personal chef or someone who wants to earn extra cash besides working in a restaurant and feel that you can fulfill the duties mentioned above then you are at the right place. Here are some basic requirements for you to pursue your career as a personal chef:
Obtain Necessary Education
Even if you are a skilled cook who loves cooking and trying on new things in your kitchen, basic education is a must. Someone who has the minimum education is most likely to be deemed as a better candidate than you. The first step that you must take to become a personal chef is to at least have a high school diploma or anything equivalent to it. Food is the most important part of any individual’s life, and he/she will not compromise it. Thus, in order to show them that you are worth giving a try, you must have the minimum education.
Complete Chef training
Obtaining formal training will take you one step closer to becoming a personal chef. There are two ways in which you can achieve your formal training. The first is that you attend an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. Second, attending a culinary school or pursuing a culinary arts diploma. The culinary arts program will provide you with hands-on training and coursework with subjects that include food, science, nutrition, and baking.
Become a People Lover
You are a private chef and as mentioned earlier that your job is not just to cook. One of the major jobs of a private chef is to interact with people. Thus before committing to the job as a personal chef you need to make sure that you like interacting with people. You need to know how to behave professionally in situations like that. You will be working with big families as your clients and you need to deal with their vast family dynamics.
Learn a variety of cooking skills
Your third step to how to become a personal chef is you learn as many skills as you can. Your clients may have specific food preferences and they might live food from different parts of the earth. You can be a master of a certain cuisine but also learning others will be beneficial to you. You can build your skills by joining certain internships. You can join internships while pursuing a formal education. Internships will provide you with first-hand experiences of different cuisines and techniques of cooking.
Through internships, you can also build up your resume and build relationships with your intended clients. While attaining new skills you can also test your existing skills and techniques. Most Personal chefs jobs require at least 5 years of job experience and internships will help you build that experience. Although you can build experience by working at a restaurant after completing your formal training.
Become a certified chef
Even though this is not mandatory but having a certificate will boost your chances of becoming a personal chef. As said earlier, food is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life and they will choose the best candidate for handling this aspect of their lives. Thus many personal chefs pursue certification after they have completed their academic education and gained skills in the kitchen. The certification is provided through the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA).
Advertise your skills
In order to move forward in your professional career, you need to let people know of your existence. You don’t need to pay advertising agencies in order to advertise your skills. You can do it on your own. Nobody can justify your skills better than you. Tell your friends and your loved ones that you are a personal chef. Invite them to dinner and serve them the best of your meals. Let them be the judge. Ask them to post about you on their social media platforms. Taking part in cooking competitions and winning will help people know about your skills.
Healthy Client Relationship
Once you land your first client, do not overestimate yourself. Be humble, tell them about what your actual skills are. The most important thing in your’s and your client’s relationship is trust. You need to make sure that you are telling your clients the truth about your skills. Once you build that trust, make sure that it lasts forever. You can move forward in your career only if you are honest and have a good history. You can also build a healthy client relationship by treating them as your family.
Why become a personal chef?
Now that you know all the steps on “how to become a personal chef?” You must be wondering if that is worth it. If you ask me I will say that becoming a personal chef will not bring you any regret. Here are some of the perks of becoming a personal chef:
- Good Money: A personal chef earns up to 34k to 67k per year. Given that you can schedule your own work timings you can work in a restaurant and work part-time as a personal chef. This way you can make extra money.
- Build professional relationships: As a personal chef, you will meet different groups of people and you can build professional relationships that can be beneficial for your career as a chef.
There are many more advantages to becoming a personal chef. As a personal chef, you will have much more time to spend with your loved ones and to do things that you love.
A personal chef is one of the best career options today. It is a growing market and if given a chance then you must not let it go.
If you have finalized to move forward in your career as a personal chef then Persona can help you with it. If you are looking for a platform to manage all of your business and financial aspect then you don’t have to search much further than our very own platform Persona.
Persona is a fantastic tool for making your life easier and developing your business as a personal chef. First and Foremost, our app and website are completely free to use at any time. The mobile app offers assistance with Payment collection, client scheduling, and expense management while providing you with a personalized online store for better client communication and transactions. And since we all hate doing taxes, Persona automatically generates your Schedule C to make sure you have one less thing to worry about.
And the best part is that Persona is 100% free, always. No fine print. Go ahead and sign up, it takes under a minute.