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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    lady chef
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    chef, waiter
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    bar man
persona-chef-private-chef

Personal Chef or Private Chef? What’s the Difference?

Over the next few weeks we will be talking about and to Private and Personal Chefs. This is unique and  privileged work as not only will one be required to produce the very best meals on a consistent basis, but also will be exposed to a whole different lifestyle!

It seems that only the rich and wealthy would employ a Personal or Private Chef. Victoria and David Beckham employ a Personal Chef 3 days a week  for example but surprisingly enough, Personal Chefs are becoming more in demand and may not be as expensive as you think!

In our time-poor modern day society, more and more families are employing a Personal Chef as there is now a great appreciation for good clean food as well as the desire to balance work and life commitments.

In America the trend for employing chefs is increasing. The United States Personal Chef Association estimates that 100,000 families employ a chef, compared to only 1,000 10 years ago.

For those of you who may not be aware, there is a difference between being a Private and a Personal Chef.  They are:

Private Chef

  • Usually works for one family
  • Creates all meals fresh and are consumed once prepared
  • Works in cooperation with other house staff such as waiters, kitchen help etc
  • May live with the family or live part time at the residence/location

 Personal Chef

  • May cook for several families or individuals
  • Cooks once a week or every 2nd week
  • Shop for the groceries, may go to client’s house, prepare the meal/s
  • Prepare more meals in advance which are stored in fridge/freezer for re-heating later on
  • Will only visit client’s premises but lives at home

Along with the differences above, both types of Chefs need to have the following complimentary skills:

  • Ability to be good at a range of courses such as soups, salads, entrees, mains and desserts.
    Have a current and up to date knowledge of food trends
  • Have extensive experience of specialty diets and food preparation which include: Macrobiotic, Low Sodium, Pritikin Diet, Low protein, Low carb,  Modern European, Asian, French, Diabetic and Wheat free,  Kosher and Halal food preparation
  • Be business-minded and set realistic budgets and know where to get quality food at good prices
  • Manage receipts, inventory, minimise waste and ensure cleanliness and sanitation is at a high level
  • Ensure you know your client’s eating habits and try to ensure you keep to their preferred types of meals
  • Minimise cooking a different meal for each person unless specifically requested
  • Don’t administer any medication for clients during meal times and ensure you are always at the ready if any accidental spills or extra meal requirements are needed.
  • Keep feeding times realistic and make sure you set boundaries with regards to your free time and with respectful behaviour.
  • Clients talking down to you or shouting at you should not be tolerated and you need to address this promptly if it does occur. As with any bad behaviour, if you let it continue, it will get worse.
  • Ensure you present cleanly and respect the equipment, work quietly and take your breaks away from visibility of the family.
  • As you are working on a Freelance type basis always look at the licensing and insurances required for your area

It is also advisable to be a member of an association so you can stay up to date with trends, do extra courses and to network with others in the industry. Some of these are:

Another great resource is http://www.personalchef.com/

If you are looking or considering a Personal or Private Chef, Mise EnPlace specialises in finding the right one for you. As well as looking for a particular skill set we also place particular emphasis on  personality and character type in order to ascertain a suitable match for both client and candidates alike.

The United States Personal Chef Association also estimates that, within the next five years, there will be more than 25,000 chefs serving 300,000 clients. Entrepreneur magazine describes the personal chef industry as “one of the four fastest-growing businesses in the country”.

It will be a service for those non-extended families who also use childcare or dog washing services and certainly on the rise.

Seeking private chefs via word of mouth or employment ads is dangerous at best, whilst at Mise en Place, we can offer pre-screening for both employers and applicants, ensuring an appropriate match between chef and position. For peace of mind when looking for Personal or Private Chef services, or, if you are looking for work in this area please contact our office (in UK) 020 7430 9811 or (outside UK) 0044 20 7430 9811.

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