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PERSONAL CHEF

Job Description

Personal chefs have the opportunity to enjoy more creative freedom at an earlier stage in their cooking careers. It takes years of work to become the head chef at many restaurants. Until then, many chefs spend a good deal of time assisting head chefs, who ultimately decide which dishes will be served. Starting your own business puts you in charge, and with the added responsibility that involves, you can be rewarded with the chance to develop your own unique culinary creations.

The food personal chefs prepare varies widely. Some prepare familiar or “comfort” foods like steak or lasagna, while some have to cook foods according to special dietary needs for people with medical concerns. For example, if a child is allergic to milk, a personal chef needs to adjust his or her menu. Some personal chefs may work for clients who are accustomed to more complicated menu selections.

Personal chefs usually do more than cook. They most likely have a budget they must adhere to when buying food. Knowing where to get the best and freshest ingredients is also a plus. Organizational skills are also very important in this profession. The majority of personal chefs do not decide to “wing it” when they arrive at their clients' houses—they come prepared with preplanned menus. Some personal chefs may never see the families they cook for and may need to freeze or refrigerate their creations with preparation instructions.

In addition to having fewer clients at a time, most personal chefs get the chance to see their clients frequently and develop a more personal relationship with the people who eat and enjoy their food. Some personal chefs may even live in the house of the family whose food they prepare. In these cases, they are referred to as “private chefs.” The chance to have great working relationships and possibly friendships with an employer is a great bonus in this line of work.

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