Chefing in a Private Residence

Whether you are currently working as a chef or aspire to work as a chef in the future, it is always a good idea to explore your options and see what types of jobs are available to you. Today we are taking a closer look at chefing in a private residence. Read on to find what is involved and what it takes to be a great private chef.

a chef in a private residence ready for work

Image source: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8109/8484003834_8435bbdc7e.jpg

What is a private chef?
Private Chefs (also known as private cooks) are individuals that create meals for individuals or families in private residences. It is the job of a private chef to plan menus to their clients’ taste, shop for ingredients and prepare fresh meals. Most private chefs work full time hours, though they may not always work traditional nine to five hours, as clients may require them to be on-call to work evenings and weekends.

Private chefs are often required to work in the kitchen of their clients’ home, as well as on private yachts, boats and even planes. Whereas some private chefs only tend to work for one client at a time, others may have multiple clients and work on a freelance-style basis.

In the past private chefs usually worked as live-in employees. This means that they would live and work at their clients’ place of residence. Today this is less common, as many private chefs have multiple clients.

Why do people hire private chefs?
Individuals and families hire private chefs for a number of different reasons. Some individuals may lead very busy lifestyles and require private chefs to make meals for them and their families. Others may not enjoy cooking and prefer to pay for the luxury of a professional coming into cook for them.

Today it is becoming more common for individuals and families to hire private chefs to cook meals associated with a particular diet or nutritional plan. For example, if someone is trying to lose weight and eat more healthily, they may find it a much easier process if they have a professional there to plan their meals and ensure they are eating the right types of food.

Sometimes people hire private chefs to visit their home a couple of times a month to prepare meals in bulk. These can then be frozen and re-heated at the client’s convenience.

A chef hard at work - chefing in a private residence

Image source: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5536/11272820034_9593e36ae6.jpg

Becoming a private chef: Education and experience
Whilst chefs are only usually required to have a good level of general education, it will help you get a job chefing at a private residence if you have other more advanced qualifications. For example if you have NVQs, diplomas or have completed a degree program in a relevant subject, it will go a long way in helping you to secure a job.

There are many apprenticeships available for individuals wanting to work as chefs. Apprenticeships in chefing usually involve both on-the-job training and classroom learning. Some individuals also attend culinary schools to receive formal training in cookery.

Most private chefs start off working in kitchens at restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars to build up their skills and experience. It is very unlikely for individuals to go straight into a private chef role after completing their training. When looking at job adverts for private residency chefs, you will find that many require candidates to have worked at a certain level, for example they may require you to have experience working at a 5* restaurant or equivalent.

Essential qualities and skills
It may be stating the obvious, but a private chef most certainly needs a passion for food and love for cooking. They must possess creative flair in the kitchen and be both hardworking and trustworthy. Remember that chefs (even private ones) often have to work unsociable hours, so this is something that you should prepare for. Private chefs often work alone, so they need to be good self-motivators and comfortable working by themselves.

Private Chef Pay
Chefs at private residencies are usually paid a set hourly rate and work a set number of hours (though these hours may vary from one week to the next). The rate of pay is usually set by the client and will therefore vary depending on whom you work for. If you have years of experience working as a chef, you will be paid at a higher rate than someone who has just started out.

Career advancement
Seeing as you will usually be working alone, or as part of a small team alongside waiting and housekeeping staff, there is little room for career advancement. However working as a chef, in a private residence is a great way to build up your skills and experience, which will help you get higher paying jobs in the future. There will also be a great amount of job satisfaction that comes with being a chef in a private residence, as you will have a lot of responsibilities and the opportunity to be creative.

Conclusion
If you are looking to take your next step up the career ladder, chefing at a private residence is definitely something to consider. It will provide a new experience that you will be able to get a lot out of. For more information about the role of a private chef or for opportunities chefing in a private residence, please get in touch.

Image credits: KyleWiTh & _vina

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