the role of a private chef and how this differs from a restaurant chef

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the role of a private chef and how this differs from a restaurant chef

not all chefs have the same background, generally a private chef will have different expectations and requirements than a traditional restaurant chef.


a private chef usually has to be more adaptable with both serving and hosting, as well as running a kitchen and producing food for the table.


If considering a career as a Private Chef it is hugely beneficial to gain experience in a professional kitchen first of all, to hone your skills and to build confidence in a busy structured environment. Self-motivation and dedication is needed to be a Private Chef and you must be experienced in many types of cuisine and to be able to meet all manner of dietary requirements. Gaining experience in a private house/estate setting as a Junior/Sous Chef, or perhaps for ad-hoc private events, before you take the plunge and look after the kitchen by yourself is always a good idea!


Characteristics for a successful Private Chef are:


Be creative


Be adept at time management


Have competent business skills


Have up to date and professional culinary skills


Be personable


Show versatility (in food made and customers served)


Demonstrate flexibility – i.e. to be willing to work unusual, often long hours in multiple locations


To be a Private Chef you must be very adaptable; at one moment you could be making an individual breakfast and the next you could have a last minute dinner party with unexpected guests flying in from different places with different expectations. This means that you could also be working as your own kitchen porter, shopper, delivery person, accountant and serving/waiting staff. So, contrary to what you might expect, cooking for a private individual/family can be just as labour-intensive as working in a busy restaurant.


You’ll also be expected to be somewhat skilled when it comes to presentation. This begins with the food (of course), but also extends to the dining table and sometimes even the room itself; where you might be tasked to make decisions based on lighting and seating arrangements.


Some Private Chefs work full-time for one client, while others may work freelance for several different clients. If you have more than one client, you may need to meal prep for the week, or show other staff in the household what needs to be done for each meal. This means organisation is key.


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