The Difference between a Personal and Private Chef

August 19, 2015

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People are often confused about the difference between a personal and private chef.

A private chef is not the same as personal chef.

A private chef’s job is to cook exclusively for one family.  Maybe they cook breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Or maybe they just prepare dinner.  But their entire job is based on cooking for that individual or family. The job often comes with travel, cooking for dinner parties, and becoming closely intertwined with the family they cook for.

To hire a private chef, you need to be able to pay them a good salary, as this become the chef’s only job.

A personal chef’s job is to cook for multiple families per week.  The chef goes into 4-5 homes per week and cooks 4-5 entrees for clients.  Alternatively, the chef cooks and delivers the food – either way, the menu is customized to be exactly what the clients wants, and the food is cooked exclusively for them.

This is what we do at White Apron.  We have a set of clients we cook exclusively for every week.  Each morning/afternoon is dedicated to one client, and we prepare the food they eat throughout the week, typically 3-4 complete entrees/meals.   For 4-5 hours a week, you can have your own “private” chef.  The difference is that you must re-heat the food yourself, and don’t have someone cooking a fresh meal for you every night.

That said, the food is still an improvement than what you’d get from a meal delivery service or any food operation that scales its food making large batches.  Small versus large batch food is vastly superior in quality and taste.  There is nothing that beats small batch, home-made food.  This is what we aim to provide as personal chefs.

The cost of a personal chef ranges between $300-$500 a week.  While this seems like a steep price for some, the $400-$500 range per week covers most of your meals for 2-4.  You are hiring somebody to cook food that is specifically catering to your diet and preferences.  Everything is made fresh and from scratch.

The cost for an experienced private chef (not a “cook” that doubles as a housekeeper or nanny) is significantly higher because you are paying that person to show up at your house every day.

Being a personal or private chef is a labor of love.  The money can be good, but the work is physically and mentally draining.  We do what we do because we love it, not because it makes us rich.  From having to stay inspired, to spending hours a week at the grocery store, to cooking 4-5 meals at once (watch a personal chef work and you will be shocked at the level of multi-tasking ) to having to package the food (another 30-45 minutes) plus 45 minutes to clean up? It’s hard work that requires compensation.

Have you ever thought of hiring a personal chef?  What’s stopped you?  What are some of the reservations you have about it? If you want to learn more about the Steps to Become a Private Chef, click here. 

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