The consummate professional. The enterprising Private Chef may cook home and abroad, land and sea, for individuals, families and/or celebrities. With salary potential exceeding that of a GP, it’s an attractive career path for the confident and skilled culinary professional.

What Is A Private Chef / Caterer?

A Private Chef is normally a live-in chef who is dedicated to one client or family, at a residence(s) or yacht. It could be a family that travels, a single professional or celebrity. A significant relationship is normally formed as the Private Chef comprehensively understands the tailored requirements of the client. A Personal Chef is an enterprising individual building a business and brand reputation. Both Private Chefs and Personal Chefs can be somewhat interchangeable. The related role of the Caterer has similar logistical culinary duties but on a larger scale and often at remote event locations. They could include social gatherings such as weddings, sporting events, conferences, fund raisers or charity dinners.

What Does A Private Chef / Caterer Do?

Both the Private Chefs and the Caterers must get to know/meet their clients and establish agreed menu(s). They order, they prepare, they cook and serve all foods and drinks. They must clear and tidy away all remanences of cooking and eating afterwards. The Caterer will likely be asked to supply lighting, tables, chairs, linen, crockery, cutlery and any theming for an additional charge.

Why Would I Want To Be A Private Chef / Caterer?

For the Private Chef it’s an opportunity to provide the most consistent and in-depth hospitality through the experiences of food. It’s an intensive experience for the Private Chef, tailored wholly to the client’s preferences and requests. The salary and benefits can be profound, but the position is fixed and may require last minute travel. For the Caterer who is running an events business, they have an opportunity to create exceptional responses and memories for clients when events are creative, logistically sound and managed with a militant eye for detail. Both are career pathways held up by good reviews and reputation.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

Both Private Chefs and Caterers may choose to obtain training through a professional training programme in the culinary arts. They will also need a minimum of a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate and should prepare for an inspection having informed their local authority Environmental Health Department for a rating, if commercially cooking from a fixed position/kitchen.

What Experience Do I Need?

In order, to perform the requirements of this work at its best, 5 + years of commercial experience is recommended in the absence of any qualifications. With a culinary Diploma at Level 4 it may be possible to attract interest for Private Chef services with 1 to 3 years commercial experience (depending on the quality and calibre of commercial work completed). Some of the more notable agencies specialising in this category of work will be able to advise individuals according to their circumstances and the current opportunity openings. Many of the opportunities typically coming in via word-of-mouth and from a proceeding reputation the chef.

What Are The Key Skills Required?

A Private Chef will be salaried and responsibility is akin to running a department. Personal Chefs and Caterers are running a business. All must be the consummate professional, managing all aspects of; safe-food-handling practices, menu creation, ordering and supplies, establish cost (and price), track budgets, create contracts, handle marketing and business administration.

How Much Does A Private Chef / Caterer Earn?

Personal Chefs starting a business should aim for £30,000 salary in their first year. The potential salary for an experienced Private Chef can exceed that of a GP. It is therefore an attractive career path for the culinary skilled professional. Caterers can expect to earn as purported over on the Foodpreneur category page, which discusses likely profit margins for such.

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