What Does a Personal Chef Do?

A personal chef prepares at-home meals for clients in private households. Read on to learn more about the job responsibilities, salary information and career outlook for a personal chef. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A personal chef provides a professional service, offering meal preparation to clients for a fee, according to the United States Personal Chef Association. Aside from preparing professional-quality meals, personal chefs also save their clients the time and effort needed to cook their own food. Some personal chefs work on a self-employment basis, while others find jobs through a company that offers an in-home cooking service.

Important Facts About Personal Chefs

Job Outlook (2016-2026)6%
Work Environment Home kitchens or commercial kitchens for delivery
On-the-Job TrainingInternships and apprenticeships (for cooks)
Similar OccupationsChef, baker, food preparation worker

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties and Responsibilities

A personal chef must take a client's tastes and dietary constraints into consideration to create a customized menu. To do so, a personal chef meets with clients and consults with them about their preferences, health concerns, and allergies. Once personal chefs determine what foods to cook, they then prepare the meals in their clients' homes. After they've completed the meals, personal chefs are responsible for safe packaging, accurate labeling, and convenient storage of prepared items in their clients' refrigerator or freezer, according to the USPCA. Other responsibilities include:

  • Shopping for groceries
  • Designing creative meal plans
  • Storing foods
  • Providing clients with simple reheating or preparation instructions
  • Cleaning up
  • Keeping up-to-date on culinary trends and techniques
  • Marketing company and services
  • Maintaining good customer relations
  • Understanding nutritional needs
  • Maintaining safe food-handling skills

Salary Information

The BLS reported in May 2018 that the median annual salary earned by such private household cooks was about $37,590. In contrast, the median annual salary of chefs and head cooks in general was reported as $48,460 the same month, by the BLS.

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