Living in a smaller town in Wisconsin I accepted the challenge of continuously defining what a Personal Chef is. I was a bit shocked, after attending the United States Personal Chef Association Conference (USPCA) in July, 2015 in San Antonio, TX that many Personal Chefs across the U.S. were still struggling with the general public and customers referring to us as Caterers or Private Chefs. It’s understandable….after all…Personal Chefs are fairly new in the food world and often confused with Caterers or Private Chefs. So who really cares? We all cook food as a business, right? Yes we do. But…..
It’s like considering everyone who has a PhD is a medical doctor. Or that cardiologists are the same as pediatricians, ophthalmologists, or oncologists. Basically, we’ve all been trained in a certain field overall but we have different ‘specialties.’
Caterers, Personal Chefs and Private Chefs have been trained (either via through school, self taught or on the job) to cook food for their customers. Anyone who cooks for you should be Serv-Safe Certified. Let’s dive into this a little further by defining what each profession is:
Caterer: A caterer is someone (usually a team) of trained individuals who cook primarily in a licensed kitchen and transports the prepared food to the venue, or possibly at their own facility. Most cook for larger amount of guests. An example would be a Catering Company catering a delicious meal to a wedding off-site or at their own banquet hall.
Private Chef: Private Chefs mainly cook multiple meals daily for one client in the clients home – they become the clients employee.
Personal chef – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A personal chef is a chef who is hired by different clients and prepares meals in the clients’ home kitchens, based on their needs and preferences. The personal chef will create a customized meal plan, shop for all groceries, prepare the meal, and clean up the kitchen. The chef typically leaves prepared meals packaged in containers for the client to store in the refrigerator or freezer to enjoy later. Some personal chefs also focus on preparing dinner parties and other special events, which means they are responsible for shopping, preparing the meal, serving the guests and cleaning up afterward. The menu is preplanned and discussed with the client, then prepared in their home. According to health-department guidelines, all food must either be prepared in the home of the client or in a kitchen that has passed an official health inspection.
When hiring a personal chef to provide either a packaged meal service or to cook for a dinner party, a menu and a budget are submitted for the client’s approval. Typically, the chef is given approval, a deposit, or (if familiar with the guest/frequent client) an expense account for the menu. The client pays for this in addition to the cost of the chef’s services and gratuity.
So basically, a caterer cooks for large amounts of people off-site and transports the prepared food; a private chef is an employee of an individual or family and cooks about three meals/day for their client, and a personal chef cooks for multiple clients in the clients home and usually offers additional services.
As a personal chef, I love cooking for multiple families and preparing foods for dinner parties. While I’m cooking the wonderful aromas fill the clients home and clients are welcomed with multiple meals in their refrigerator and freezer and a clean kitchen. I leave knowing that I’m helping families spend more time together while enjoying a home cooked meal prepared by me…..Personal Chef Jodi.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my website at personalchefjodi.com.