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Become A Personal Chef

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Working As A Personal Chef

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $46,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Personal Chef Do

Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.

Duties

Chefs and head cooks typically do the following:

  • Check the freshness of food and ingredients
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present dishes
  • Plan menus and ensure the quality of meals
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Hire, train, and supervise cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Order and maintain an inventory of food and supplies
  • Monitor sanitation practices and follow kitchen safety standards

Chefs and head cooks use a variety of kitchen and cooking equipment, including step-in coolers, high-quality knives, meat slicers, and grinders. They also have access to large quantities of meats, spices, and produce. Some chefs use scheduling and purchasing software to help them in their administrative tasks.

Chefs who run their own restaurant or catering business are often busy with kitchen and office work. Some chefs use social media to promote their business by advertising new menu items or addressing customer reviews.

The following are examples of types of chefs and head cooks:

Executive chefs, head cooks, and chefs de cuisine are responsible primarily for overseeing the operation of a kitchen. They coordinate the work of sous chefs and other cooks, who prepare most of the meals. Executive chefs also have many duties beyond the kitchen. They design the menu, review food and beverage purchases, and often train cooks and other food preparation workers. Some executive chefs primarily handle administrative tasks and may spend less time in the kitchen.

Sous chefs are a kitchen’s second-in-command. They supervise the restaurant’s cooks, prepare meals, and report results to the head chefs. In the absence of the head chef, sous chefs run the kitchen.

Private household chefs typically work full time for one client, such as a corporate executive, university president, or diplomat, who regularly entertains as part of his or her official duties.

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How To Become A Personal Chef

Most chefs and head cooks learn their skills through work experience. Others receive training at a community college, technical school, culinary arts school, or 4-year college. A small number learn through apprenticeship programs or in the Armed Forces.

Education

Although postsecondary education is not required for chefs and head cooks, many attend programs at community colleges, technical schools, culinary arts schools, and 4-year colleges. Candidates are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enter these programs.

Students in culinary programs spend most of their time in kitchens, practicing their cooking skills. Programs cover all aspects of kitchen work, including menu planning, food sanitation procedures, and purchasing and inventory methods. Most training programs also require students to gain experience in a commercial kitchen through an internship or apprenticeship program.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most chefs and head cooks start working in other positions, such as line cooks, learning cooking skills from the chefs they work for. Many spend years working in kitchens before gaining enough experience to be promoted to chef or head cook positions.

Training

Some chefs and head cooks train on the job, where they learn the same skills as in a formal education program. Some train in mentorship programs, where they work under the direction of an experienced chef. Executive chefs, head cooks, and sous chefs who work in upscale restaurants often have many years of training and experience.

Some chefs and head cooks learn through apprenticeship programs sponsored by professional culinary institutes, industry associations, or trade unions in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeship programs generally last 2 years and combine instructions and on-the-job training. Apprentices must complete at least 1,000 hours of both instructions and paid on-the-job training. Courses typically cover food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills, and equipment operation. Apprentices spend the rest of their training learning practical skills in a commercial kitchen under a chef's supervision.

The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 academic training programs at postsecondary schools and sponsors apprenticeships around the country. The basic qualifications required for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Passing grade in substance abuse screening

Some chefs and head cooks receive formal training in the Armed Forces or from individual hotel or restaurant chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can show competence and lead to advancement and higher pay. The American Culinary Federation certifies personal chefs, in addition to various levels of chefs, such as certified sous chefs or certified executive chefs. Certification standards are based primarily on work-related experience and formal training. Minimum work experience for certification can range from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the level of certification.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Executive chefs and chefs who run their own restaurant need to understand the restaurant business. They should know how to budget for supplies, set prices, and manage workers so that the restaurant is profitable.

Communication skills. Chefs must communicate their instructions clearly and effectively to staff so that customers’ orders are prepared correctly.

Creativity. Chefs and head cooks need to be creative in order to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes. They should be able to use various ingredients to create appealing meals for their customers.

Dexterity. Chefs and head cooks need excellent manual dexterity, including proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Leadership skills. Chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them.

Physical stamina. Chefs and head cooks often work long shifts and sometimes spend entire evenings on their feet, overseeing the preparation and serving of meals.

Sense of taste and smell. Chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food quality and to design meals that their customers enjoy.

Time-management skills. Chefs and head cooks must efficiently manage their time and the time of their staff. They ensure that meals are prepared correctly and that customers are served on time, especially during busy hours.

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Personal Chef Career Paths

Personal Chef
Executive Chef General Manager
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Kitchen Manager General Manager
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Kitchen Manager Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Chef/Catering Lead Cook
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Private Chef Chef/Catering Lead Cook
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef/Catering Lead Line Cook General Manager
Consultant General Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Chef/Owner Consultant Service Manager
Culinary Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef/Owner Corporate Executive Chef Kitchen Manager
Assistant Food Service Director
5 Yearsyrs
Chef/Owner Corporate Executive Chef Food And Beverage Manager
Director Of Catering
6 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Corporate Executive Chef Food And Beverage Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef Instructor Culinary Arts Instructor Food Service Manager
Director Of Food And Nutrition Services
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Therapist Service Supervisor
Patient Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Nanny Senior Technician Specialist Food Service Director
Nutrition Director
7 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Pantry Chef Lead Cook
Food Production Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Pastry Chef Assistant Lead Line Cook Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
8 Yearsyrs
Private Chef Culinary Arts Instructor Food Service Manager
Nutrition Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Culinary Arts Instructor Owner/Operator Food Service Manager
Certified Dietary Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Operations Manager Service Operations Manager
General Service Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Pastry Chef Assistant Lead Line Cook Chef Manager
Cafeteria Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Owner Owner And Sales
Restaurant Owner
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Private Chef 3.5 years
Chef Instructor 3.4 years
Head Chef 3.2 years
Personal Chef 3.0 years
Chef/Catering 2.9 years
Cooking Chef 2.9 years
Chef 2.6 years
Assistant Chef 2.3 years
Kitchen Chef 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Personal Chef
Sous Chef 14.5%
Chef 13.4%
Line Cook 10.1%
Cook 6.0%
Internship 5.1%
Prep Cook 3.4%
Manager 3.0%
Head Chef 2.5%
Top Careers After Personal Chef
Chef 16.4%
Sous Chef 11.7%
Cook 7.0%
Line Cook 5.4%
Head Chef 3.4%
Chef/Owner 2.7%
Owner 2.6%
Server 2.3%
Manager 2.3%

Do you work as a Personal Chef?

Highest Personal Chef Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Personal Chef Ronnie L. Bretholtz Newton, MA Aug 18, 2016 $68,871
Personal Chef Chandru H. Wadhwani Anaheim, CA Feb 12, 2016 $52,645
Personal Chef (Live IN) Arthur Edelman Ridgefield, CT Sep 27, 2010 $41,740
Personal Chef Yorko J Albornoz Miami, FL Aug 31, 2016 $31,762
Personal Chef Rabidutt Maharaj Kissimmee, FL Aug 07, 2015 $31,096
Personal Chef Ronnie L. Bretholtz Newton, MA Jun 24, 2015 $29,349
Personal Chef Annemarie Colbin PH.D. New York, NY May 04, 2016 $27,000
Personal Chef Maria Nazare Nunes Boca Raton, FL May 11, 2009 $20,223

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Top Skills for A Personal Chef

  1. Meal Prep
  2. Plan Menus
  3. Office Supplies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created specialized nutrition plans and meal preparation for individual families as well as event catering for businesses and individuals.
  • Plan menus for the week according to the family needs, requests, or allergies they may have.
  • Liaised with vendors to order and maintain inventory of office supplies.
  • Coordinated appointments for customers and special events.
  • Delivered consistent individual culinary excellence while also leading a cohesive, creative food preparation team.

Personal Chef Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,606 Personal Chef resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Personal Chef Resume

View Resume Examples

Personal Chef Demographics

Gender

Female

43.4%

Male

43.1%

Unknown

13.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.7%

French

19.3%

Italian

13.8%

Portuguese

3.7%

German

2.8%

Russian

2.8%

Danish

1.8%

Chinese

0.9%

Mandarin

0.9%

Cherokee

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Phoenician

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Slovak

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Thai

0.9%
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Personal Chef Education

Schools

Johnson & Wales University

24.2%

Culinary Institute of America

15.7%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

12.1%

French Culinary Institute

4.5%

Arizona Culinary Institute

3.8%

The Academy

3.6%

Art Institute of Atlanta

3.6%

The Institute of Culinary Education School

3.4%

University of Phoenix

3.4%

Orange Coast College

3.1%

Kendall College

3.1%

New England Culinary Institute

3.1%

Art Institute of California - Inland

2.5%

Baltimore International College

2.5%

Art Institute of Houston

2.5%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Pasadena

2.2%

Schoolcraft College

1.8%

Kaplan University

1.8%

Austin Community College

1.6%

Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago

1.6%
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Majors

Culinary Arts

52.4%

Business

9.2%

Food And Nutrition

7.2%

Hospitality Management

5.5%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Management

3.0%

Psychology

2.3%

English

2.1%

Education

2.0%

Fine Arts

1.6%

Dietetics

1.5%

Communication

1.5%

Food Science

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Marketing

1.2%

Nursing

1.0%

Criminal Justice

1.0%

Political Science

1.0%

Graphic Design

1.0%

Entertainment Business

0.9%
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Degrees

Associate

28.8%

Other

28.3%

Bachelors

25.2%

Certificate

7.9%

Masters

5.8%

Diploma

3.4%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.3%
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Top Personal Chef Employers

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