So You Wanna Be a Private Chef

Could be an interesting read for thems that are considering it. And for those of you who are private chefs, maybe you’d like to chime in?

I worked as a private chef in someone’s home. It was Monday through Friday gig to cook dinner, serve it and clean up after. It was kind of strange. Yes, I had the big, big dog in the kitchen. I also had the kids There were three. The oldest was put on a diet and cranky all the time. The middle boy - all I remember was his spilling soda all over the counter, floors, etc while I was cooking. And, of course, I got to clean it up. The little one - he was a toddler. But when you work for a family they kind of forget what you might be there for. Like when the woman of the house left said toddler with me while she ran out for a couple of hours. Leave me with the dog, but not the kid. Once in while they would have guests, but more likely it was the kids who had a guest for dinner last minute. I’m sure it can be great, depending on who you work for, but a lot depends on just that and what exactly they want from a private chef. These people didn’t even throw out their garbage when I wasn’t there on the weekends. They kept the trash can in the broom closet and on Monday’s when I’d open it the garbage would come spilling out. Wow, I’m sorry. I’m not making it sound too good am I?

Thanks for sharing your experience, wcg!

Hi winecountrygirl,

Did you feeling rewarding in your job?
Were you free to design the menu of each day?

I bet a private chef needs a lot of self discipline and needs to decide where the red lines are, things that you can do and refuse to do.

I am no longer in the profession - I cook for pleasure now. When I was with that family I was free to design the menu BUT - she was low fat, husband was no carbs, kids were whatever. They enjoyed my food, which was rewarding, but the downside of that job was not worth it, really. I once did a small - very small, boneless turkey breast for the mom and kids. Dad was away. It was part of a salad type of dish - which the mom liked for dinner. The oldest - the one on the diet - brought home a guest last minute. There was enough for one portion each with the guest there - maybe I should have made a bigger one in hindsight - but the guest kid wanted - no demanded - more. Started screaming at me. Sorry folks - no can do!!!

Yes, when you work in someone’s home you absolutely need to be able to draw the lines of what you can and can’t do. Babysitting a toddler while you are cooking is not one of them! Unfortunately, the woman I worked for thought if she paid me I was to be at her total beck and call.

Kids are difficult. They are unpredictable in what they like and dislike. When organising a dinner party, they are always the ones who refuse to eat anything or want a lot of something. The parents should take control.