A personal chef is ideal for busy families and individuals who have strict dietary needs. A personal chef visits your home and prepares meals according to a pre-planned menu designed around your dietary needs and favorite foods. The chef does everything from grocery shopping for the food, cleaning your kitchen, preparing the food, storing the food and providing instructions for reheating and serving the food. In order to have a positive experience with a personal chef, you need to understand how to hire a personal chef that meets your needs.
Contact a company that specializes in contracting personal chefs. Set up a few interviews. If you know people who use personal chefs, speak with them about setting up an interview with their personal chefs.
Decide if certification or professional affiliation is important to you. Not all personal chefs belong to a professional chef organization, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t reputable cooks. A certified or professionally affiliated chef has met certain standards and undergone training in safe food handling and preparation.
Meet with a few chefs and discuss your dietary needs, including any restrictions. Have the chef show you sample menus and explain how they operate. This is also the time to discuss what the chef charges and how you’ll be expected to pay.
Discuss the chef’s background at the interview. Some people want a chef that has professional training, while others are perfectly fine working with a chef who is self-trained.
Choose only from chefs who have personal liability insurance. A number of accidents can happen in the kitchen, so you need to make sure that your personal chef carries liability insurance in case of an accident
Understand that there is a difference between a personal chef and a private chef. Personal chefs have a number of clients and usually only visit once a week to prepare meals. Private chefs usually live with the client or visit every day and prepare meals as needed.
Request at least 2 reference from each chef and contact these people before making a hiring decision. Ask the other clients their opinions about the chef’s food, ability to follow dietary guidelines and their overall personality.
See if any of the chefs offer a trial run for a reduced fee. This means they will prepare one meal for you so that you can see their cooking style and ability to clean your kitchen to your standards. Not every chef advertises this option, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Sign an agreement to use the chef, but don’t commit to a long-term contract without careful research. A long-term contract means you’ll have trouble firing the chef should you find that he or she doesn’t meet your needs.