What is a Private Chef?

I started my business in February 2006, working for friends as a personal chef. At the time, I was moving away from the corporate world, as a STEM resource, focused on technology. I was so used to the 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. lifestyle, with three weeks vacation, guaranteed paycheck, health and dental benefits, that I had the slightest clue what it meant to run my own business! I didn’t attend culinary school where they give you a small glimpse in hospitality management: I attended business school where I received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, that focused on Information Systems and computer programming.

Courtney working on college IT project

Courtney working on college IT project

Over the years, I’ve had ups and downs learning to run my own business. I’ve wasted money, been burned by customers who ordered and didn’t pay, cut myself short by not charging the appropriate amount for the scope of work to be completed and contemplated many time on whether I should close up shop, and go find another corporate job. Clearly, I’m still here, so closing the business didn’t happen! I share all this to say the following… What is a Private Chef?

By definition, a private chef is a trained individual who cooks for an individual or household. They may specialize in a particular type cuisine or be proficient in preparing a wide range of dishes in a myriad of categories. My definition of a private chef is in an individual who puts the needs of their client and guests first. You are well versed in cuisines from around the world, as you never know who may show up at the table. You are a baker, recipe from scratch creator, provide menu development, adjust your personal life to accommodate your clients life(style), and you allow your work (meals you create) to speak for you.

I point out my role as a private chef not to brag, however, to give folks an idea of the dedication that I provide for my clients, whether an athlete or corporation. Many hours of preparation go into planning meals, from the presentation to the ingredients. Some days, I’m up at 4:00 a.m. preparing meals that have to be dropped off 80 miles away. Other days, I’m up at a normal hour, but don’t hit the bed until 3:00 a.m. because I’m providing chef services into the night for a client who arrived home after a late night game. Many times when I travel abroad, I’m also participating in some type of cooking class so that I can learn how to create cuisines authentic to that country.

I ask that folks truly understand what meal prep, personal chef, and meal delivery kit services offer, because they are vastly different from the services of a private chef. Find the service that is right for you!