Do I have illusions of grandeur?

Joined Mar 13, 2017
I actually went to Le Cordon Bleu in Marylebone, London finishing there in 1976. I have never been a professional chef, though I did work in the industry for about 1 year a while ago. I have been in corporate America since then, but now that I'm in my late 60s I would really love to get into the industry. So I thought of becoming a private chef. Is that too grand considering I haven't cooked professionally for decades? And if not, how would you advise me to proceed. Thanks a lot.



Joined Feb 16, 2017
A friend of mine went from attorney to private chef. But she worked in the industry for a couple of years in catering before taking a job as a private chef. In her case, she needed catering experience since the family entertained. She also had to be flexible enough to travel for long periods as the family owned and used several homes, some times staying at a second home for couple of months at a time. I will mention that after 3 years, she just resigned. She reinstated her law license, but still isn't sure if she wants to go back to the grind of practicing law.

Another acquaintance works part-time as a private chef, then teaches the rest of the time. The family that employs him has him come in several times a week to prepare meals; some of which are served that day; some prepared and stored for later in the week. The family is Indian, so the wife actually taught him how to prepare her family's favorite recipes. He shared several recipes with me and they are excellent.

As a general rule, most people want to hire someone with training, experience and knowledge of both classic and current trends. As the experiences of the two chefs I know who work as private chefs shows, the requirements and demands will vary greatly by clients.
Joined Oct 10, 2016
i also quit my corporate job to pursue cooking ..otherwise i have been a home cook since i was 20 and hosted supperclubs.

have worked in kitchen also but less than 6 months in total.

i find the lifestyle of a chef suitable to me as i am a late night person who loves to be on the feet instead of sitting in a chair

i also like high paced environment with zero room for slacking...offices are full of slacking into afternoons.

if you are from indian background i suggest looking into high end indian restaurants as cuisine has evolved a lot and french techniques are being used ..including sous vide for lamb shanks then finished with curried sauces.

start with a particular station such as sautee which teaches u lot about plating trends and is more fun and builds your pace.

if u r nervous then start off with pastry..and learn how to make indian desserts such as kulfi etc.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
I hope Raj doesn't forget he posted a question here. I am a little leery of devoting time to answering questions if the poster is never coming back. 
Joined Sep 5, 2008
To build your confidence you could try cooking for friends and family first. I don't mean just cooking for them, I mean really play the part, play the role of a private chef, plan everything, take care of everything, don't accept any help etc. See how that works out?
I am a little leery of devoting time to answering questions if the poster is never coming back. 
I hear you. It would be nice to get some feedback from Raj to know he's reading our answers. 

On the other hand, internet forums are also a huge resource in the form of a searchable database, which Google can index, so the answers can often benefit more people than immediately visible. I know that several times I have searched for something on Google and found my answer in a several-years-old thread in one forum or another - even when the original poster had never replied back. 
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Joined May 5, 2016
I started a personal chef business ( in my late 40's after being a stay home mom for 20 years. I had taken some courses at a local culinary school, but I'm just a good home cook. It's been 7 years and I have a full schedule cooking for different families throughout the week. It's definitely not too grand of an idea to think you can be a personal or private chef. I did it, and I'm certain you can too!

I work in SoCal and mentor many pc's just starting out. If you're interested, Personal Chef Now offers a FREE Crash Course that covers some key topics for new personal chefs.

(Full disclosure...I am co-founder of Personal Chef Now)
Joined Dec 8, 2016

I think the fact that you are wary of delusions of grandeur speaks tot eh fact that you have your head on your shoulders. Though that doesn't mean you're ready, it may mean that you now how difficult it is. 

But it doesn't have to be that way. The internet has given private chefs a vehicle to network and to find employment on the go. Your age may be a factor in preventing you from doing well but not for reasons you may think. You have to be willing to travel. I know of many chefs who do well cooking on private yachts but that does mean a couple months at sea every year. 

How far are you willing to go?

Check out Today's World Kitchen. It's an online community for chefs started by Dean Silva. There may be some insight in there for you.


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