giving private lessons

Joined Apr 6, 2004
Ok, This may be a weird question, but here goes it. As of yet I am uneducated in culinary arts, but I know my stuff. I want to make a career move in that direction, but have no schools in my area. I was wondering if, without any education, I could give private lessons in my home or another person's home for a small fee and what legal issues I might come across in doing so. I've had several people ask me to teach them, but I want to make sure I'm not going to violate any health codes or laws about giving private lessons.
Joined Dec 12, 2000
first of all, i don't know all the rules. Here is how I would look at it though, if your not advertising to the public, and you are teaching your " friends", and they choose to give you a monitary gift, and you are doing this at your own house, technically you aren't doing anything wrong. Any other way, you would have to start a proper business. But your best bet is to talk to someone at your l;ocal government agent's office, they should be able to help you.
Joined Apr 12, 2004
First, I agree with CoolJ on the business part: you're probably fine. If you are interested in more information, I would recommend checking with your local Small Business Association. They not only are a great resource, but they offer free classes and can offer years of experience.

As for your initial statement about "knowing your stuff", I think you would be surprised.

I am currently a student at the California Culinary Academy in the B&P program. Best decision I've ever made, but I got to the point in my personal education that I realized how much I didn't know. I'm in my fourth week of class and every day I've learned something new: not just technique, but also safety and sanitation, knife skills, piping techniques (and how they can vary from chef to chef), and food science. It's amazing how understanding molecular structure and the different types of bonds (covalent, ionic, hydrogen...) can translate into a fundamental understanding of how baking really works (and conversely WHY it doesn't work).

To make a long story short, I would recommend tracking down a cooking school even if it means being away from family, friends and everything you know and hold dear. Many of the B&P programs are less than a year (CCA is 30 weeks) and you'll get a top rate education.

Good luck!
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