Help interviewing a personal chef

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by loguy, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. loguy

    loguy

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    Hi All,

     My wife and I are in the process of hiring a personal chef to cook for us a few times a week (the chef will only cook 1-2 days per week, but will also prepare meals for us to finish cooking the other days).

     I am seeking advice on what I should ask them to prepare as a "test" dish to evaluate their abilities.  In reading the "professional chef forum" I saw some interesting posts on methods they use to evaluate new prospects, but I do not have the skill level to break down if someone makes the perfect omelet or not :).

     I am wondering what a reasonable request is to ask of someone interviewing that would allow us to gauge their level of skill?

    Thanks!
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    As a personal chef since 2000, I've never experienced a "test of my abilities" /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    Most personal chefs I'm familiar with, have a portfolio of dishes that will give you a clear indication of their abilities.

    An experienced personal chef will want to do an assessment before taking on an assignment. The assessment should cover:
    • Your likes and dislikes
    • Allergies or food sensitivities
    • Preferences, i.e. beef-medium rare, no lamb, etc.
    • Packaging preferences
    • Dietary goals, i.e. calories, weight loss/maintenance/gain
    • Medical restrictions
    • A review of the kitchen facilities, access, security, parking, etc.
    • Shopping preferences, most competent personal chefs prefer to do the shopping
    The chef should present:
    • business license(s)
    • liability insurance
    • Food Safety Manager's certification
    The chef may present
    • Sample menus
    • professional membership such as American Personal & Private Chefs Association (APPCA)
      4572 Delaware Street San Diego, CA 92116
      Tel: 800-644-8389 / 619-294-2436
      Email: [email protected]
    • References, if not presented, ask for them
    For a trial cook date, paid of course, you pick out a menu of 3-5 meals that YOU like. Think of it as trying out a new restaurant, except you get to pick the menu.

    As far as what to ask for as a trial, whatever you enjoy eating!
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    The only skill needed is your tastebuds! I would ask them to make you one of your favorite dishes and one of their specialty. 
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    What a wonderful position to be in to have a personal chef, what a dream!

    Pete's list is great.  I would be impressed if a chef presented me with that info.  Personally I don't have a clue on what to add but I know that if I were in the process of getting a personal chef I'd ask her/him to make me a few of the staple dishes of our menu.  A good pasta sauce, bolognese, chicken soup, a stew, and breakfast.  If you can do all those well I'd be happy.
     
  5. ordo

    ordo

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    If i had the money, I would hire the chefs for private dinners to see what  they're capable to cook.
     
  6. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    There is the key to testing or sampling; hire the chef to do something that will satisfy you!
     
  7. moving

    moving

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    so?  how did it go? I just hired a culinary student for 3 hrs last night to cook 4 dishes and prep the 5th...  it was okay, but he is just learning...  

    do you have advice?