personal chef ?'s (especially u shroom)

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by cheflusch, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. cheflusch

    cheflusch

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    Hey. just found this site couple months ago and wish I'd seen it years ago. Read through most of the posts and all the info is invaluable. My wife and I have been chefs for many years and looking to try either the personal or private chef route. Especially you shroomgirl (you've had such great insight and experiences), but would appreciate and info from all of you who have had the experience.

    First off...when personal cheffing, are you cooking directly at customers houses, your own, or some prep home and finish there. From that, what licensing would be needed. Basic vendors? We've always wanted to start up from the house but figured the health issues would get in the way, and we can't afford a commercial kitchen to use while just starting the career.

    Our idea for entering the private chef world with very little private chef experience is advertising ourselves as one person. 2 people for the price of one. This way we can split the 5-6 day work week between ourselves, have the extra 2 hands for the larger banquet parties, and have lots of free time to explore the personal chef option. What are thoughts on this? Any disadvantages or problems with hiring 2 people for one job that I'm not seeing?

    Let's start with that and I'm sure there'll be alot more from there.

    Thanks for the input and again kudos to all......
     
  2. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    work from their home, then you don't need ANYTHING but a business license.

    At times I had 2 clients a day, it would have been great to have one start and then other clean up, while the other moves on to the next place and starts to prep.

    Seems doable you'll just have to see if it pays well enough for 2.

    BUT you'll need to have a commercial kitchen with all the bells and whistles as far as permits for the events.....so another option is having a larger client base and make the same meals and deliver 2x a week or so.....

    Sometimes my grey matter isn't working on all burners but eventually it catches up.....must be the sinus stuff going on.
     
  3. cheflusch

    cheflusch

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    Maybe it was my wording... We're looking to try out both private and personal cheffing....we're applying to private families as 2 chefs. We have very little experience as private chefs, so hopefully they we'll find a good paying job with quanity over quality. Figuring it would be a 5-6 day week that we could split between us and us the free time to start the personal chef base. So we'll be needing just the business license to be cooking at other peoples homes.?...

    We figured also that having 4 hands at the private home would be handy for larger parties 20 or so, that will come up from time to time..

    For those that have private cheffed....think this will work...any disadvantages (besides each getting half salary)
     
  4. jolly roger

    jolly roger Banned

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    Cheflusch...AS far as using your personal dwelling for food prep, chek with your local health department in regards to how much you can legally get away with. I live in Ohio and I have been in operation as a personal chef for about six months. A good friend of mine and instructor for the Servsafe course I took, informed that unless your offsite kitchen has passed an inspection by the health department, you will be extremely limited as to what you can prepare in your own cooking space. There are loop holes, though, like, I can prepare up to twenty "full meals" a week for retail sale sale that I take to an offsite location without needing inspection. I asked him what constitutes a "full meal" and he said no further definition was provided. There are ways to get around things, but as far as preparing food in a client's private home, he said it's like they have hired a landscaper or a painter. No one can "check" you. I would advise getting bonded as a precaution so if a client accuses you of a legally damning situation, you can have their atty's meet your atty's for lunch. So far, I have been enjoying it. I've steady work through the last three months and my name is getting around. My plan eventually is to build a house with a pimped out kitchen connected to an office speciffically for my buisness.
     
  5. judithg

    judithg

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    So many kitchens are ill-equipped that there are things I feel I need to do at home and drag with me. I work as a private chef for holidaymakers in Italy. I can't count on anything in the villas they rent. If I know a place, I know what to take, but I can't/don't want to carry everything I own.
    I also don't want to stay 6 hours reducing stock on site!
    So I prep meats at home ready to cook. I make fresh pasta here and maybe roll it there if they want to watch-- this is one of the things I run into. I use stocks and preserves etc. that I make and keep. I clean and prep vegetables ahead of time. I make desserts here, usually, perhaps assembling them on site. Considering the time shopping, prepping, packing up, etc., it wouldn't be worth it to me if I did everything on site.
    I was once asked for a meringue dessert a group had heard I make and arrived to find every single mixing bowl was plastic. I had to scrub and use a steel cooking pot.
    In my job it's not just the food, although that's prime. I need to show up crisp and starched and looking like what they paid for, then work like a devil without breaking a sweat. No small job, that.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Judith, what an interesting gig you have! Are you Italian or a transplant?

    When I initially meet with clients the agreement I have is that if there is equipment needed to do my job they pay for it. I had cart blanche at William Sonoma.....but that being said, the kitchens I worked in were wonderfully stocked. I just bought a cast iron pan and a 6qt for the priest I cook for, but it's such a low tech kitchen with minimal needs that I keep equipment down to the minimum for him.
     
  7. cheflusch

    cheflusch

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    Oh yeah, on a roll so far...3 private chef positions were filled in less than a week, and the double resume thing isn't working so far...

    I have no fear though..resume spitting out of my computer like an assemble line...too bad the openings aren't keeping up
     
  8. cheflusch

    cheflusch

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    and yes that was another ..concern.. don't want to be spending half day in someone else's kitchen working a veal stock. Alright..so how did everyone FIRST get started? Walk around the neighborhood with flyers? Ad in the paper? Or good old fashioned word of mouth from friends and family favors?
     
  9. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    nope....I needed and later decided that it was the best decision made, high income, stable clients that have staff they've used for years. Continuity was important to me. I'd rather turn someone down then spend start up time with an unlikely long term candidate.