Private Chef Job Description

Considering a career as a private chef?

Here are our answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked by candidates thinking about becoming private chefs:

Duties, Responsibilities & Skills

What are the duties and responsibilities of a private chef?

  • Menu planning

  • Shopping for ingredients

  • Preparing & cooking meals for their Principals

  • Clearing away and cleaning the kitchen

What skills do you need to be a chef?

You need to have a passion for food and cooking, be creative, able to work under pressure and be able to cope with last minute changes. You must also have attention to detail, and maintain high standards of cleanliness in the kitchen.

What are basic cooking skills?

  • Making a stock

  • Creating a flavourful sauce

  • Knowing how to use knives correctly

  • Kitchen health and safety

  • Understanding food hygiene

Do chefs memorise recipes?

Yes and they will have a large repertoire of all the recipes that they can make.

What should every chef have?

Their own set of knives and Chef whites.

What tools do chefs use?

Chefs will normally have their own knives, meat thermometer, kitchen implements and small kitchen machinery to name a few.

Do chefs eat their own food?

Chefs will always taste their own dishes before they serve.

Private Chef Career

How do you become a private chef?

Most Chefs either go to a cookery school such as Ballymaloe, Le Cordon Bleu or Leiths to formally train and then they start as a Cook to gain experience. Others may start their career in restaurants and then make the move to private households – often picking up short term bookings to gain experience before getting a permanent job.

Is it worth it going to culinary school?

Yes absolutely, clients love to see this credential on a candidate’s CV.

What kind of training does a Chef need?

Either restaurant training or cookery school training.

Is Chef a good career?

Yes, there is a lot of room for career progression and different paths that can be taken. You could travel the world, cooking for VIPs or even become a celebrity Chef!

What are the pros and cons of being a Chef?

There is great scope to be creative and you can often receive recognition for your work, but there can often be long hours involved.

Is Chef a stressful job?

Yes, but it can be no more stressful than any other job!

What are the levels of Chefs?

Graduate, Family Cook, Personal Chef & Michelin level Chef.

Chef Salary

Do Chefs get paid well?

Salaries will depend on the role and the experience of the Chef, but salaries generally tend to range from £30,000 - £100,000 gross per annum. Find out more on the average chef salaries page.

How many hours do Chefs work?

This can vary, but typically 12 hours a day.

How much does a Chef make an hour? What is the starting pay for a Chef?

Starting pay is around £15-£20 per hour, and an established chef can expect to be paid around £25-£35 per hour.

Private vs. Personal Chef

What is the difference between a private and a personal chef?

There is no real difference between a personal Chef and a private Chef – both will work within a private home and liaise closely with the Principals.

Chef vs. Cook

What's the difference between a chef and a cook?

A chef will have many years’ experience and their food will generally be more sophisticated. They can also offer a greater repertoire of dishes and cuisines.

If you are looking to work as a Chef, you can browse our latest Chef vacancies here.

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