As a personal chef, we are hired by different clients and prepare meals in the clients’ home kitchens, based on their needs and preferences. In most cases the chef leaves the meals he had cooked packaged in containers and refrigerated or frozen for the client to enjoy later. Some personal chefs focus on preparing dinner parties and other special events, which means they are responsible for shopping, preparing the meal, serving the guests and cleaning up afterward. The menu is preplanned and discussed with the client, then prepared in their home.
Note that a personal chef is distinct from a private chef, which refers to a chef who is employed exclusively by one client, and in some cases lives in the client’s home.
When hiring a personal chef to provide either a packaged meal service or to cook for a dinner party, a menu and a budget are submitted for the client’s approval. Typically, the chef is given approval, a deposit, or (if familiar with the guest/frequent client) an expense account for the menu. The client pays for this in addition to the cost of the chef’s services and gratuity.
Some personal chefs also provide meal planning and budget planning for homeowners and second homeowners who are busy with their own lives, but insist on nutritious and tasty meals for their families.