formal education or training. Some chefs, unfortunately, may find that it would take many more years to build the capital to start their own business. However, opening a restaurant isn’t the only way to become a food entrepreneur. If you’re looking for a way to start a food business without the major costs typically associated with starting a restaurant or food truck, then you may want to explore the possibility of becoming a private chef.
Private chefs are usually tasked to create meals for individuals or families in private residences. For the most part, these chefs are free to be creative with their daily menus so long as it is in line with the client’s dietary restrictions. In some cases, a private chef may also be asked to handle the culinary needs of special events hosted by their clients, such as birthday parties, anniversaries, and the like.
If this is a job description that appeals to you, here are a few ways to help you steer your career towards becoming a private chef:
Complete Your Formal Culinary Training
A vast majority of private chefs have completed formal training in the culinary arts. Most of them have at least accomplished a 4-year program in a leading culinary school. However, this isn’t the only way to get your start.
Some private chefs have also chosen to take intensive culinary short courses instead. These often include those who have actual experience in the kitchen, but did not take formal instruction in a culinary school, or career shifters.
Either way, formal training is definitely something that you’ll want to add to your resume as it is something that clients in the market for a private chef will definitely be impressed to see.
Work Towards Adopting a Variety of Cuisines and Skills
As they say, variety is the spice of life. Specializing in one type of cuisine is good, but you should definitely adopt different cuisines and skills as well. After all, most people would prefer to avoid eating Coq Au Vin multiple times a week, even if your red wine chicken stew is the best thing ever. Plus, training in different cuisines helps prepare you for unexpected requests from your client.
This usually means experimenting with all sorts of different recipes during your spare time or training under a chef who specializes in a type of cuisine that you are interested in for several years after you graduate. Doing this is also a great way to sharpen your skills to a point where you can use different cooking techniques from around the world to create truly unique “signature dishes”.
Brush Up on Your People Skills
The life of a private chef is more than just about cooking. Given the popularity of open kitchen designs in recent years, most private chefs also play the role of host, bartender, teacher, friend, drinking buddy, etc. Simply put, you yourself are part of the dining experience as they will be, unsurprisingly, very interested in your cooking techniques, advice, stories, and the like. As such, it pays to have good people skills and the right amount of composure. After all, you will primarily be working out of your client’s home, which will also expose you to a variety of different personalities and family dynamics.
Market Your Personal Brand
Once you are confident in your abilities in and out of the kitchen, you should definitely look to market your personal brand as a chef. Though your first instinct may be to look at job listings, you should definitely market yourself on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Post photos of dishes you are especially proud of at least three times a week. Not only do appealing dishes highlight the skills you’ve honed over the years, but the prospect of “going viral” can significantly increase your brand’s reach and put you on the radar of someone looking to hire a private chef. Of course, make sure to make it clear that you are open to becoming a private chef on your profile and in your captions.