How to Hire a Personal Chef

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A personal chef can be a godsend and surprisingly easy to find. You could hire one to help you eat better or lose weight, to avoid grocery shopping or simply to save time. But the best part is that you don't have to clean the kitchen, and there's always some gourmet snack in the freezer just waiting to be reheated.

  • Know the difference between a personal chef and a private chef. The former serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are stored and frozen for the week. The latter is usually a live-in employee who prepares up to three meals per day.

  • Determine what your weekly budget is for your personal chef. The average price for a meal that feeds a family of four is about $40, not including groceries. Expect to pay about $275 (plus groceries) for a week of meals for two people, $250 for one person. Prices vary depending on the region and level of service that is desired.

  • Decide exactly what you'd like your chef to do. Some stock the fridge with additional meals for the week. Others bring their own pots, pans and utensils while preparing your entre'es on-site.

  • Begin your search online or in your local newspaper. Contact Personal Chefs Network (personalchefsnetwork.com) and Hire a Chef (hireachef.com) for free lists of personal chefs in your area.

  • Be sure that your chef not only meets your culinary requirements but also has a disposition that fits well with you and your family, since he or she will become a regular in your home. And don't hesitate to ask for references.

  • Tell your personal chef what your likes and dislikes are as well as any individual dietary requirements, and specific requests so that he or she can plan your menu accordingly. Have your chef submit menus for your approval, and ask if packaging, labeling and storing your entre'es are all features included in the agreed-upon price.

Tips & Warnings

  • During the interview process, ask chefs whether they are certified or working toward their Certified Personal Chef designation, which was created in 1996. Currently, only one out of five active personal chefs has obtained a CPC certificate, according to hireachef.com.
  • Make sure that your personal chef is insured in the unfortunate event that he or she causes injury to you or your family.

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