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Chefs - Private chefs, personal chefs, cooks


What is a Chef?

A chef is a trained professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine. Sitters4U provides the services of private cooks, personal chefs and private chefs as well as catering services.

There is often confusion over the difference between the roles of personal chefs, private chefs and cooks assuming that these are simply different terms for the same job description.

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What is a Personal Chef?

Personal chefs are those hired by different families or clients. They prepare meals in the clients' home kitchens based on their needs and preferences. The personal chef will meet with a client and customize a meal plan by determining how often the service will be provided and the number of meals cooked each time.

The client will typically choose various meals and sides from the chef's menu, then the chef will shop for all groceries, prepare the meal(s) on a designated "cook date" in the client's home, package the meals for the refrigerator or freezer, clean the kitchen and leave detailed reheating instructions.

Some personal chefs also provide the same services for one-time events such as dinner parties, or special events. Many personal chefs also offer personalized cooking instruction in the privacy of the client's home, either one-on-one or in groups. When hiring a personal chef to provide either a packaged meal service or to cook for a dinner party, there is usually collaboration between the client and the chef to determine the menu, based on individual tastes and preferences as well as dietary restrictions. An estimate is then provided by the chef. Some chefs charge a fee based on the number of meals and servings prepared each time, and some charge an hourly fee plus the cost of food. Typically, the chef is given approval, a deposit, or an expense account for the menu.

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What is a Private Chef?

A private chef on the other hand refers to a chef who is employed exclusively by one client, and in some cases lives in the client's home. In other words, this chef is hired by a specific entity and works for this person or organization, who pays the chef a salary.  Private chefs see to the needs and desires of their employers, including nutrition. Any dietary restrictions of a family member must be adhered to. Private chefs work fairly regular hours on a schedule and prepares up to three meals a day.

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What is a Cook?

Some private chefs don't have a culinary background, but are passionate home cooks with years of experience and knowledge. Depending on experience, this is usually the cheapest option in terms of private and personal chef services. The food may not be as aesthetically pleasing as when you hire a qualified chef, but in some cases it may be more hearty and wholesome, and generally will be inline with the meals prepared traditionally by people local to the area from which the cook is contracted.

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What does a Chef earn?

Personal Chefs and cooks may charge per meal or based on the number of servings to be prepared, hourly or on a consignment above the cost of the food. Private chefs on the other hand are paid on a salary basis, and charge from R 17 000 to R 40 000 per month depending on the size of the household, the number of meals and portions to be prepared daily. Personal cooks work on the same basis, but will generally earn from R 12 500 to R 21 000 per month.

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