From high-end weddings to weekly lunches prepared in just an hour, private chef services have become increasingly available over the last decade. Hiring a private chef, however, can be an important investment, so careful consideration is required when choosing a chef. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
Choose a professional who has been in business for many years, preferably on a long term basis. If a chef has been cooking professionally for a long period of time, they are likely to have a good reputation with their clientele. The most reputable chefs are going to have a number of references from past clients, so check them out. You may also want to ask to see samples of their work or take a cooking class from a local culinary institute or cookery school.
Look at all the personal chef’s previous work, whether they are offering onsite training, or if they are only offering their services online. It is important that the cookery school you choose to work with is accredited, as the results from a poorly accredited school can put your business at risk. Some chefs offer their services on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that you pay a monthly fee for the services, which you can use as often as you like. Others are more restricted in how many services they provide each month, either because they do not wish to take on new clients, or because they cannot afford to take on such large numbers of jobs. Whatever the case, you should look for a reputable and well-known chef who will be able to provide you with all the training that you need to ensure your success.
Price is an important consideration. Many chefs charge based on the size of the work that they do, but this can make the service seem cheap. A good idea is to look at a couple of websites, and then contact the chef directly to find out how much they charge for specific services. Some chefs have a fixed price, but it is a good idea to ask about any hidden costs and to find out what they include in their fees. Many will include the cost of a menu, which you may not require. Other extras, such as the cost of setting up a catering room, may need to be added to the total.
Check the chef’s qualifications, experience, and license. If the job requires a certificate of completion, the chef will need one. This certification is not normally required for onsite chef services, but it is worth checking. Check with your licensing authority to make sure that the chef has been accepted by them. Also, check for any previous complaints against the chef. There is no point in hiring someone who will not deliver the best possible food and end up giving your guests bad food, so it is always worthwhile visiting their restaurant if the food has disappointed you. Another factor to consider is the chef’s ability to communicate well, as this will help you understand what you will be eating.
Lastly, make sure that the chef offers you full details of all charges before you agree to anything. A lot of chefs will be happy to discuss payment arrangements on your first meeting, but if you find that they do not have an estimate, you need to get in touch with the chef to ensure that you understand the total bill. Most chefs, when contacted, can give you a quotation for a meal that includes all the basic costs, including tips, tax, and other charges.