If you have the budget to go with it, hiring a private chef can be a very satisfying and convenient way of handling a dinner party. Dinner party chefs work with a single-family or client and prepare all meals, including dinner parties and other special events. Because private chefs work with one client only, they can live-in or commute to work. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for an entry-level private chef in the U.S is $ $67,479 per year. For the more experienced private chefs, the average salary can exceed $120,000 especially for chefs hired in wealthy neighborhoods. Acclaimed chefs earn even higher salaries.
On average, hiring a chef for a dinner party costs $45 per person. However, the cost of hiring a private dinner party chef might be upwards of $100 per person if you factor in the menu and dinner party add-ons. For example, if you have expensive wine pairings, the cost could go as high as $200 per person. In return, the private chef will prepare the dinner, plate it, and generally ensure that everything is on point. The chef also takes care of cleaning in the kitchen.
The cost of hiring a private chef for a one-off night event averages $125 per person. The cost might, however, be lower or higher depending on the number of people and the services needed. For that matter, costs can go as high as $400 per person, or drop below $100.
The private chef hired for the night will provide services that cater to dinner as well as any other services related to the menu. For instance, you might be looking at a tasty four-course meal and add-ons.
Note that some private chefs might ask for an hourly rate.
The average hourly rate for a private chef is $50. The cost-per-hour rates may vary considerably due to differences in client needs, location, and menu type. For instance, a dietary menu might see a private dinner party chef charge more compared to when you ask them to prepare a general meal.
Other typical considerations include planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. An average cost per hour for a private chef can rise to about $100 per hour if you are dealing with a five-star chef.
You might want to hire a chef for a dinner party but just don’t know how to go about it. Well, if you want to give your guests the best in terms of meals, hiring a top dinner party chef should be one of your considerations. You’d have to opt for a personal chef here. Before you look for a chef, determine the number of people for whom the chef will prepare dinner. Once that is clear, search for a chef: it can either be online or from your area. Visit the USPCA website to get a list of certified chefs you can hire for the night.
One good thing about online searches is that they give you access to chefs sorted by state, city or zip code, making it easier to contact one in your area.
When you know you want fantastic service from the best chef in Durham, NC or even in the Triangle, you can choose Leslie Chartier with confidence. She has served as a private chef for dinner parties throughout North Carolina.
The question of whether to tip a private chef or not is more a personal decision than a generally accepted move. You can tip a chef at the end of the party or event, giving them an amount you deem appreciative of their services.
Note that many private chefs do not expect tips mainly because the costs involved are already high for most clients. For example, a private chef can charge as high as $150 per person for a dinner party. Add grocery costs to that and your budget can be massive.
But if you find it within your means and appropriate, tip to a private chef because they have earned it.
Catering costs are typically pegged on the type of service and the number of people. For most caterers, price quotes are per person. Other factors that determine catering costs include the time of the event, special add-ons, supply requirements, and service levels.
To arrive at what it might cost to cater for 100 people, look at what it costs per person. For instance, buffet costs on average $45 per person while catering costs for a formal dinner party averages $145 per person. Catering services for a corporate event cost upwards of $75 per person.
To cater for 100 people would, therefore, cost $4,500 or more for buffet service and $14,500 for a formal dinner party.
A private chef and a personal chef have differences in relation to who they serve and how they offer their services. A private chef usually serves only one client or family and works full time with responsibilities around planning, shopping, and preparation of all the meals.
A personal chef, on the other hand, serves several clients, with their time split in serving one client at a time. Personal chefs often juggle restaurant work and serving personal clients. They plan and prepare multiple meals tailored to meet a specific client’s needs.
While a private dinner party chef works in your kitchen and can live in or commute, a personal chef will only come to a client’s kitchen on the day agreed upon. The personal chef then proceeds to prepare the meals the client(s) can eat that day or package and store for later use.
You need a business license if you are a private chef and need to offer your services commercially or get hired to work as an independent entity. You might also be required to get a catering license if you are planning to provide catering services. It is always advisable to get in touch with licensing authorities to establish what licenses apply to businesses offering private chef services.
Another requirement needed for one to work as a private or personal chef is a permit on safety and food handling. A chef can get these certificates from a local health facility or agency.
If you offer services as a personal chef, then you need to have insurance coverage against potential business risks. Like most other businesses, go for general liability insurance (or CGL). This type of insurance will cover areas as bodily injury, damage to property and legal defense among others.
You can check with the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) that provides its members with access to general liability insurance and other insurance programs.
Other insurance coverage a chef might need includes:
You don’t need certification to a chef, but having it may allow you to access better paying private chef jobs. Being a certified chef can help market the chef to potential clients, providing more growth opportunities.
The American Culinary Federation (ACF) provides for up to 14 different certifications, including one for Personal Cooking Professionals. Chefs with an associate’s degree can be designated as Certified Culinarians (CC) or Certified Sous Chefs (CSC). Other certifications include Certified Chef De Cuisine (CCC) and Certified Executive Chef (CEC).
As well, chefs can go for the Certified Personal Chef certification provided by the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA). The certification is available for private chefs with at least two years’ experience.
A chef course leading to a certificate and diploma typically takes 9 to 12 months. For associate degree courses, students need two years of training while a bachelor’s degree course will last four years. After that, a student-chef needs an internship lasting 3-6 months.
Many chefs acquire culinary skills from on-site learning, beginning as line cooks before rising up the ranks. Going through a course or program does however give one an edge when it comes to competition for employment opportunities. But to become a sous chef or an executive chef requires that an individual works their way up.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for chefs should grow by 11 percent between 2018 and 2028. This growth is forecast to be faster than any other average in the sector.
A level 2 chef is an employed professional chef who wants to further their career by studying as he/she works.
The diploma course offers an opportunity to focus on newer skills that enhance their mastery of culinary art or cookery. Here chefs work on things like special diets, kitchen management, inventory and menu planning, and workplace skills.
The courses offered lead to recognized certificates that offer the individual a chance to qualify for senior chef roles. The chef has to put the additional skills into practice including food preparation and correct presentation.
A cook and a chef are both talked of as similar when it comes to food preparation. However, the difference between a chef and a cook is in the level of expected professionalism, training (or experience) and management.
Generally, education alone doesn’t set cooks and chefs apart but it counts for jobseekers. Typically, anyone whose main role is to prepare food- whether they work in non-restaurant settings or otherwise- is a cook. Cooks work in households, small restaurants, eateries, and hotels and will primarily prepare food. A cook is also that person tasked with a particular food station like the meat grill or soup.
A chef, on the other hand, does more than just cooking: they lead and manage a team of workers and are generally in charge.
While chefs do cook, some hold administrative roles and may not necessarily cook. A chef in senior management can take charge of training, handling the inventory and addressing client needs.
If we consider the restaurant settings, cooks would be those working as sauciers, rôtisseurs, and entremétiers. Interns and new graduate chefs can also be assigned cooking duties by a senior chef like a Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine or the Executive Chef.