How do you become a Personal Chef? Cooking For You: How do you become a Personal Chef?
By Maria Quaglia on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 11:15 am: Edit

Is there schooling required? Diploma needed? How did anyone begin their business?

By gord on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 03:34 pm: Edit

Hi Maria,

Some key elements are excellent cooking skills and desire and ability to have your own business. There are trade associations out there who can lay out the clear and concise business path for you so you don't spend a lot of time dredging up a lot of information that's already available. My preference is the American Personal Chef Association.

There's no need for a diploma or certificate nor, in fact, is there any diploma or certification program that's either generally industry accepted or registered with the U.S. government. A couple of places have in-house certifications.

Ultimately, as with anything, thoroughly investigate what you're buying and decide what your money is best spent on.


By gord on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 03:36 pm: Edit

(continued from previous post)

With the industry so new, nearly all personal chefs have undergone a career change to do this,
coming both from the more established branches of the culinary industry (i.e. restaurant)as well
as from totally unrelated fields. Culinary skills and business abilities are the keys.

A number of APCA members have started part-time while they get going, then go full time. Others
save/secure operating capital to see them through for a certain number of months and just plunge
right in - it really depends on your individual confidence and resources.

Some had previously retained part-time "benefits" jobs, but with the association's new medical
benefits plan chances are those "benefits" jobs on the side will dwindle.

Hope this helps.


By Chefdona on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 06:46 pm: Edit

It's amazing that no one will share actual information on this topic.

It seems that the only answer to any question here on how to be a PC is "pay to join this association or that association".

Some of us have the culinary skills and business experience but are just looking for some insight.

Does anyone not looking to hawk an association visit this forum? Is there anywhere out there where some meaningful information can be obtained without paying thousands of unnecessary dollars?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 08:32 pm: Edit

I've noticed the same thing and I can only guess there is a feeling that since they had to pay for the information....

On the other hand I've tried to work the information from the opposit direction.

Starting with,
How much money would I have to make.
Breaking that down into months weeks and days,
And using some information I have gleened about PC'ing over the years.

Say I need to take home 40000 a year. Now I'm no tax lawyer but I think a business pays something like 30% taxes so I would have to take in roughly 57100 on top of that you have to work in food cost and lets plug in 30% of the gross so thats a grand total of very roughly 81600
So 81600 divided by 50 weeks (two weeks off a year) equals 1140 I would need to take in a week.
That would be 326 a day for a five day work week.

Now I have heard that some PC's charge in the range (180-200) for somethin like five double entrees, 3 side dishes and a dessert.

The target of 326 would be obtainable with 2 clients a day.

Another way to work it is 81600 divided by client periods. At say 195 a client period that would be 419 client periods, again, divided by 50 that would be 8-9 per week or 1.7 per day.

Other things you would have to figure out.
How many clients would you have to develope. Client rotation. A couple years ago packaging was a problem but with all the new products out there I think that would be a solved.

How about clean-up.

Well thats my .02 for a start

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 11:10 pm: Edit

What I have encountered in this area is the blind leading the blind. This is borderline fad. The three chefs I know that are doing it are all working part time somewhere else. It was greaqt guns until most of their clients lost most of their assets in stock.
I personally think the key to sucess is prepared meals delivered. One chef in town has built a great business doing that.
One does not need to buy information, it's like a franchise, why buy a job.
If I was to venture into this, my first contact would be a dietitian or nutritionist. Health sells. Dietitian's have been doing half this job of years, team up and do the other. As Cheftim says you can't make it if you buy a restaurant with inly two tables. You need to make enough turns to be profitable.
FYI.. WATCH GOING INTO BUSINESS NOW!! I can predict better than Greenspan. 94 % of my Easter sales were on plastic this year,compared to 31 % last year.
my 2 cents

By Christiane (Christiane) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

Can anyone direct me to information on vegetarian cheffing? And container stuff. I really need specific information on portion sizes, how to deal with packaging a family's portions, etc. When I did it, I was spending too much money and time. Even with help I could barely finish one client a day. For me, buying membership might help with this kind of info, but if I can get it without joining, I will. Thanks, Christiane

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