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Old 06-11-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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Are there any personal chefs here?

I hope this is the right forum to post this question, I couldn't find anywhere else that seemed right.

I want to become a personal chef, I'm just unsure of what path I need to get there. There are culinary schools but I haven't found any that are accredited and not $40,000. I don't want to be living in my mom's basement paying off that loan for the rest of my life. I discovered this website called Rouxbe (I think that's how it's spelled) where you pay $200 and get professional lessons online, would that be a good way to learn if one wants to be a professional chef? Is it possible without going to an expensive culinary college? Or could I just take some fundamental classes?

Also, I heard that they have a hard time finding good paying work. I know a guy who used to be Steven Spielberg's personal chef and it only paid $10 an hour so he quit. WHAT!? I have always heard that personal chefs make like $100-$100 a day!

Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-12-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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10 hours at $10 per hour is $100 a day. 3 meals, shopping and cooking for them and there goes your day.

You can get culinary training lots of places, but you do need the "classroom kitchen" for live critique of your work and hands on skill development.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:18 AM   #3
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Have you cooked commercially before? You can also get experience by just getting a job in a restaurant. You can accumulate hours to qualify for exams. I don't know how it works in the US but up here in Canada, there is a Federation that will grade and give papers, or it can also be done through the Provincial Government board of trades. Check your government Human Resorces information and see what they offer in their trades training and liscencing department.

Personally, I think you should cook for a while before you attempt to do this. You may find that you don't care for this type of work. And you are right, it is a long road to travel only to find out you don't want to be there. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:17 PM   #4
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I was a cook at McDonalds for 5 years, does that count? They actually said I was the best grill person they've ever seen.

I also cooked at a teenage shelter for about 6 months, I made food for about 15 people every day. That job actually was part of what made me want to become a chef. The other part was Jamie Oliver, he's been a huge inspiration to me. That's when I started to become heavily interested in growing my own food and becoming more creative with food. I've always liked to cook, I just never thought about it for a career until 2 or 3 years ago. I've bought tons of books about how to cook, I just haven't found any decent classes around here (I'm kind of in the middle of nowhere), and I heard bad things about culinary colleges (like Le Cordon Bleu).
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:38 PM   #5
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Daughter of a friend, here in MN, went to culinary school. Got a degry. after struguling for a couple of years to find a job, she is back in school, learning mechanical engeneering. I doubt you need a degry to become a personal chef, you just need to know how to cook.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Daughter of a friend, here in MN, went to culinary school. Got a degry. after struguling for a couple of years to find a job, she is back in school, learning mechanical engeneering. I doubt you need a degry to become a personal chef, you just need to know how to cook.
I hear stories like that way too much. That scares me off even more. But then on the other hand, you got people saying you need a degree because that proves you studied everything, and aren't just doing it for a hobby like most mothers in the world who have to cook for their children.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:20 AM   #7
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I looked in to becoming a Personal Chef a few years ago. You would have to do a google search to find a place to learn. I don't remember the name. The one I found taught you how to manage a business, what to charge, packaging and recipes. Their recipes for a start would be important (I think) as they freeze well. Not all prepared food freezes well. It was not cheap. That route would (hopefully) gain you about 5 customers to cook for in advance of a week. You would need the money to go to school, the initial cash for supply's and food. A SUV of some sort to deliver the food. You would need a computer with a printer to print out menu's and heating instructions. Not to mention a large kitchen with lots of cooking pans, utensils etc.. Also if you are renting, running a business from you place might not go over with the landlord. Depending where you live, there are business permits, health department permits. Are there enough wealthy people in your area to support your business? I am sure I am leaving something out, but all of this is why I deiced not to become a Personal Chef.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by PattY1 View Post
I looked in to becoming a Personal Chef a few years ago. You would have to do a google search to find a place to learn. I don't remember the name. The one I found taught you how to manage a business, what to charge, packaging and recipes.
I found a handful of schools that train you to be a personal chef, I literally felt like there were too many to choose just one, I wanted to go to them all! Some were online, some were actual physical schools. But they were all too expensive.

Quote:
Not to mention a large kitchen with lots of cooking pans, utensils etc.. Also if you are renting, running a business from you place might not go over with the landlord. Depending where you live, there are business permits, health department permits.
I actually read that it's illegal to cook food in one place and serve it in another (something along those lines), which is why they said you have to cook the food in the client's home.

Quote:
Are there enough wealthy people in your area to support your business? I am sure I am leaving something out, but all of this is why I deiced not to become a Personal Chef.
Almost every city in the country has it's rich people who could afford to have a personal chef, I wouldn't be worried at all about finding clients. All you really need is one family, actually.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by AstraeaLunaAvani View Post
I found a handful of schools that train you to be a personal chef, I literally felt like there were too many to choose just one, I wanted to go to them all! Some were online, some were actual physical schools. But they were all too expensive.



I actually read that it's illegal to cook food in one place and serve it in another (something along those lines), which is why they said you have to cook the food in the client's home. I am not sure about this. Pizza, Chinese, and other food delivery??? The food is cooked when you deliver it. They just reheat it.


Almost every city in the country has it's rich people who could afford to have a personal chef, I wouldn't be worried at all about finding clients. All you really need is one family, actually.
But are you going to find one that will pay you at least 80k a year???? You will need to repay your training expenses and make a living...........

There are probably ways to do this. It just didn't seem feasible to me. Good Luck!!!
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:16 AM   #10
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Patty...for some reason it wouldn't let me quote your entire message so I'll answer it like this.

This website says you have to cook in the client's home, but this isn't the one I read it on, i've actually read it in many places, almost every site I go on that talks about personal chefs says that the cooking is usually done in the client's home.

One Pot Kitchen provides vegetarian personal chef services in San Francisco Berkeley Oakland Marin - FAQ

I don't need 80K a year to be happy, I was living quite comfortably when I was making only 30K.
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