Becoming a highly skilled professional chef is a career path that many people aspire to. Whether working in a luxurious restaurant or developing menus as a private chef for social events and special occasions, it’s a career that demands creativity, precision, and a passion for a wide range of cuisines and techniques.
Happily, a growing number of highly talented chefs can often be found outside of professional kitchens bringing their culinary vision and skill set to private households.
While we tailor every aspect of our private chef hire services to meet your specific preferences, the way that your assigned chef works during a home assignment will often follow a similar pattern. Unbeknown to your esteemed invited guests, your private chef’s day will begin long before their final restaurant worthy dishes are served with a flourish…
Morning: Menu Planning and Food Prepping
When preparing an intricate menu for clients, preparation is key to successfully delivering sumptuous dishes that leave a lasting impression – a fact that any professional chef will attest to. This is why most chefs will start preparing the ingredients for their planned dishes first thing in the morning (or even earlier in some cases).
During this time, the chef may make final tweaks to the menu based on the fresh, seasonal ingredients they have available on the day. Prep work will take place in the morning in order that all produce is cleaned and ready to use when cooking commences. Depending on the agreed menu, this stage could involve anything from peeling vegetables and butchering meats and seafood to starting dessert mixes and getting anything that needs to be set or frozen into the freezer or chiller.
Afternoon: Preparing Dishes Ready for Service
With the initial prep complete, a chef at home will then proceed to the cooking of their planned dishes, including any sauces, sides, and garnishes. Whether that’s simmering vegetables and other ingredients for stock, searing meats or pulling sauces together, this part of the day is where the private chef’s skill and creativity will come to the fore.
Harper Fine Dining’s handpicked team of private chefs take care of every detail to ensure that every element on each dish is meticulously crafted and seasoned with a delectable blend of flavor profiles, interesting textures, and sophisticated visual presentation – all while considering any dietary restrictions that invited guests may have.
Evening: Finishing Touches, Service, And Clean Up
Before your guests arrive and dinner is served, waiters will set the table and polish glassware to create a stylish backdrop for the chef’s delicious, seasonal dishes to be presented.
Throughout the evening, your private chef will remain attentive to the needs of your guests. Once the meal is complete, the chef will clear the table, clean, and organise the kitchen, and ensure that everything is left neat and tidy, ready for the next day.
Common questions often asked about at-home private chefs
How much does a chef cost in London?
The fee you can expect to pay for the services of a private chef in London will depend on your exact requirements, including whether you plan to hire them for a single social occasion or as a full or part-time member of your household team. Considerations such as how often they are required to cook, for how many people, and how many years of experience they have can all influence the price you will pay.
How much do you tip a private at-home chef?
If you have hired a full-time chef, you would not be expected to tip them at every meal. If you are hiring a chef for a social occasion, a tip would be appreciated – but never expected.
How can I practise being a chef at home?
At-home chefs are expected to have full training and experience in a professional restaurant setting. So, it’s important to gain as much hands-on-time in a professional kitchen as you can before you start cooking for paying clients.
Hopeful chefs should spend time in professional kitchens first to master vital culinary skills and learn a variety of techniques. They should also experiment with a wide range of cuisines in order to be confident in meeting client expectations.
How to become a chef at home?
Most private chefs find their roles through private recruiters but it’s also possible to register with an agency that matches private chefs with suitable private households.
It can often be difficult to break through and build a career as a private chef as most households will ask for someone with prior experience. Working in a private setting is very different from a restaurant kitchen, and making the switch can be difficult – but ultimately rewarding – for many chefs.