For all kinds of reasons, you may be considering hiring a personal chef to prepare some or all of your meals at home. But how do you go about hiring the perfect personal chef to fit your needs, budget and palate? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about how to hire the best personal chef for your home. Along with a list of the best companies to help you find and hire a personal chef for regular meals at home, or for a special occasion or party.
Is having a Personal Chef the ultimate luxury?
In the realm of household staffing, a personal chef – unlike a housekeeper or a nanny – still seems relegated to the outlandishly wealthy or celebrity set. It conjures images of the eccentric billionaire on a restrictive diet or elite athletes who need to keep themselves in perfect form.
Not to mention, the high-maintenance pop star craving homemade cream puffs at 2am.
Because, let’s face it: life these days is extremely challenging – and who doesn’t want some help getting everyone fed? Not to mention the grocery shopping and the clean-up after the meal.
While many of us have looked to subscriptions to meal-kits like Blue Apron and delivery services like DoorDash to help them solve the ‘What’s for dinner’ issue, it turns out that a private chef might actually be the most economical, time-saving and healthy option of all.
how we knew it was time to hire a personal chef
My anecdotal evidence is not hard to come by. When I had my third child in a six-year time span, cooking was an afterthought. Food shopping with toddlers in an urban grocery store can quickly turn into a scene as any parent can attest. Meal planning? I couldn’t even fathom sitting down to plan out meals for that day – taking into account whatever random food rejections my toddlers decided to test me with – let alone for the week!
Enter Alexandria, a half-Peruvian, half-Chinese home chef who came to our apartment twice a week and cooked enough options for our family to mix and match for the days to come. She made beef empanadas, pork and chive dumplings, lentil stew, various salsas, shrimp fried rice and our favorite- ceviche.
We ate like kings and the best part? The luxury of no clean up. Alexandria left the kitchen spotless and packaged everything into efficient storage containers in the fridge. We had lunches and dinners ready for less than the cost of ordering salads at work everyday and take out multiple times a week. And no, you can’t have her number.
is it time for you to consider hiring a Personal Chef?
Living in Covid times has certainly changed the way we eat. Most apparent is the fact that everyone is cooking and eating at home a lot more. Our primary residence is doubling as a restaurant (in addition to being a school and an office.)
A private chef is a luxury. But these days, it could be considered a practical extravagance (note that not even we would say it’s a necessity). Sort of like a fractional share in a private jet.
If you or a close family member are not feeling ready to dine in a real restaurant anytime soon – for whatever reason – this might be the kind of indulgence that would be really meaningful for your quality of life.
Even if the real reason you can’t head to your favorite restaurant is that you need to upload your kid’s homework, leaving not even a nanosecond to either drive or walk to your favorite eatery. And definitely making slicing vegetables and marinating meat for a culinary feast impossible.
Ahead, check out our favorite sources for finding bespoke cooking services for the one-time event (Thanksgiving, anyone?) to the ultimate luxury of a live-in chef. The ins and outs of hiring a personal chef is more accessible than you think.
What are the best companies to help find and hire a private chef?
If you’re private chef curious or simply need a private chef for a special occasion or two, booking via an online platform is the most straightforward solution. It’s a low-commitment way to test out having someone else cooking in your kitchen, what type of menu works for your family, and how much involvement you prefer from the experience.
Cozymeal has been compared to the Airbnb of on-demand culinary home experiences. Available in almost every state and in 20 international markets, foodies can book former executive chefs of Michelin-starred restaurants, cookbook authors, and other experienced cooks to come to their home for a bespoke experience. Choose from cooking classes, private catering, meal prep, and even virtual classes.
All talents are vetted, trained and experience inspections, followed by a full interview and mock meal at the chef’s venue. The startup is often booked by tech giants and organizations like Google, Facebook, Apple, AT&T, and the World Bank for immersive team-building activities.
2. Take A Chef
Although Take a Chef is based in Madrid, the United States, Caribbean Islands and Mexico are their leading markets. The company works with many chefs who have experience in top restaurants, gastronomic bars, and luxury hotels. The process works will be familiar to anyone who has used sites like care.com to hire household help.
Clients begin with a request with all the details of the event such as the number of people who would be enjoying the meal, date, time, address, culinary preferences or restrictions. This request is sent directly to all the chefs available in the area. The chefs that are interested and available will send their suggestions for a personalized menu, and then, the client reserves the menu and the profile of the chef they like the most.
3. Food Fire + Knives
Food Fire + Knives founder and chef, Michael Casciello, established his company in 2016 with the goal of making the private chef experience simple, accessible and affordable. With service available through major cities and destinations throughout the United States.
The concept depends on the expertise of local chefs who will contact you within 24 hours after you place a request and work with you to create a customized dining experience in the comfort of your home. The chefs bring everything including the food, cooking equipment, and cleaning supplies.
4. Table at Home
Table at Home is another great detox food program.
A. Request your meal
Takes less than a minute! Give us a few key details and set a budget, so private chefs can send you proposed menus
B. Select your chef
Within 24 hours, 2-5 private chefs submit competing proposals with clear menus and all-inclusive prices. You choose the one you like!
Your private chef comes to your home with all the ingredients, cooks you an awesome meal, and cleans up!
Private Chef Agencies
Let’s say you already know what you want and what you want is a bona fide private chef who will assume all responsibilities of food shopping, meal design and preparation, customized dietary plans, and daily kitchen maintenance. You’ve done the cost-benefit analysis and it makes sense not only economically, but also for your sanity and health to have someone skilled in the kitchen. Here are the agencies you need to know to find the right candidate.
1. Private Chef Match
Private Chef Match is an exclusive private chef staffing agency. It specializes in referring private chefs and yacht chefs to clients around the world. The team has 25 years of experience working behind the scenes in some of the world’s finest homes and an intimate knowledge of what it takes to create harmony in the home.
The firm places multiple kitchen staff positions to complete your household team including nutrition coaches, sous chefs, and pastry chefs. Private chefs are also skilled at accommodating all dietary needs from raw to kosher to gluten-free.
2. Private Chefs, Inc.
Established in 1995, Private Chefs, Inc. has placed chefs in households all over Europe, Asia, the United States and the Middle East. Each chef is personally selected by Christian Paier, an acclaimed Austrian private chef with more than 25 years of professional experience. PCI places two types of chefs: live-in and live-out. The former receive living quarters (often the equivalent of a small apartment), board and sometimes the use of a car. The company prides itself on hiring chefs who are not only experienced in various cuisines but particularly adept at accommodating their client’s lifestyles with guaranteed confidentiality and discretion.
3. Pavillion Agency
Pavillion Agency is a comprehensive domestic staffing agency and since 1962, has grown to be the largest household staffing agency in the U.S. It places nannies, estate managers, domestic couples, housekeepers and yes, private chefs, in elite homes. Their impressive roster includes some of the city’s and the world’s most talented chefs who possess a formal culinary education. They also have backgrounds in Michelin Star restaurants, luxury yachts, and diamond standard hotels. Pavillion Agency has a stringent screening process that includes reference and background checks, extensive in-person interviews, and assessments of candidates’ abilities to cater to clients’ exact needs.
4. Goodwin Recruiting
At Goodwin Recruiting, you will find the chef that meets your specific needs in terms of expertise, culinary or dietary preferences, and personality.
What are the best companies to help you find and hire a private chef?
That’s it! All the intel we have about how to find and hire the best personal chef for your home, plus a list of the best companies to help you find the right professional for regular meals, a party, or special occasions and holidays.