Secret Ingredient

Private Chef vs. Personal Chef: What’s the Difference?

Private chef

If you’re looking to hire a chef, it’s important to understand exactly what your needs are. Before you perform a Google search, familiarizing yourself with a few key culinary terms can ensure you find the right professional for you.

See, when you become a chef you have many options. You can work as a:

  • Personal chef
  • Private chef
  • Catering chef
  • Boutique catering chef
  • Restaurant chef

Each type of chef has his/her own skill set and specialization. This isn’t to say many skills won’t overlap, or that a chef can’t work in a restaurant as well as a catering facility. But if you need someone to cook for your 300-person wedding, you probably shouldn’t waste your time searching for a personal chef. And if you need someone to cook all your meals in one day, you won’t need a private chef.  

Which type of chef is right for you?

Whether you’re hosting a party or need help on a weekly basis, let’s break down essential terminology to help you find the chef that will seamlessly fill your personal requirements.

Private Chef

A private chef usually works with just one family. The chef may or may not live with the family, but s/he is responsible for all of the meals in the household (or at least most of them). A private chef traditionally serves each meal and cleans up afterward. The chef may even travel with the employers.

A private chef is most often a salaried or contract position. This type of chef is ideal if you need someone on hand full-time.

Personal Chef

A personal chef works with multiple families, preparing a certain number of meals in a single day. The meals are labeled and left in the fridge for the individual or family to enjoy at their convenience. Reheating instructions are provided, so it’s easy to heat and eat each night. While the chef may work in multiple households, s/he will still customize dishes to accommodate preferences or allergies.

Personal chef services, like those offered by Secret Ingredient, are perfect for busy people or families who struggle to prepare meals each night. The chef usually cooks while the client is at work, so when the client returns, they are greeted with a fridge full of meals. This type of service is more cost effective (and practical) than a private chef service.

Catering Chef vs. Boutique Catering Chef

Hosting a Father’s Day BBQ or summer wedding? The type of chef or culinary team you hire will vary, mostly depending on the number of guests.

A large catering company can easily handle a grand wedding of 200 guests or more. Secret Ingredient offers boutique catering services ideal for parties of 2-75 people.

The term “boutique” refers to small, intimate and customized affairs. A boutique caterer may bring servers to assist throughout the event, or drop off meals and let you take all the credit!

Ready to Hire a Chef?

I hope this intro to the culinary world helps you find the perfect chef for your daily needs and summer parties.

If you’ve been looking for a personal chef or boutique caterer, look no further. Contact us for more details on our services and discover how we can help you!