Private Chef vs. Personal Chef: What’s the Difference?
As more and more meal services begin to pop up all over the county, you may find yourself asking: What is the best option for me or my loved one? We find that many people we talk to love the idea of having a professional chef come into their home to prepare customized and healthy meals for them, but have a hard time differentiating a private chef vs. a personal chef. While a personal chef and a private chef have several things in common, there are several distinctions between them.
PROS OF A PRIVATE CHEF:
- 3 freshly prepared meals each day
- Meals are often gourmet quality
- Often maintains organization of the kitchen, such as the pantry and where equipment is located
3 FRESHLY PREPARED MEALS EACH DAY
A private chef will most often be in the home each day, which means they prepare each meal on demand including snacks. The chef will prepare the meal and plate the dish for you. Because they are highly-experienced, they can prepare a wide variety of different cuisines.
Most private chefs undergo formal training at a culinary school or have extensive experience working in 5-star hotels or fine dining restaurants. If you are a foodie or someone with a sophisticated palette, these chefs are trained to be able to cook just about anything.
MAINTAIN ORGANIZATION OF THE KITCHEN
Not only will a private chef be responsible for meal-preparation, but they also take care of responsibilities such as keeping your pantry stocked and organization of the kitchen.
CONS OF A PRIVATE CHEF:
- Often salaried employees
- They are in the home all day
Possibly the biggest downside of hiring a private chef is that for someone with an “average” budget, private chefs are very costly. Private chefs are often employed by one individual, due to the fact that they are in the home each day preparing each and every meal. Rate of pay for a private chef varies in accordance to the amount of training they have, their location and level of experience.
OFTEN SALARIED EMPLOYEES
Private chefs will most commonly be paid on a salary instead of per service. According to Payscale, as of June 2021, a private chef earned approximately $71,526/year salary. However, annual salaries can range anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000+.
IN THE HOME ALL DAY
While some may like having a chef in their house on a daily basis from morning until evening, a good majority of people may not enjoy having someone in their home all day long. Some may prefer only having a service performed within the span of an hour or two.
PROS OF A PERSONAL CHEF:
- Less time in the home
- Will often use their own equipment
LESS TIME IN THE HOME
While a private chef is employed to be in the home on a daily basis from morning until night, a personal chef will prepare multiple meals for a week or even a month in advance in as little as 2 hours. The meals are then packaged with reheating instructions for you to heat up as you like.
Because private chefs are most often salaried employees, the cost is significantly higher than a personal chef that comes into the home on a weekly or monthly basis. Most personal chefs will charge per service, and thankfully, you do not need to sacrifice food quality for the cost-chefs working for a personal chef service often have years of cooking experience. Charge per service is region specific, but most will be anywhere between $100-$300 per service plus the cost of groceries.
WILL OFTEN USE THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT
Some people may have reservations about someone else using their pots, pans and kitchen utensils, but fortunately many personal chefs have their own toolbox of cooking equipment that they bring to each service.
CONS OF A PERSONAL CHEF:
- May only have a set menu that they work with
- Eating the same dish for multiple meals
Since personal chefs often service multiple clients, they can sometimes have a trickier schedule to work with and will require planning your service days in advance. Also, these services are not always offered in smaller communities so you may have a difficult time finding a chef in a smaller town.
MAY ONLY WORK WITH A SET MENU
Many personal chefs have a menu database that they work with or a set list of items that they can make. While most chefs can be flexible with your dietary preferences, they may charge more for more expensive ingredients or more labor-intensive meal preparation.
EATING THE SAME DISH FOR MULTIPLE MEALS
The nature of a personal chef is that they come into the home once or twice a week (maybe even once a month) and prepare a few meal options with multiple portions to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for the client to reheat. A private chef can make you whatever you want when you want it, but with a personal chef you only have your pre-made meals to choose from until the chef comes back for the next visit.