Further, regardless of how the person learned to cook, it is essential to make sure he or she is trained in safe food handling practices. Most counties offer certifications in this area, so check with your local health department to find out what specific standards are required. It’s also important that a personal chef have liability insurance in case any accidents or injuries happen while he or she is on your premise. In addition, make sure the chef has a business license, since this is a sign of a professional businessperson. And always ask for references, so you can check with other clients and find out the chef’s strengths and weaknesses before you hire him or her.
What It Costs
The cost of hiring a personal chef can vary a great deal, depending on where you live, how experienced the cook is, and what type of service and commitment you desire. Some personal chefs charge per meal, while others charge a set per-week fee. The frequency that you have the chef come to your home also affects the price. Expect to pay more if he or she comes on a weekly basis. Bi-weekly or even a monthly visit, with the prepared food frozen to carry you through, is the most cost-effective choice. It is also important to note that some personal chef include the money spent for groceries in their weekly fee, while others charge a price for the time spent shopping and cooking and then add in the groceries separately, so you need to include this into the overall price.
When deciding if you can afford the expense of a personal chef, it helps to look at your monthly food budget to see how the cost of a chef compares to your typical spending. Be sure to take into account take-out food, pizza and other sit-down restaurant meals as well. You may find when you add it all together that hiring an expert to come into your home costs the same, or even less, than you are currently spending.
Prices for personal chefs start at about $10 a serving with food included, usually with a commitment of 20 servings for the week. This means that for a family of four, it will cost $200 for five nights of dinners. On the higher end, you can expect to pay about $18 a serving, or $360 for five meals to feed two adults and two children.
There are also extras that some chefs offer. In some cases, these are included in the per serving fee, and in other scenarios, these can be small add-on costs. These include using oils, sauces and spices from the chef’s own pantry (which might be an annual $50 fee), vacuum sealing food to last longer (this averages about $1.50 for a meal) and providing storage containers (from $50 to $100 a year or more, depending on what type you prefer).
For chefs that cook for dinner parties, come make a meal at your hotel or give a cooking lesson, an hourly rate is sometimes the most effective way to price these services. One personal chef estimates that the going rate is between $25 and $50 an hour with food often being an additional charge, but this can vary depending on many factors so be sure to find out the appropriate price range for your area.
A Final Note
Finally, if the price of a personal chef still seems out of your budget, don’t forget that in addition to the great food you will receive, you will also be saving a great deal of time and minimizing some of your weekly stresses. Not only will you not have to worry anymore about making dinner, but you can also eliminate grocery shopping, washing pots and pans and cleaning your kitchen from your daily schedule. For some busy families, these advantages are indeed well worth the investment.