A group of friend eating a formal dinner made by a personal chef

How to Find and Hire the Perfect Personal Chef for Your Lifestyle

Friends Eating Dinner at a Table
Balancing cooking for your family daily with all your other chores can be challenging. From the time spent cooking each day to the energy expended trying to plan meals, it can feel more and more like a dreaded chore.

If you often feel exhausted from cooking every day and need help finding balance in your busy life, consider a personal chef to cook meals for your family. You can use the time you spend cooking to spend time with your children, your significant other, or yourself.

There are various ways to incorporate this service into your life beyond just dinner parties, whether you’re interested in health purposes or just to give you a little more freedom and availability.

Also, if you don’t want to completely hand off the task of cooking for your family to a personal chef, you can choose to let them prepare a few meals weekly for you to give you back time.

If hiring for an event, a personal chef can give you the time and energy to spend with your guests, allowing you to enjoy the event more thoroughly. Some personal chefs will even stick around to clear the table and do the dishes.

Prices of personal chefs vary greatly by region, but depending on your needs and time constraints, you might find hiring a personal chef to be a worthy exchange to give you more time for other priorities.

Types of Personal Chefs

Weekly Meal Prep

If getting a healthy dinner on the table every night doesn’t fit your schedule, consider hiring a personal chef to prepare various meals for you to reheat throughout the week. They handle the shopping, the cooking, and the cleaning, and you can come home from work each day without stressing about a trip to the store and finding time to prepare something. If you’re eating out a ton during the week, you might even find this to be cost-effective, as well as a time-saver.

Dinner Parties or Single-Meal Chefs

Dinner party prep or important meals (like date night) take a lot of time and effort — from planning a menu to shopping, preparing the ingredients, cooking, entertaining, and cleaning. You can spare yourself some energy by occasionally hiring out for this task. The real fun for most when hosting a dinner party is the gathering of friends, so why not give yourself a little more breathing room? You can always prepare a dessert or special cocktail if you want to put your touch on the event, or maybe spend your efforts on décor.


There are myriad reasons why your family might need to adjust its diet. You could suddenly need to accommodate for things like diabetes or gluten sensitivity, or perhaps you’re just trying to cook a little healthier. Either way, this is an area where a personal chef could come in handy to help you make changes or embrace a new eating style.

Knowing Your Needs

Create a bulleted list of traits the chef you hire must have and what specific requirements they’ll need to fulfill. The likelihood is that you know your pallet and what type of food you’d like to eat daily, and this is your opportunity to spell that out specifically. Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, it will be that much easier to add them to your job listing to hire a personal chef.

  • What kind of service are you looking for — a one-time hire or a long-term agreement?
  • Do you have specific health and nutritional goals or expectations?
  • Will the chef need to provide recipes in advance to choose from?
  • How open to accommodating a variety of dietary restrictions should the chef be?
  • Will the chef take care of the cleanup?
  • How much time will the chef need to set aside to execute your needs?
  • What kitchen tools will you have available to the chef?
  • Will the chef need to handle the grocery shopping?
  • What type of cuisines do you like? Wholesome American, perhaps specialized Japanese
  • Do you want advanced pastry/baking skills?
  • Do you want one course, two courses or five courses at every meal?
  • Will the chef cater to family get-togethers?
  • Would you like your chef to make extras, like snacks or to-go lunches to take to work?
  • Do you have pets you’d like incorporated into meal planning?

Many chefs are asked to do additional duties in the kitchen and the home. This can be from menu planning, sourcing, and buying the food to serving at the dinner table, presenting the food to the principal and their guests, and cleaning up. Some families might just be looking for help with meal preparation. Consider your needs and be straightforward.

How many meals per week do you need them to cook? Three a day or just dinner? Do you regularly eat out and require the chef to be flexible as to the days they work, or do you want a cooking routine in your home?

Do you require a part-time, Flexi-chef or do you need a full-time Chef? If you need a full-time chef would you prefer them to live on the grounds/home or would you prefer them to live out?

It may seem like an overwhelming choice of questions, but the more you can determine what your lifestyle needs are, the easier it will be to identify and hire the right personal chef.


Budget can play a major decision in your search for a personal chef because personal chef prices vary dramatically. Highly trained Michelin star chefs will charge a higher salary than those with less experience. Chefs specializing in specific dietary cuisines such as vegan, gluten-free, or ayurvedic will also charge a premium. As with anything, the more boxes you require the chef to tick, the higher the salary you should expect to pay.

Part-time chefs will normally charge an hourly rate, and for one-off bookings such as dinner parties or events, they will charge a flat rate (half-day or full-day). Once you’ve established your budget, you’ll be better equipped to decide what type of chef best suits that budget.

Seeking the Right Chef for Your Lifestyle

Now that you know a bit about the different types of chefs you can hire to fit your lifestyle, the next most important step is knowing how to attract the most qualified chef.

Start by looking for chefs for hire in your area on various job boards, or take help from an Elite Staffing Agency like ours. Check us out here.

Write your job post – Introduce yourself clearly and take some time to write a few sentences about your household and what potential hires can expect from working for you. A thorough overview of the position will help shape expectations for applicants. Set clear expectations with the chef so neither of you is surprised or disappointed.

Let applicants know what information you need from them to be considered for this role. Specify the length of work history you are looking for, as well as any educational credentials or references you would like to see. Don’t forget to include specifics on the best way to send applications to you or, if you would like, for them to reach out to follow up.

In many cases, consulting an expert recruiter can make your life much easier. If you need any help or just want to ask us some more questions, you are so welcome to get in touch here, and we will gladly help you.

Interviewing the Candidates

The relationship between you and your chef is most often of a personal nature. Take time to interview the personal chef and meet with him/her as you would with any other professional service. During the interview, some areas you might want to ask about our:

A Personal Chef’s Background

Ask how your chef has acquired their cooking experience and how their service differs from others. You’ll find those personal chefs will have a wide variety of backgrounds. Some began their love for cooking by providing for their families while others polished their skills in the restaurant industry.

For many, transitioning to a second career as a personal chef is a natural process as it incorporates their passion for food, creativity, and cultural background. Knowing more about them can help you decide if they are the professionals you want to hire.

Liability Insurance

Just like other professionals who come and work in your home, you want to be sure that in the unfortunate and rare event that your Personal Chef’s actions cause injury to you, your family, or your property, your Chef has the appropriate insurance to make it right.

National Organization Affiliation

Knowing your chef is affiliated with an organization such as the United States Personal Chef Association can reduce concerns about whether the personal chef is proficient. Being affiliated with a professional organization communicates that the personal chef is interested in:

  • Conducting business in a professional manner
  • Continuing their education and increasing their knowledge base
  • Access to the ideas, research, insights, and expertise of the field’s most esteemed chefs

Membership demonstrates that the personal chef understands the importance of continuing education through professional affiliation.

Client References

Personal chefs should be able to provide references, testimonials, and endorsements from contented clients.

Sample Menus

Asking to review sample menus can provide insight into the personal chef’s cooking style.

Sampling Their Food

At the end of the day, the best way to ensure that you’re choosing the right chef is to try their food. With this, you can try a selection of their food and determine whether this is the right chef for the job.

Once you’ve spent some time considering your family’s needs, you can make an educated decision on whether a personal chef is right for you. Then, decide which type of chef to hire and know your specific dietary needs so you can create the perfect job posting to interview and hire the ideal chef for your family.


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