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A private chef is generally a trained cook employed by one person to prepare and cook all of the person's meals. In most cases, a private chef is employed by one family or one household. Often, a person working as this type of chef has obtained scholastic training. Many chefs attend a cooking academy or culinary institute to learn the fine art of cooking. When employed by a private household, the chef may reside with the occupants, to make him or her accessible to the employers at any given time.
Usually, a private chef will have multiple duties. One of the most important duties of the chef will be to understand the needs of his or her employer. He or she will need to be aware of which foods the employer likes, dislikes and if there are any food allergies suffered by anyone he or she will be serving. To do this, the chef may keep a list or a chart of the safe versus unsafe foods for the different individuals he or she will be cooking for. Often, private chefs will have to prepare numerous dishes for the person or people he or she is employed by, according to individual preferences.
Cooking is generally the most performed duty of a private chef. He or she may prepare several full course meals for the employer throughout the day. The meals may include breakfast or brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks as well. Most people hire private chefs to have freshly cooked meals with fresh ingredients when they are unable to do so. Under these circumstances, a chef will usually need to be knowledgeable about nutrition and making healthy food choices.
Before the food can be cooked, a private chef will need to prepare the food and make it ready for cooking. This may include doing all of the grocery shopping for the employer. The chef may be responsible for keeping the refrigerator, shelves and pantry stocked with foods. These foods may include those personally adored by the employer as well as those necessary for cooking the meals. Often, private chefs will cook and serve certain meals and prepare and store other meals to be served at a later time, with or without the assistance of the chef.
Sometimes, a private chef can act as a caterer. As a caterer, the chef may prepare foods that will be served to guests at a dinner party. The chef may prepare whatever type of meal the employer wishes, such as meals for a formal sit down dinner or a buffet style soiree. With the approval of his or her employer, a chef may hire assistants to help with the festivities. To become a private chef, a person will need experience in cooking, to be well organized, able to pay close attention to detail and have good people skills.