Hi Chef!

Welcome to the "How to Become a Personal Chef" page where I'll share all my personal chef business experiences so you won't make the same beginner mistakes I did when starting out. Learn about becoming a personal chef by watching videos or reading the blog.

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How to Become a Personal Chef

Frequently Asked Questions

A personal chef researches recipes and plans a customized menu for each client. The chef shows up with groceries and cooks meals in the client's kitchen, then packages the meals for the client to enjoy at a later time.

As a personal chef, you choose what hours and days you'd like to work, part-time, full-time or seasonal. Some personal chefs offer other services such as dinner parties, cooking classes, kitchen equipment and pantry stocking, nutritional advice, and/or custom menu planning.

A private chef works for just one client - a group, family, couple or individual.

A personal chef works for as many clients as desired. As a personal chef, I'm usually working with about fifteen families at a time.

Neither a culinary degree or membership with a culinary association are requirements for becoming a personal chef. Potential clients want to know that you can confidently provide the service they're requesting, regardless of your education or skill level.

Because individuals are hiring you, there are no "general" requirements. Similar to a job interview, each client decides for themselves what qualifications they would like to see in a personal chef.

Having been a personal chef since 2012, I have been working on my cooking skills since fifth grade, but never attended a culinary school. I have never had a client turn me away because of a lack of formal education in this field. As well, no client has ever asked if I was a member of any culinary association.

I suspect the large salary range has more to do with the number of hours each chef chooses to work rather than salary based on experience or education. These websites also lump private and personal chefs in one category rather than separating the two careers.

Your income is truly up to you as you can choose to work many hours or few hours, hire additional help to make more income, or take on larger scale events that provide a higher service fee.

  • According to PayScale, personal chef salary range $30,650 to $94,786 and job satisfaction 4.3 out of 5 stars.
  • Indeed averages the personal chef salary to $68,945.
  • Ziprecruiter offers a range of $37,500 to $90,500 and $68,243 as a national average.

1. Assess the competition's pricing, services and service area.

2. Choose your niche, services that you will provide, pricing structure, target market and business name.

3. Get legal (and protect yourself) with an LLC entity filing, fictitious name certificate, business license or business tax certificate, liability insurance and ServSafe certification.

4. Begin your search to find potential clients by creating a logo, website, networking and marketing plan.

5. Create systems for bookkeeping, creating menus and grocery lists, answering emails, and general time blocking of your weeks, months and year.

6. Collect testimonials that can be used in future marketing.

7. Continually be on the lookout for additional business and networking opportunities while systematizing your business and improving your craft.

the How to Become a Personal Chef video show

Educational Videos for Chef Entrepreneurs

With actionable insights, sharing of past experiences and professional business practices, Virginia Stockwell shows you how to become a personal chef one video at a time.

How to Become a Personal Chef

How to Become a Personal Chef

Through her video show (workshops coming soon) and brand new Facebook community, Virginia inspires self confidence in aspiring personal chefs by sharing her business experiences.

Moving from 'how do I do this' to taking action, she'll show that even those without prior business experience can be entrepreneurs getting paid to do something they love.


Read Virginia's Story

12 Months of Upsells

This is how you can increase your income with current clients. Several ideas each month are offered in this 19-page PDF packed with inspiration for your business.


9 Ways to New Clients

"How am I going to get new clients" is the number one question when starting out and even two years into the business. I'll show you how.


What Containers to Use

I get asked this question every day, so have created a video with several links to my favorite meal prep containers.


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