Become a Personal Chef

receive the step-by-step blueprint for becoming a personal chef

Hi Chef!

Welcome to "How to Become a Personal Chef" 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.

I've created a 14-page PDF of the seven steps to become a personal chef. Get it now

I'm Virginia Stockwell and started my personal chef business in 2012 after years of catering with various companies. Cooking as a profession has so many perks including deducting all the groceries I'm using to test out new recipes for my clients! I've had many successes and failures in this personal chef journey and enjoy sharing them with you in the How to Become a Personal Chef workshop. I encourage you to get started in the learning process by watching a few videos or grabbing the freebie "How to Become a Personal Chef, step by step." Oh yeah, and if you like tacos and margaritas, you're going to love my punny cookbook A Taco Walks into a Bar

How to

Become a Personal Chef

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

Personal Chef Workshop

Go from "I'm not sure where to begin" to landing your first client. Get on the wait list to be first notified once Personal Chef school opens.


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.


12 Months of Upsells

Rather than bringing in new clients, offer upsells to your current clients. Ideas are grouped by month to inspire ideas that can be used in your business.



The seven steps to become a personal chef is available in one 14-page PDF.


How to Price

I'm not sure what I get asked more, "how to price" or "how to get clients?"


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.


Become a Personal Chef

receive the step-by-step blueprint for becoming a personal chef


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