A commercial kitchen is one that meets the fire, health and business codes for your area. You cannot cook out of your home kitchen then deliver or have clients pick up from your home without first having it approved by the local health department.
As a personal chef, you would be cooking out of your clients' kitchens, but just out of curiosity...what would it take to convert your home kitchen into a health department approved kitchen?
Requirements vary for every area, but the following are generally considered standard. Of course it would be ideal to create the kitchen from new construction, but oftentimes, this is not reasonable. So, what does it take to turn your home kitchen into a commercial kitchen?
So now you've outfitted your home kitchen and have had it approved by the local health department. The next step is to have the health inspector review your food preparation and delivery processes.
You'll need to write a process worksheet of how produce and meats will travel from source to your client to include:
A vehicle is required to keep transported food at the proper temperature from leaving the kitchen, while traveling, and finally to the client's home. This vehicle could be a refrigerated truck or a Cambro (insulated storage box), one for hot and one for cooled foods. Keep in mind that a loaded Cambro can be heavy and may require more than one person to move in and out of your vehicle. Also, can your vehicle handle the size of several Cambros?
It's wonderful to see perspectives on how others run their personal chef business. If you'd like to share your personal chef journey, I'd be honored to have you as the next guest post.