Before becoming a personal chef, I would peruse the internet for hours, trying to find the answers to what I thought were common questions about the personal chef profession.
Extremely limited information came up when searching for the answer to my question, "what should I be asking new meal prep clients at a consultation?"
I couldn't find a single article written by a personal chef. There were plenty of non-authorities sharing their idea of questions you should ask a personal chef when hiring as well as numerous culinary associations trying to get me to attend their schools and expensive groups, but alas no advice from someone in the profession.
Interestingly, the articles about "what to ask your personal chef" appeared to be written by someone clearly never having hired or interviewed a personal chef. The questions were highly redundant.
As a seasoned personal chef, I can share with you that when someone calls to set up a consultation about hiring you as their personal chef, all they're thinking about is, "how can you help me?"
They're not interested in the questions listed in the online articles such as, “where did you go to school?” “What’s your background?” “Do you have a business license?” “Do you have insurance?”
So, as a personal chef, what questions should be asked to potential clients when offering meal prep services?
After extreme frustration not finding the answers to my personal chef business questions when first starting out, I knew I had to put together a way for aspiring personal chefs to learn the fine details of the meal prep and dinner party business.
Sometimes we need help getting unstuck in our business. If I already went through trial and error, why should you have to do the same? I can share what I've learned!
When going on a meal prep consultation, potential clients are thinking "what can you do for me" and not "do you have a business license, how about insurance, member of culinary associations?"
Over the past ten years, not a single person has asked if I had liability insurance or a business license. They just want to know if I'm able to help them with their problem.
Potential clients are thinking about what they’re going to be having for dinner and not concerned with where you went to school or how you learned to cook.
Despite popular belief, culinary school is not necessary to become a personal chef and nobody has ever asked me during a consultation "where did you go to culinary school?"
I have a brief biography listed on my website and assume they’ve read it before my arrival, but most of the time, I’m not sure. Usually if they’re going to ask personal questions, it’s not until later, after I've already been cooking for a few visits. Their first area of concern is always, “how can you help me?”
What's the point of a personal chef consultation?
The whole reason for the consultation is to get to know their eating style, allergies, get to know any members of the family, and also view their kitchen.
You'll want to see what kind of cookware they have on hand and if they have basic necessities such as a grater, measuring cups, immersion blender, etc. You’d be surprised how many kitchens are lacking basics. It's helpful to learn in advance what to bring to the first cook session appointment in their kitchen.
If you're interested in learning more about the logistics of the meal prep business such as:
Best Wishes & Much Success to You, Virginia Stockwell