What Does A Personal Chef Cost? (& How To Get Off Cheap)

personal chef making bread on table inside a home

As humans, we love to go into a restaurant, browse a wide selection of choices, and order something that will be prepared by someone else while sipping a cold beverage and talking with our family and friends. However, that’s often where the luxury ends for most people.

A Personal chef is a way to get such treatment daily in every meal. However, that sounds expensive, so I’m going to explain what it costs, their duties and whether it would be worth it. But first, what does a personal chef cost?

A personal chef costs between $30 to $40 per hour, although some personal chefs will charge by the gig or monthly if you hire them enough. Generally, the price range from one meal per person is $40 to $100. yet it can be more expensive if you select wines or gourmet ingredients.

You should note that the hourly rates mentioned doesen’t include the cost of ingredients. That’s why the price range is so wide. If you want great mashed potatoes and meatballs, it will be considerably cheaper than salmon with caviar tartlets on the side and great wine.

In addition, there are big differences between personal chefs. You should browse many personal chefs and choose one with great value to get off cheap. In addition, you should plan a delicious, healthy, and cheap meal plan instead of the most expensive gourmet treats.

If you ask me, a delicious, well-made basic home meal wins a super fancy dish with weird ingredients, most times. I’ll admit that it’s fun to go fancy sometimes.

Now, the cost of a personal chef includes many other responsibilities than just cooking, making it interesting and well worthwhile.

Related: Can You Be a Self Taught Chef?

What are the Responsibilities of a Personal Chef?

Many people mistake personal chefs for just cooking, although there are many more things they do. If they were to cook, your time and effort savings wouldn’t be that considerable, but considering all the other things, it makes personal chefs great investments.

In addition to preparing meals, the responsibilities of personal chefs include menu planning for your needs and effective grocery shopping. After cooking, personal chefs will package the meals if they prepared many meals at once and clean after themselves to maintain cleanliness.

However, this can vary depending on the personal chef, so you should always consult and be open about everything so there won’t be any misconnection or misunderstandings.

To further understand these responsibilities and benefits to you, let’s examine each of them in-depth.

1. Menu Planning

In most cases, the first thing you get to do with your personal chef is plan the meals. You get to name your wishes, personal needs, or allergies, and the chef will adjust everything so it reflects your desires.

This can be a vegan diet, healthy diet, muscle growth diet, child-friendly diet, or any meal plan you wish! The best part is that the chef will know how to make it happen deliciously. Note that there are differences between personal chefs, and all chefs don’t know every meal plans fully, so ask about their skillets and experiences.

If you aren’t experienced with food and don’t have exact guidelines, don’t worry, a personal chef is often more experienced with food than a regular one so that you will be well taken care of. As a regular chef that could easily help and prepare a full menu according to specific guidelines, I can validate the claim!

2. Grocery shopping

Probably the second if not greatest time saver of getting a personal chef is that they usually do the grocery shopping! After the meal plan is done, the personal chef will get fresh ingredients before preparing them for you.

The best part is that personal chefs are well accustomed to ingredients, so they will know how to pick the best ones and buy the exact amount needed for your meals, saving you money. Say goodbye to overspending and impulse purchases!

3. Cooking

After grocery shopping, cooking is naturally the next step, and the thing personal chefs are most known for, and for a reason. The chef will prepare a delicious meal according to your meal plan from start to finish.

Depending on the personal chef and your kitchen, they might cook it at your home or prepare it in a large company kitchen and deliver them to you. This is also something you should discuss before hiring.

If you’re an introvert, the personal chef will often have another place to cook so you can enjoy your quiet time at home. However, if you wish for a conversation, most personal chefs are more than happy to chat while they cook. This is especially good for seniors that doesen’t get to meet people often enough.

4. Meal Packaging

If the chef is meant to cook and meal prep for many people for more than one meal which is often a smart idea, considering you will save money on the process, the chef will package them for you.

This way, you can easily store them in a fridge or freezer. Also, you can take a package with you and eat at work or another place if you need food on the go!

5. Cleaning

Most personal chefs won’t leave your kitchen filled with dishes either! If the chef cooks your meals at your place, it’s very common that they clean after themselves and leave you with fewer tasks to do, which is why you hired a personal chef in the first place.

However, this isn’t a 100% rule, and you should discuss this with your personal chef prospect.

As a chef, I would most happily clean after myself because I was hired as a helping hand, not to cause a dishwashing shift for my client. Naturally, it’s included in the hourly rate too.

Related: Why Are Chef Hats So Tall? 

Are Personal Chefs Worth It?

A woman chef rolling dough with an apron on in a home kitchen

A personal chef sure sounds interesting, but there are many things to consider, and the most common thing is money. A high cost and high reward decision is always a tough one, so are personal chefs worth it or not?

A personal chef is worth it if you earn more than you pay from the personal chef’s time. This way, you will have free time to either earn more to cover up the cost or do what you like with friends, family, and loved ones.

The answer to the question is quite simple if you earn more than the chef costs when the chef is there. In fact, the answer is a no-brainer for me if you value time more than money.

Depending on your earnings and care for money, it might or might not be worth it. However, what if you don’t earn more? Would a persona chef still be worth it?

If you’re very busy and don’t care about fitting cooking into your schedule, a personal chef would be worth it. The same goes if you desire gourmet meals but don’t know how to cook for yourself and are sick of takeout. Although, that would be a good place to start learning the art of cooking.

Here’s a list of benefits you get by hiring a personal chef, and it’s up to you to determine whether one would be worth it.

  • Convenience
  • Save time & energy
  • Customized meal plan
  • Easier dieting
  • New cuisines
  • Easy dinner parties

All those benefits certainly sound like something I would be interested in, even as a chef. How about you? Do you feel that the pros outweigh the cons?

Related: Can Chefs Have Tattoos?

Do Personal Chefs Wash Dishes?

When most people think about chefs, they only think about chopping some ingredients and cooking them with style on a flaming pan. As a chef myself, I know the job is included so much more. The biggest question I hear about the responsibilities of personal chefs is whether they wash dishes or not?

How To Save Money On Groceries
How To Save Money On Groceries

Generally, personal chefs wash dishes because their duties include cleaning up the kitchen and maintaining overall cleanliness throughout the day. In addition, all professional chefs care about cleanliness and clean as they go.

I’m a chef myself, and I can testify this to be true. I can’t remain cooking and working if my working space is crowded with dirty dishes and pieces of ingredients. Every time I cook and work, I wipe the surfaces as I go, take dishes to the washer, bring clean ones back, etc.

For personal chefs, this is the same, especially when the client orders service to save time, make things easier, and get a delicious meal. This doesen’t include washing dishes after the personal chef.

Related: 11 Amazing Chef Benefits

Related: 15 Disadvantages of Being a Chef

What’s the Difference Between Personal and Private Chefs?

It’s funny when you see a subject of personal or private chefs; both words will come up in a conversation and are used crosswise. However, they aren’t the same thing even when there are many similarities. So, what’s the difference.

A personal chef works for many clients in the client’s kitchen or a commercial kitchen. A private chef works for a single client full time and cooks every meal every day. Personal chefs don’t live on the client’s premises; however, private chefs may or might not. Private chefs are more expensive too.

Generally, you will get the same benefits from both chefs, including tailored delicious meals, hassle-free execution, time savings, personal needs, and even entertaining and conversation. Still, there are big differences too. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Training

Both chefs often have a culinary degree, although some may be self-learned. Be that as it may, personal and private chefs are skilled as they need because they often work alone and prepare fancy meals tailored to specific dietary needs.

However, private chefs are often even more trained and possess more sophisticated skills. This is because private chefs often prepare gourmet quality meals specifically to the client’s needs and desires. In contrast, personal chefs often work with a pre-set menu, making their job less demanding.

2. Experience

Given that private chefs’ job is usually more demanding and versatile, their experience needs to be too. This isn’t always the case because the culinary journey of two chefs, one being a private and one personal can be drastically different.

You should choose a chef with an experience similar to your needs, which can be both private or personal.

3. Flexibility

When you hire a private or personal chef, you will find that they are flexible with your needs. Still, a private chef is usually more flexible, and personal chefs may have a pre-set menu they work with and isn’t as flexible with your needs that can change quickly.

When choosing a chef, examine their resumes and ask them whether they would be able to adjust for different kinds of meals, whether that’s a dinner party, intimate date, large feast, or an everyday meal.

4. Cuisine

On average, private chefs will usually offer any cuisine for the client because they have more comprehensive training and a wider skill set. Although, even private chefs have a style of food they shine at.

Personal chefs usually have a pre-set menu or at least guidelines where you can choose meals. This can be any cuisine, but the options are often limited. However, this isn’t a definite rule, and you can find personal chefs with a wide range of cuisines.

Before hiring, you should always ask them, and you will find an answer.

5. Taste

Last but not least, the foods taste private, and what personal chefs offer can vary. Although both chefs are highly professional and will offer only delicious foods, private chefs will usually go over the expectations.

When examining the subject generally and considering that private chefs are often more skilled with comprehensive training and can provide a wider range of choices with tailored flexibility, the taste is often better.

Hiring a private or personal chef is important, so before signing contracts, ask for tasties and try what they offer. Whichever you choose, I’m positive you will find them delicious, given that both private and personal chefs are very professional.

Related: Chef Vs Sous Chef: Hierarchy System Explained

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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