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Personal Chef Business Idea

If you enjoy cooking and want to be part of a growing industry, learn how to become a personal chef.

It happens almost every night all around the country – the inevitable question of what’s for dinner?

For many people, the answer is a take away, fast food, or a frozen entree.

But some people are going down a different route – they are hiring personal chefs to prepare their meals.

A personal chef works with several clients (unlike a private chef, who only works with one).

The personal chef finds out the food preferences of each client and develops a variety of menus tailored to meet their needs. The chef then shops for the food, prepares the food (typically in the client’s own kitchen), and stores it in the refrigerator or freezer to be eaten at the client’s convenience.

How To Become A Personal Chef

Although some personal chefs attend culinary schools, others receive their education through cooking classes. While a personal chef prepares restaurant quality meals, the breadth and depth of knowledge need not be as great as it is for a restaurant chef.

A personal chef does, however, need to have a good understanding of nutrition and a knowledge of how to prepare meals to meet specific dietary needs.

Knowing how to cook and having a collection of tested recipes is a great start to becoming a personal chef. You will need to have basic kitchen supplies including pots, pans, measuring utensils and chef knives. Beyond purchasing these supplies, there is minimal overhead and start up costs. In fact, the majority of your money will be spent on marketing your business.

Who Uses A Personal Chef?

Chef jobs are not just for people who work for celebrities. Busy professionals or families who don’t have time to cook can save time and money by having tasty meals waiting in their fridge for them.

Single people or senior citizens who don’t want to cook can ensure they have nutritious meals are available for them. People who are trying to lose weight or address special health issues such as high cholesterol, diabetes or food allergies can also have diets tailored to their specific needs.

Clients may also use personal chefs for special occasions such as dinner parties, holiday cooking, or other special events.

Starting Your Personal Chef Business

Once you’ve decided that you want detailed information on how to become a personal chef, check out the United States Personal Chef Association ( It’s one of the largest organizations for this industry, and offers training and certification classes. As part of their training program, they also offer tested recipes to start you on your way.

As with most businesses, you will need to network so people know who you are. Become involved in community organizations and bring samples of goodies to events for people to try. Host an open house at your home and display a variety of foods that appeal to your intended customers, and offer a catered dinner party as a door prize.

Once you identify your target customers and show them how your business can make their lives easier, you’ll have them eating out of your hands and will have successfully learnt how to become a personal chef.

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