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7 Personal Chef Skills for Your Career


Becoming a personal chef is an interesting way to enter the entrepreneurial field. Independent cooking professionals have the opportunity to prepare meals for an array of clients in different environments. 

For example, a professional athlete could hire you to cook their meals in their homes during the season. 

To obtain a reputation that allows high-profile clients to trust you in their homes, you need to master a set of skills that further your career. Problem-solving skills are important for personal chefs too.

Let’s take a look at seven personal chef skills for your career.

1. Passion for Food

If your client enjoys comfort foods but their primary physician restricts them to 1,500 calories daily, you’ll need to prepare healthy and tasty versions.

A passion for food is a great starting position for this professional. Seasoned chefs know that there is an art to preparing food. Thus, they’re willing to taste a variety of foods and work with different dietary restrictions.

2. Understanding of the Culinary Arts

Julia Child is among the most famous culinary professionals who proved that there is an art behind the culinary arts – it’s also scientific. 

Some flavors will not blend well together, just as blending some ingredients will not lead to desired results. Becoming an independent chef does not require a degree or certificate. However, it helps. 

A certificate proves that you have obtained a foundation and grasp of basic techniques and knowledge.  

If you hire staff, you want to ensure that they won’t burn the butter, clump the melted cheese, or overcook the pasta. Clients will have slightly different expectations for you.

Understanding the culinary arts helps you cook efficient and tasty meals.

3. Stellar Problem-Solving Abilities

When things don’t go according to plan, entrepreneurs cannot give up. Instead, they must problem-solve. If your client informs you that they’re expecting two additional guests or that one of them has a dietary restriction, they expect you to handle it on the fly.

Of course, neither situation is ideal and you can handle it after you complete the job. During the job, you must come through and complete the tasks. Otherwise, you might lose the gig and future business.

4. Clear Communication

Personal chefs must clearly communicate with their clients, business vendors, and staff. It’s the best way to avoid issues. The better you become at communicating, the more efficiently your staff and kitchen will operate.

Plus, your clients will understand what they’re paying for when they sign an agreement for service. If they need to add two guests, then you can charge them for the extra plates by writing it into the agreement. 

Moreover, clear communication ensures that you receive full and on-time payments. 

5. Attention to Detail

Chefs who excel in their profession pay extra attention to detail. If you watch competition reality TV cooking shows, you’ll notice that participants outline what makes their plates special while serving them to the judges.

Some guests won’t appreciate that you added creme fraiche to the soup or sprigs of parsley to their entree. However, those who do notice will appreciate the tiny touches. 

6. Time Management

When it comes to preparing, cooking, and serving food, time is finite. It matters when you chop the vegetables, just as it matters when you place the souffle in the oven. 

If the dinner party starts at 8 pm sharp, you must know when to place each course in the oven or over the stove. Otherwise, guests might eat cold steak, soggy French fries, or welting salads.

Plus, you want to avoid putting yourself into a bind. Stress is not healthy for entrepreneurs. Some thrive on adrenaline but you don’t want to do that for every job.

7. Entrepreneurial Mindset

Even though you cook for a living, you’re still an entrepreneur. Therefore, you must take care of the business-side tasks too.

Business tasks that entrepreneurs must complete include:

  • Registering the business
  • Purchasing insurance
  • Paying quarterly estimated taxes
  • Investing in equipment
  • Reinvesting a portion of profits
  • Obtaining and renewing licenses and permits

Too many businesses fail because the owner didn’t capitalize on demand or manage cash flow effectively. 

Learn more about starting a personal chef business here.

If the personal chef is your calling, learn about the business side of the path so you can manage it.  Another option is to hire a professional.


Entrepreneurs can follow their passion. To further your operation, pick up personal chef and business-side skills such as attention to detail, time management, and a passion for food.

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