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Help interviewing a personal chef

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

 My wife and I are in the process of hiring a personal chef to cook for us a few times a week (the chef will only cook 1-2 days per week, but will also prepare meals for us to finish cooking the other days).

 

 I am seeking advice on what I should ask them to prepare as a "test" dish to evaluate their abilities.  In reading the "professional chef forum" I saw some interesting posts on methods they use to evaluate new prospects, but I do not have the skill level to break down if someone makes the perfect omelet or not :).

 

 I am wondering what a reasonable request is to ask of someone interviewing that would allow us to gauge their level of skill?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

As a personal chef since 2000, I've never experienced a "test of my abilities" wink.gif

 

Most personal chefs I'm familiar with, have a portfolio of dishes that will give you a clear indication of their abilities.

 

An experienced personal chef will want to do an assessment before taking on an assignment. The assessment should cover:

  • Your likes and dislikes
  • Allergies or food sensitivities
  • Preferences, i.e. beef-medium rare, no lamb, etc.
  • Packaging preferences
  • Dietary goals, i.e. calories, weight loss/maintenance/gain
  • Medical restrictions
  • A review of the kitchen facilities, access, security, parking, etc.
  • Shopping preferences, most competent personal chefs prefer to do the shopping

 

The chef should present:

  • business license(s)
  • liability insurance
  • Food Safety Manager's certification

 

The chef may present

  • Sample menus
  • professional membership such as American Personal & Private Chefs Association (APPCA)
    4572 Delaware Street San Diego, CA 92116
    Tel: 800-644-8389 / 619-294-2436
    Email: webmaster@personalchef.com
  • References, if not presented, ask for them

 

For a trial cook date, paid of course, you pick out a menu of 3-5 meals that YOU like. Think of it as trying out a new restaurant, except you get to pick the menu.

 

As far as what to ask for as a trial, whatever you enjoy eating!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by loguy View Post

I do not have the skill level to break down if someone makes the perfect omelet or not :).

 

The only skill needed is your tastebuds! I would ask them to make you one of your favorite dishes and one of their specialty. 

post #4 of 7

What a wonderful position to be in to have a personal chef, what a dream!

 

Pete's list is great.  I would be impressed if a chef presented me with that info.  Personally I don't have a clue on what to add but I know that if I were in the process of getting a personal chef I'd ask her/him to make me a few of the staple dishes of our menu.  A good pasta sauce, bolognese, chicken soup, a stew, and breakfast.  If you can do all those well I'd be happy.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 7

If i had the money, I would hire the chefs for private dinners to see what  they're capable to cook.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

If i had the money, I would hire the chefs for private dinners to see what  they're capable to cook.

There is the key to testing or sampling; hire the chef to do something that will satisfy you!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 7

so?  how did it go? I just hired a culinary student for 3 hrs last night to cook 4 dishes and prep the 5th...  it was okay, but he is just learning...  

do you have advice? 

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