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Private chef

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I know there is no clear cut road to becoming anything in this business, but I go to the cia, and I have been in the school for 5 months now and my roommate who has been at the school for 6 months and just got in the production kitchen said that after you pass fundamentals, the teaching slows down, and I want to be a private chef later on in my career that I'm sure of, so I guess my question is should I withdrawal from the cia and go to a school like le corn., or jws, I want to learn as much as I can learn about food, because I grew up on frozen box food, so there is a lot of things about food that I don't know about or had a chance to taste yet, plz help
post #2 of 12

Stay in CIA. Your buddy may think the learning stopped because he could possibly already know how to do what theyre doing in class, but maybe you wont. If you already have restaurant experience then you are already gonna know a third of the stuff theyre gonna teach you how to do. Stick it out. Soak up all you can. Ive never personally been to culinary school but a lot of coworkers are cia grads and they teach me something new everyday. If i could afford it i would be there with you.

post #3 of 12

@fritz1995 ,

        Do you have any food service experience besides school? Also what does  le corn. or jws mean. Schools? If your talking about J&Wales, unless it has changed greatly over the past 40 yrs. I think you're looking at the same type of curriculum.

I'm curious how you made your decision to only be a private chef? Did you just hear things about it? I'm just thinking if you heard great things about it, those things may be just like what your roommate is telling you. Jez, he only has a 30 day leg up on you, how can he forecast the rest of his education? Sometimes you have to be like a liver, listen to everything, filter out the junk and keep the important things.

   Personally, I would stay put. Don't pigeon-hole yourself into one area of the industry. That is very limiting and if you decide to change later you will have to go back and correct things. I can personally tell you, I know quite a few people both friends and customers who are personal chefs. It's like anything else in life, it's not always what it's cracked up to be. It's like the minor leagues, you can be there for a long time and a small amount make it to the majors. this just from an old fart in the biz

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #4 of 12

STAY IN SCHOOL.  Remember that education is the key to the world.  Also school is not just about the cooking.  Food service management, Menu planning, Food cost,  Dinning room service, and Human resources are just of the few important topics that are covered.  Cooking is the fun part.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritz1995 View Post

my roommate who has been at the school for 6 months and just got in the production kitchen said that after you pass fundamentals, the teaching slows down

 

I have been in this industry for a few days and I find my learning rate is still directly tied to to the level of open mindedness that I exhibit. In this industry the teaching never slows down, the learning sometimes does but it is because of individual choice.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #6 of 12

  In lieu of creating another thread I'll borrow this one. I have a question about private chefs. Does anyone know if private chef's hire or otherwise train apprentices or assistants as the norm. I would think not (At least if done "By the books") generally, but this seems like a potential gray area to exploit if beneficial to both the private chef and the apprentice/assistant. I could see someone with to much of a workload or time constraints for a particular client considering it. Can anyone chime in on this? From my understanding, catering seems the best introductory venue into becoming a private chef. But what if...

post #7 of 12

I am a private Chef, but before that I was in the industry for 35 years. That's 35 years of working in high volume, colleges, hospitals, hotels, banquets, restaurants, and the list goes on.

As a private Chef you will be expected to be able to replicate different cooking styles, from different counties.

You will be expected to be able to produce everything from hors d oeuvres, to pastries, and everything in between.

 

Where does all this knowledge come from you ask?

 

The answer is that it takes many years to cultivate the creativity and experience before you become someones' private Chef.

I chose the position because I knew that as I aged, working on the line and in the trenches would be more difficult as I got older.

 

Quote : "In lieu of creating another thread I'll borrow this one. I have a question about private chefs. Does anyone know if private chef's hire or otherwise train apprentices or assistants as the norm. I would think not (At least if done "By the books") generally, but this seems like a potential gray area to exploit if beneficial to both the private chef and the apprentice/assistant. I could see someone with to much of a workload or time constraints for a particular client considering it. Can anyone chime in on this? From my understanding, catering seems the best introductory venue into becoming a private chef. But what if..."

 

This all depends on the venue. If I was working at a job that needed more hands in the kitchen or service area, I'd guess that the training would be done by myself, but again it all depends.

post #8 of 12

  Thanks @Chefross, I figured varied experience is a must, and figure I'll be working lines in various restaurants or other operations for about 7 more years before attempting a run as a PC. I would rather not attend culinary school at my age, 28, if possible as nearly all of my work experience has been in high volume, fine dining and banquet service establishments. I wouldn't mind working at a bakery, catering company or with a fishmonger or butcher for some time, as these fields are relatively uncharted for me.

 

  I'm just curious If an established private chef would be up for a sous type of apprentice; whether paid, unpaid, or under the table (The later two making more sense because it wouldn't make you an employer), to assist in their daily purchasing, prep, service, cleaning, and other tasks (Particularly working with a family unit if they have kids and what not). I'm sure the pertainent details of business management and licencing aspects of the private chef's responsibilities would be absorbed just by observation over time. Is this a possibility or is just studying business alone a better option. I would think that the practical application of working for a client on a contract is the most important thing, and doesn't merit investing in business classes at college. Thanks on any insight you can give me on this.

post #9 of 12
I can't imagine a private chef wanting to train a competitor. I know I don't, and I've been approached a lot. It just isn't smart business.

For a new private/personal chef, I would join one of the two big personal chef professional organizations. USPCA, and I forget the other. Both help a chef structure their business. One comes with business management software. The other membership includes your insurance.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #10 of 12

QUOTE: "I'm just curious If an established private chef would be up for a sous type of apprentice; whether paid, unpaid, or under the table (The later two making more sense because it wouldn't make you an employer), to assist in their daily purchasing, prep, service, cleaning, and other tasks (Particularly working with a family unit if they have kids and what not). I'm sure the pertainent details of business management and licencing aspects of the private chef's responsibilities would be absorbed just by observation over time. Is this a possibility or is just studying business alone a better option. I would think that the practical application of working for a client on a contract is the most important thing, and doesn't merit investing in business classes at college. Thanks on any insight you can give me on this."

 

As a private Chef, you work for the owners.

They are the ones that dictate whether or not you need an assistant.

In most cases it seems like the Chef is all that's needed.

Now if you work in a huge mansion with multiple workers and you are doing fine dining for guests each night, that would be different.

If it was just the family (mom, dad, and the kids) all that would be needed is the one Chef.

As for personal Chefs, they are the ones that need licensing and business acumen, as they have multiple clients.

post #11 of 12

Thanks Brandon and ChefRoss, I figured these would be the cases with the competition factor, and also the scale of services needed. So I'm starting to realize there's no set road for this goal, and I'd imagine networking with potential clientele is paramount. I'm guessing other domestic worker positions could be a way in, like being a personal assistant or butler who just "Wow"s the boss one day with a awesome meal or something :smoking:, I don't know, sounds like a cheesy movie plot now that I think about it. :lol: 

post #12 of 12
As with any business, the biggest challenge is always finding customers. Without customers, you don't have a business, you have a hobby.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
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