What is the difference between a personal CHEF and a private chef?

Personal chef vs private chef

The terms personal chef and private chef are often used interchangeably because of the many aspects they have in common. But despite sharing many similarities, a personal chef and a private chef have some key differences that set them apart.

What are the differences between a personal and a private chef?

The main difference is that a private chef is employed by a person or a family on a full-time basis and often lives with them to take care of their daily meals. On the other hand, a personal chef can serve multiple clients in a short period of time, usually a few days, and provide them with custom-made meals designed for their particular needs and requests. People require the services of a personal chef when they’re hosting special events, diner parties, or when they need weekly nutrition plans.

What is a personal chef?

what is a personal chef

Personal chefs are usually self-employed and cook for different people on special occasions. They run their own professional cooking business. Others may continue to work in a professional kitchen while taking up one or two clients to increase their income. 

They usually work on their own but can solicit the help of an assistant or more staff if the event has a lot of attendees. A personal chef gets to choose his own clients and prepare meals in their homes for a one day occasion or on a weekly/monthly basis. They often offer private cooking classes as a service. 

One of the advantages of being a personal chef is that you can organize your own work schedule according to your availability and the client’s preferred date. You can work for many individuals or families with different requirements and needs in the same week/month. The typical client mix of a personal chef includes couples with kids or not, career-oriented people that are too busy to cook, people with special dietary restrictions or health conditions, seniors, or foodies who enjoy gourmet dishes.

What does a personal chef do?

A personal chef’s responsibilities vary from a client to another but generally the chef creates and personalizes menus for each client. He/She takes care of buying fresh and quality ingredients and prepares the meals at the client’s home or in a professional kitchen.  

 A personal chef takes the client’s special dietary needs and preferences into account when customizing menus. He/She is well-versed in a range of different cuisines or has a specialty (ex: sushi). Meals cooked in advance are packaged, stored in the refrigerator and labeled by day with meal and heating-instructions. Unlike a private chef, a personal chef gets reimbursed for the groceries used to cook a meal, meaning that the cost is usually included in his/her price. 

 Occasionally, a personal chef may be hired to cook for special occasions or parties or even to provide home cooking lessons.

A personal chef’s duties include :

  • Creating customized menus according to the client’s demands 
  •  Preparing meals in the client’s home 
  •  Providing his/her own equipment if needed  
  •  Shopping for fresh ingredients 
  •  Giving detailed heating/freezing instructions to the client for weekly meals 
  •  Doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen before leaving 
  •  Managing all the aspects of the business from daily cooking tasks to budgeting, accounting, and marketing

How much do personal chefs make?

A personal chef’s salary will vary according to a lot of factors like the amount of training they have, the location in which they work (if it’s not in the client’s home) and their level of experience. 

 With this being said, the average hourly rate can range anywhere from 14 $ to around 40 $, and annual salaries from 20.000 $ to 80.000 $. These differences take into account overtime, tips, bonuses. Of course, some personal chefs make a lot more money and others less. 

As a personal chef, you get to set your own prices and have the freedom to choose whether to charge hourly or according to the number of meals and/or servings required. .

What is a private chef?

What is a private chef


A private chef typically works full-time for one family or household in their private residence and earns a yearly salary with benefits. His/Her task is to prepare fresh meals and snacks for the family members to eat every day, in addition to cooking for private events.

Private chefs often work in kitchens that are fully equipped with everything they need and therefore offer a wide range of menu selections that can be designed and tailored to the client’s individual needs and preferences.  Because they are required to be available at any time, most private chefs live in the residence where they work. 

They often cook more than a couple of meals per day and are used to special requests and working at odd hours. As private chefs sometimes live with the family, they’re required to respect their privacy and intimacy. 

They should also be good team players because most of the time, private chefs work in large homes that have other professional support staff (butlers or maids) so they are expected to have a team spirit and good communication skills.

What does a private chef do?

The responsibilities of a private chef are concentrated on preparing food for the household. This usually means preparing up to three meals a day but can also include snacks and cooking for special occasions and formal events. 

What does a private chef do?

  •  Planning weekly menus according to the client’s needs and preferences 
  •  Grocery shopping for fresh ingredients 
  •  Preparing fresh meals/snack, serving and cleaning up 
  •  Staying “on-call” for special requests 
  •  Organizing the kitchen (keeping it well-stocked, managing the delivery of food, cleaning up, etc.) 
  •  Traveling with clients when needed  (holidays, business trips…)

How much do private chefs make?

Just like a personal chef, the salary of a private chef will vary according to his level of training, work location, and experience level. Another factor that can influence this is the level of wealth of his/her client. On average, the annual salary of a chef ranges from 32.000 $ to 110.000 $ excluding bonuses.

Training of a personal and a private chef

There is no real difference between training to be a private chef and training to be a personal chef. Both private and personal chefs generally require training in a culinary school or a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. 

But that is not everything, of course, to be a well-renowned chef, an extensive amount of culinary knowledge and relevant experience are essential.  As both of these functions require a certain level of customization to suit a wide range of client needs, they should be familiarized with different cooking techniques and cuisines and have a few years of experience in a professional kitchen. There are also a lot of certifications out there for chefs who want to increase their market value.

Want to become a personal chef?

Miummium is the largest platform for personal chefs in the world. Our chefs set their own schedules and prices and keep 100% of the requested revenues. All you have to do is register online and then our team will validate your profile so that you can start receiving client requests wherever you are.