find a private chef

How to Find a Private Chef

If you’re wondering how to find a private chef for your home or special event, the best way is to use an agency like Leeward Staffing. We handle the background checks, the interview process, and all of the in between so that an experienced chef from our agency is waiting to be placed with you at your request.

Personal chef services are in high demand and the demand keeps growing. There are over 25,000 personal chefs in the United States and the number keeps growing with the demand. Finding a chef with expertise and experience working privately can be a challenge if you aren’t sure how to go about the hiring process.

When looking for a private chef on your own, you’ll need to consider factors such as the chef’s experience, their style of cooking, and availability. It’s important to request references and verify their credentials. Once you have found a private chef, you’ll need to set clear expectations and discuss your dietary restrictions and preferences.

Find a Private Chef Service

Private chef services refer to a professional chef who cooks and serves meals in private settings, such as private homes or a vacation rentals. In-home services can be customized to meet your specific needs. Here are a few common services offered by private chefs:

Meal planning and preparation:

A private chef will work with you to create a menu of delicious food that meets your dietary needs and preferences. The best personal chefs will accommodate requests such as local ingredients, your favorite type of cuisine, healthy meals, and more. They will do the grocery shopping to purchase the ingredients, prepare the meals, and serve them to you and your guests in the comfort of your own home.

In-home cooking classes:

Some private chefs offer private cooking classes in your home. These classes can be tailored to your skill level and desired goals. A private chef can help you with menu planning, making a grocery list, and the best approach to grocery shopping if you are interested in those things. They can also cover a wide range of cuisines and techniques.

Special events catering:

Private chefs can also cater a special occasion such as a dinner party, birthday, or holiday. They will plan the menu, prepare the food, and serve it to the guests.

Meal delivery:

Some private chefs offer meal delivery services rather than cooking in your home. They prepare meals in advance and deliver them to your home on a regular basis. This can typically be completely customized to your meal plans, restrictions, and personal preferences

Kitchen organization and stocking:

In addition to providing exceptional home-cooked meals, private chefs can also help busy families to organize a kitchen and stock it with essential ingredients and equipment.

Cleaning and kitchen maintenance:

Top notch private chefs will also take care of the cleaning and maintenance of the kitchen after the meal is served for your private dinner or cooking class.

Private chef services can be quite expensive and may vary depending on the region, the chef’s experience, and the type of service requested. Chefs can be live-in employees as well, which obviously comes with other considerations such as living quarters and additional forms of compensation, such as access to amenities. Some private chefs charge by the hour while others charge a flat rate for the entire service or event. The cost and the services offered by the chef should be discussed in detail and agreed to before hiring.

Qualifications to Look For When You Are Looking to Find a Private Chef

A qualified private chef is a professional chef who has the necessary training, experience, and qualifications to provide high-quality, personalized cooking services in a private setting. Here are a few qualifications that a qualified private chef may have:

Culinary education:

The highest level of qualification for a private chef is a culinary education from a reputable culinary school. While this is not the only route to obtaining a high level of culinary skills, it is the highest recognized training.

Professional experience:

A qualified private chef should have experience working in professional kitchens. This could range from experience in restaurants, hotels, events, or private chef experience in private households.


Certifications programs can qualify a chef in the culinary arts. Many wonderful chefs have certifications from culinary organizations, such as the American Culinary Federation, which indicate that they have met certain standards of knowledge and skill.

Food safety training:

Food safety training is a non-negotiable qualification that all chefs should have. A qualified private chef will have training and knowledge in food safety and sanitation, to ensure the safety and health of their clients.

Knowledge of dietary restrictions:

A qualified private chef should be able to accommodate different dietary restrictions and preferences. Since chefs may work for a variety of clients with different dietary preferences or requirements such as gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets, a wide range of knowledge of these is expected.

Creativity and flexibility:

A qualified private chef should be able to adapt and create new dishes and be flexible with special requests from clients. The best private chefs take pride in exploring a variety of cuisines and techniques to meet a variety of needs from clients.

Strong communication and organization skills:

Private chefs have a different client/chef experience than a chef in a restaurant who rarely sees the patrons who enjoy their meals. A qualified private chef should be able to communicate effectively with their clients and be well organized, to ensure that the service runs smoothly.

Positive references:

One of the first things to consider about a private chef candidate for your home is their personal and business references. A qualified private chef should have positive references from previous clients as well as several personal references.

Find a Private Chef to Hire

Qualifications will of course vary depending on the chef’s experience, education, and the region they are from. You may be happy to accept a private chef with less in-home chef experience based on other redeeming qualities. It’s important to check their credentials and references before hiring a private chef.

A private chef is perfect for a corporate event, a romantic dinner, or regular meals in the comfort of your home, but you’ll want to be sure he or she has been properly vetted. Leeward Staffing does all the leg work for you and ensures that all your needs are met with the perfect candidate for the job.

To get started hiring a private chef through Leeward Staffing, simply complete our contact form. Once we receive your form, we will set up a time to go over your goals. We spend time finding out what you need and want in a personal chef and then identify the perfect candidate for the job from our large pool of available staff. Our available staff has already been through a rigorous interview process that includes all of the safety measures. We complete federal background checks, reference checks, as well as privacy and confidentiality agreements, and more. Once the right candidate is selected for the job, we do the work of transitioning your new private chef into their role.

Using our services saves you time, energy, and a lot of unnecessary stress. We have staff with years of experience waiting for their perfect placement. Whether you’re looking for a live-in executive chef or a one-time private dining experience, we can help!