What does a Private Cook do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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A private cook, sometimes referred to as a personal chef, is someone who prepares dishes for individuals or families on a private basis, rather than through a restaurant or other food service provider. This person will usually be a trained chef, though it could also simply be someone enthusiastic about food and self-taught in the kitchen. A private cook is typically responsible for all aspects of planning, preparing, making, and delivering food to a client.

One of the most important things a private cook does is prepare a menu for a client according to the specific preferences and dietary needs of the person. For example, if a client is diabetic or lactose-intolerant, then these conditions would need to be considered as the cook planned and prepared meals for the client. Similarly, many people turn to a private cook to help them lose weight or stick to a healthy eating plan.

A private cook will typically work closely with a client to ensure a menu is prepared to the client’s liking and preferences. Once the menu is arranged, however, the cook will actually prepare the meals. This can include purchasing items for preparation, or using items that have been purchased by the client to make the requested dishes. A private cook can operate from a professional kitchen and bring the food to a client, or work in a client’s home and prepare dishes in the client’s kitchen.


Most areas have laws against the preparation of purchased food in a kitchen that is not the client’s kitchen or a professional kitchen. This means that most private cooks cannot prepare food in their own home and deliver it, but will instead usually rent time in a professional kitchen to abide by local laws. A private cook will also typically have a food handler’s license or any other legal requirements for food handling and preparation in his or her area.

Regardless of where a private cook works, the cook will prepare food through chopping, cutting and other processes, cook the food through frying, baking, grilling and other methods, then package the food for delivery or service. A cook may simply make a meal, store it to remain hot or cold, and deliver the stored food at a designated time, or he or she may actually serve the meal to the client. Once the food is prepared and delivered, a cook may also need to clean up afterward, though this depends on where the food is prepared.


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Post 2

@Mykol - I don't like to cook either, and am always looking for ways to get out of the kitchen. I have a friend who just loves to cook, so I jokingly say I have my own personal chef service.

Any time I need food prepared for a party or some event, she is more than willing to come to my house and help me out. I can't imagine what it would cost to pay someone to cook for you all the time, but I can see how it would be a great benefit if you could afford it.

Post 1

My daughter was a nanny for a family who also had a private part time cook. One of their kids had some special dietary guidelines that needed to be followed, and part of his job was to ensure that all the meals served would fit within those guidelines. I don't know how much private chefs get paid, but if you loved to cook it might be an interesting way to make a living.

The chef that worked for this family also had several other families that he would plan and prepare meals for. I don't like to cook and often thought that if I had a choice between a maid or a cook, I would choose a cook every time!

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