Or if all fails book a cook....
We know, we know. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year: twinkling lights, enough food to comatose an army of men, flowing mulled wine. But there are huge benefits for private chefs who choose to work the festive season, which makes mince pie abstinence less painful. Below are Sugarella’s top reasons to roll up your sleeves this December.
Being a professional chef is a dream job for so many people, but no one is an overnight success. Great gigs and big money comes after years of honing your skills and grafting to build up confidence, contacts and culinary repertoire. Sounds like hard work? It is. Very. But nothing worth having ever came easy. Here are our GUIDELINES as to what you can expect to be paid, by the day, throughout your career as a freelance private chef.
You can boil, bake and fry your way around a kitchen standing on your head, blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back. Your menus are inventive and fresh, and there are no tough joints, soggy bottoms or burnt buns on your watch. In short you are cooking on gas (or Aga, if need be). But there’s more to be being a private chef than just being a culinary whizz kid. Here, we tell you how to improve on excellent…
From Shoreditch to Thailand to Norway, creating recipe videos, cooking for adults, children and even a dog...Over the past few months we have placed cooks into some brilliant jobs and, unsurprisingly, given the skill of the chefs on our books and the exciting opportunities we offer, there are some very happy candidates and equally happy clients!
Imagine booking an expensive hotel with no pictures of the rooms, recommendations or trip advisor scores....
Imagine visiting a restaurant where you are expected to spend a lot of money which has no reviews, no menus in advance for you to see, and no one has ever heard of it...
Imagine buying an item of clothing off the peg online without knowing what it looks or feels like....
So - you want to cook in a private home. That is great, and we look forward to working with you. There are just a few things we would like to remind you:-
- We have numerous cooks on our books. And they all think they are as good as you. We are a young company and, for now, have less clients than cooks, so it helps to be nice to us, to stay in touch with us, and to let us know your whereabouts. That way it is likely you will be our first call when the next amazing job comes in.
- You should be able to provide us with at least two recent references from your most recent employers. These should be private client employers, regardless of how famous/busy they might be, we work with numerous chefs and clients and can always get references from someone, whether that be the clients PA, or the client themselves, it is possible. Unfortunately without references, we cannot use you. How will we know who you are and how you work in a private home?
- We advise all our chefs to have a DBS certificate. You are working in a private home, around young children, and invading someones private space. We want to know you are who you say you are, as much as the client does. Apply for one here.
- Photographs of your food. This is really important. If you are a chef in this day and age, we advise you have your own website with lots of photographs of your food. Or at the very least, an instagram page which shows pictures of your food ONLY. We don't want to see what you get up to on your days off - create a private personal page for this. You may even find you get jobs from clients direct through your own instagram page or website.
- Up to date CVs and references. When you finish a job, ask your client if they are happy to write a reference for you and if they are happy for you to pass their details to future employers. Update your CV, send it to us and let us know the amazing things you have been doing.
- Reply to our e mails and phone calls. As much as you like to get a response from us, we like to get a response from you. If we contact you in regards to something, even if it is not for you, please just acknowledge us and let us know where you are in the world. If you are no longer needing work, we then no longer need to bother you.
- Once a job is confirmed, contact the client at your earliest convenience to arrange menus, logistics and travel arrangements.
- Flexibility. Being a private cook is not easy. We never said it was, and we know how hard it is ourselves, having been there and done it, and still doing it! Please expect the long hours and days, and understand that some jobs will be harder than others....
- If you can do all of the above, get your chef whites ironed, your knives sharpened and....enjoy the experience.
To work for Sugarella Cooks or to book a cook, please contact us.
Use up those old bananas in a delicious cake. I added blueberries to mine, but you could add any other old soft fruit, such as plums, peaches or raspberries rather than throwing them out! If you make this for your guests when on a job, they will be thrilled because you will be using old fruit instead of throwing it out and they have something yummy to tuck into!
Blueberry & Banana All in One Cake
- 3 over ripe bananas
- 150g caster sugar
- 225g self raising flour (or plain flour and add an extra 2 tsp of baking powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 110ml olive oil
- 50g blueberies, plus a few extra (about 6 to dot on the top before baking)
- Optional: 50g dark chocolate chunks
- Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celcius
- Line an 8 inch round cake tin with baking parchment
- Peel then mash the bananas in a bowl
- Place ALL ingredients into your food processor (I use a Kenwood K Mix for this)
- Whizz on a high speed until all ingredients are combined
- If using chocolate chunks, add these in now and mix in with a spatula
- Add the mixture to your cake tin and dot with extra blueberries on top (if using)
- Bake for approx 30-40 mins until nicely golden on top and a skewer comes out clean
- Decorate with melted white chocolate or sprinkled icing sugar (entirely optional)
- Enjoy with a cup of tea!
- We meet all our cooks before using them, have a good chat and really try to get to know them
- We fully reference check our cooks and do not use anyone that cannot provide two references from their most recent employers
- We offer a very personal and bespoke service, we listen to your needs and help match the right person to your job. Ella has done private cooking jobs herself for many years so has a clear understanding of what is required and what the jobs entail.
- It is important that the cooks are as happy as the clients. Therefore, we do not suggest jobs to cooks that we do not feel are the right fit for them
- We can offer advice to clients on salaries and expectations, based on their individual needs and requirements
- We offer honesty. If we do not feel we have the right person for the job, we will tell you, rather than sending someone forward that is going to be a disaster.
- We have a huge selection of people from newly qualified cooks to very experienced, all looking for a range of work from part time, full time, permanent or freelance
- We offer competitive recruitment fees in comparison with similar agencies
- We have a very good relationship with all our cooks and chefs, so it is likely they will want to do a good job to ensure we keep them in high regard!
- You can safely relax and enjoy your party/holiday/every day life and leave the hard work in the hands of someone you trust - us!
Book a cook today - contact us now.