1. Forget GAP (Guest Arrival Panic)
Chipped nails, laddered tights, only one shoe? Hair stinking of onions but no time to wash it? Exploding make up bags, upended jewellery boxes, smudged eyeliner? Transforming into Cinderella in five seconds flat in order to greet guests with champagne and a smile is no mean feat when you’ve been toiling all day over soups, pies, roulades, canapes and a blooming enormous cake. Give yourself a break and get a professional in to take care of all things culinary.
2. Enjoy yourself
It is impossible to relax when you’re worried about pastry burning, cream curdling or cakes sinking, and it’s even harder to entertain. Let your job be topping up drinks and laughing with your guests – not locking yourself in an upstairs bathroom with a bottle of warm white wine for a good blub when the stress of being the host and the cook finally tips you over the edge and you curse both the beef, which is as tough as an old boot, and your guests, who are no longer your friends.
3. Savour the food
Everyone knows that food someone else has cooked is more enjoyable than anything you make yourself. Cooks are ‘over’ their own dishes by the time they are served, so don’t be the cook and tuck in!
4. Impress the guests
Planning elaborate menus is all well and good, but actually creating them when you have a million other things to do is probably going to end in disaster. A private chef can and will execute your dream menu with minimal stress.
5. Hire a waitress
In for a penny, in for a pound. A waitress will lay the table, serve and clear meaning you literally
don’t have to lift a finger. Bliss.
6. Added extras
Your kitchen will probably be cleaner at the end than you will ever have thought possible.
7. Top tips
You are guaranteed to garner bits of advice from the chef that will improve your own cooking skills.
8. Feel rested
There is nothing worse than coming back from a holiday feeling more exhausted than when you left. Don’t let this happen. Booking a cook for your holiday will mean you’ll return not knowing where the supermarket is, not having taken the rubbish out, not having stacked the dishwasher and above all, not feeling resentful. Instead, you’ll be free to read, play tennis or float aimlessly on a giant inflatable lobster across the swimming pool with a pina colada in your hand.
9. Cater to your dietary needs
If you have always wanted to eat a gluten/sugar/dairy free diet but cannot be bothered with the faff of soaking almonds and lentils day and night and all the other prep work that strict eating plans can entail – a cook can do this for you. We had a client that lost half a stone in a week having a cook who catered specifically for her diet. If you love your food but don’t want to pile on the pounds, you can still have a cook, and they will cook to your requests.
10. Eat fresh, eat local, eat seasonal
Our chefs usually know where to source the finest ingredients, love foraging and using local produce to create inventive, fresh seasonal feasts. You also might find yourself trying foods you wouldn’t normally eat – and loving them.
11. Cooking kids
If you’re lucky you might find a cook who will also entertain the children with a little baking session – giving you a little window to have a bath, read a magazine or just close your eyes and enjoy the sweet sound of silence without anyone asking you where their jelly shoe is or if they can have cake for breakfast. Also, some cooks love dogs and might be willing to walk yours.
12. Good mornings
Instead of staggering down to a dining room that looks as if Henry VIII just finished a state banquet – with half full glasses of wine dotted all over the table, cheese rinds on side plates and filthy napkins strewn across the floor – you’ll wake up to the smell of sizzling bacon and fresh coffee. Downstairs you’ll find an immaculate kitchen with a clean table on which breakfast is laid out and ready for you. If that’s not a luxury worth paying for, we don’t know what is!