1. A positive attitude
A lot of people think they are enthusiastic, and most people are when they want to be. But we mean, enthusiastic when under pressure. A brilliant private chef will have a positive attitude at midnight and at 7am. And when the electric fuses. And when guests fridge-pick the ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch as a midnight feast. And when people watch you cook.
2. A full, clean driving license and, ideally, a car
A lot of Sugarella’s clients are based in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere. You’ll be expected to shop for food so having your own license is essential.
Any professional cook worth his or her salt will have a comprehensive toolbox of cooking equipment, as well as a decent set of chef’s knives. A clean set of aprons and chef’s whites is also required no one wants to hire a slob!
Paperwork is boring but you won’t get far without a passport, national insurance number, UK bank account, UTR number (unique tax payer reference number to prove you pay your tax as a freelance person) and also, some recent references from previous employers.
5. Digital details
We recommend that chefs have their own website and an Instagram account dedicated just to food. Having a mobile phone with charger is obviously a no-brainer!
6. Passion for food
You can demonstrate this by showing an interest in or employment of current food trends as well as having some detailed example menus, including ideas for canapes, breakfasts and summer lunches.
7. A commitment to cleanliness
Keeping the client’s kitchen clean and tidy is a pretty important responsibility: your food might be yummy but you’ll make only enemies if smears of gravy and crumbs of cake are left festering on work tops. Equally, a pride in one’s personal hygiene is not to be sniffed at (sorry, couldn’t resist).
8. Discretion and loyalty
If you are working for a high-profile client, you need to keep it to yourself. Simple as that.