We are so lucky at Sugarella to have some of the best freelance chefs in the business on our books. We’ve put together a list of tips for new or fledgling freelancers on how to be a successful self-employed chef.
Earlier on this year, I placed a chef in a household in London, where he is employed to cook for a family of varying ages, consisting of 5 people (plus guests). The diets this amazing chef is cooking for range dramatically. Some members of the family eat everything, some only fish and chicken and others follow a dairy, gluten and sugar free diet, and one member is strictly Vegan! There is never a dull moment for this chef and we are so thrilled to have placed him in this position. He is really happy in the role, and the clients adore him and his food.
I asked the chef to give me an overview of a standard day for him, so you can read about some of the things involved in a job like this....and here is what he says:
06.00 - my alarm goes off. This doesn't mean just going to work for me. This is a new day for new opportunities to be creative. I get up early enough to start my day with morning exercise. I find this very beneficial as it gives me more energy to get through a busy day.
07.00/08.00 - Arrive at work. First thing to do is set the table and then cook breakfast. Once Breakfast is done, I pack up some snacks and lunch for the little girl to take to school. I then pack up snacks and lunch for Mr G to take to work. If it is a weekend, things are different as they all eat at home.
Before I start preparing lunch for Mrs G and other family members (if they are around), I have a 1.5 hour break which I usually spend creating a new recipe, or I pop out to the shops to get any ingredients I need for that day.
12.00-13.00 - Lunch is served, but it varies from day to day.
When lunch is over, I have about 2 to 3 hours of free time. I sometimes spend this going for a walk to get some fresh air, or I stay in and start planning preparations for dinner.
17.00-19.30 - Dinner is prepared and served. After this, I tidy up, leave the kitchen immaculate and ready for the next day, and then I make my way home.
My relationship with the other household staff
I am not required to cook for the staff, but I personally believe it is nice to keep them in mind when I am cooking. I always make sure there is some extra food for them to enjoy. I think it is important to maintain a good relationship between the other members of staff and myself. We spend many hours in the household together! Once they have enjoyed eating my food, they are very happy to give me a hand with the washing up. I see this as a mutual favour!
Every day I will be faced with a new challenge. The most common will be friends of the family appearing unexpected. I am required to cook for them. In these circumstances, I have to be quick and innovative to be able to serve delicious meals to them in no time. The ability to multitask is of paramount importance at these times.
How to avoid pressure and stress
To avoid too much pressure and stress on myself, I always need to be ready for last minute cooking. I have ingredients in stock prepared and always plan some quick but delicious recipes to use on these occasions.
What do I love about my job?
The beauty of being a personal chef is that I have full freedom to create new, exciting recipes and it is never boring. There is also a huge amount of appreciation for my cooking, which makes the whole job even more fulfilling.
What is the key to success as a private chef?
Flexibility, creativity, reliability, competence and patience are a prerequisite for the success of a private chef. A good sense of humour is always an advantage too!
If you are a chef interested in a job like this, send your CV to us today. email@example.com
If you are a client looking to employ a private chef like this, please contact us with your requirements.