A chef’s dream job is surely working in a private house: getting to know one client and settling into one environment. But these are coveted roles. So, how do you make sure you are pipping all the other excellent chefs out there to the post and landing that career-changing job? We’ll tell you…
If you’re reading this, chances are you are a professional cook or private chef. So, you’ll know that the catering industry is hardly a cake walk: competition is tough when it comes to booking jobs. And being booked once doesn’t necessarily lead to being booked again, not even if you whip up a feast that would have Alain Ducasse quaking in his boots…..(click to read more)
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.
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.
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.