How to Become a Freelance Chef

When you think about chefs, what do you think of first? Which aspects of chefs are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge. Becoming a freelance chef does not mean that just knowing how to cook automatically qualifies you to go into someone's home and cook for them. Obtaining the necessary industry (yes, it is an industry!) knowledge through a comprehensive training program puts you way ahead of the game. Knowing how to market yourself as well as how to go about everyday business functions like accounting, price-setting, scheduling, menu-planning, customer relations, and more can very well dictate whether or not your freelance chef business succeeds or fails.

Two of the biggest organizations in the business of training and bestowing accredited certifications to personal freelance chefs are the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCS) and the American Personal Chef Association (APCA). Both organizations offer information regarding liability insurance, software to help with scheduling and menu planning, tools and equipment, and local chapters provide coaching, advice, and other support for members. Thanks to the advent of these trained personal freelance chefs, many families now have their favorite meals prepared for them up to several weeks in advance, ready to simply heat and devour. For many, this means getting a decent, home-cooked meal instead of relying on fast food or tv dinners.

And most personal chefs not only do the cooking, they plan entire meals, do all the necessary grocery shopping, and clean up their mess when through in their client's kitchen. Personal chefs spend, on average, four to six hours twice a month in their customers' homes making such dishes as salmon with Parmesan crust, fettuccini Alfredo, crab cakes, and other fine meals. Some suggest and provide wines, as well.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to chefs than you may have first thought. Pricing averages from $7 to $15 per plate, but with savings found in time saved by not having to shop or do the cooking themselves, people from singles to seniors and professionals with little or no free time, find the service worth much more than the cost. Training schools for freelance personal chefs provide cooking and business education through seminars, personalized mentoring sessions, classroom instruction, video- and audiocassette teaching, CDs, books, and online testing for a typical price of around $900. Information varies, of course, from school to school, but usually includes such things as checklists for starting out with your business, learning how to price, preparing recipes and planning menus, packaging prepared meals for storage, sanitation and hygiene, and more. Chefs who are already certified as personal chefs - and who are already successfully running their own personal freelance chef businesses - commonly provide instruction and support as mentors. Personal chefs enjoy all the benefits of any other business owner - and all the responsibilities.

Some freelance chefs cook for as many as 15 families. But to most, all the hard work is worth it. One personal chef summed it up nicely: "When you cook for a family for any length of time, you become a part of that family as well." And who would not enjoy that? Don't limit yourself by refusing to learn the details about chefs. The more you know, the easier it will be to focus on what's important.

In the meantime you can find out more by visiting the web site listed below. Keith Londrie II has worked and researched the subject of chefs. To learn more information, please visit the new site for culinary information at http://define-culinary-arts-program-schools-restaurant-management .

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By: Keith Londrie

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