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As a private chef, I know I’ve done a good job the moment I see the smile that grows on my client’s face after their first bite. Witnessing the pleasure that I bring to my clients and their guests firsthand is a career perk that I do not take for granted.

Client, “I have had goosebumps only from one dish in my life, this is the second time I have had goosebumps” incredible awesomeness!

I love that as a private chef, each booking can be an entirely new creative endeavour.

But what really drew me to the field was the endless creative opportunities and constant room to play. At a restaurant, regulars come back again and again for a certain dish—it becomes theirs. Then it’s hard—if not impossible—for the chef to take those favourites off the menu. I love that as a private chef, each booking can be an entirely new creative endeavour. Each client has inspired me to be creative, create new dishes, and we offer a team of chefs that delve into that passion too.

And then there’s the practical stuff. As you move up in the restaurant world, your days are filled with managing others and worrying about overheads, and not much cooking & creativity. As a private chef, I’m usually flying solo, though I’ll work with an assistant chef or a server to pull off bigger dinners. I always know how many people I’m cooking for, so planning is straightforward.  We are not worried about equipment costs or food wastage.  If the client’s stove, oven or dishwasher malfunctions mid-dinner, it might throw a wrench into my night, but at the end of the day, I’m not the one who needs to get it fixed.

Yes the pay is far better than restaurant work and, while not expected, tipping is common. But my most treasured perk, above all else, is that I get to share in the most special occasions of my client’s lives, including birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions. There’s an intimacy to these events; maybe that’s why some of my clients are now dear friends.