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Private Chef/Cook

Placing qualified Chef's in London and abroad.

Are you looking for a private chef or cook to conjure up healthy and tasty home made meals for you and your family?  Or, do you regularly host formal dinner parties?  Employing your own culinary Chef could be the answer.

Register your interest with Bel-Rose Governess, Nanny and Tutor Agency, London, by clicking the link and a consultant will be in touch to discuss your requirements in further detail.

Role of a Private Chef

A private chef employed in private residence is becoming more popular, not just in Europe, but around the globe. They are hired by families who require a high standard of culinary knowledge, skills and creative flair, to cook the finest of cuisine to perfection, and presented in a manner that matches that required by top restaurants around the world.  Furthermore, their knowledge and understanding of the science of food, as well as nutrition and diet enables them to cater to all cultural/dietary requirements, including those with allergies and intolerance to certain foods/ingredients.  

If you are hosting a dinner party, then you need look no further, as your chef will advise and work with you to create a menu, as well as hire additional staff, such as a sous or commis chef etc., when large numbers are being catered to.

Anyone who has not employed a personal chef before, should remember this:  a professional chef who has worked hard for their title may not take too kindly to being referred to as the “cook”, so best to call them “chef” out of respect.  So what is the difference between a cook and a chef?  The term Chef and Cook are sometimes referred to as one of the same, yet the main difference that sets them apart is this:


  • A Chef holds a professional degree from a culinary arts school that is recognised and valued worldwide. They work in hotels, high end restaurants, on cruise ships and multi-million pound yachts, as well as in private residence for the very rich.  In French, the term Chef means Chief, and as the name suggests, is in charge of the kitchen and all staff that work under him or her.  In private residence, however, they may work solely on their own.  Their experience and training means they are highly skilled in sourcing the finest ingredients, food preparation and handling, as well as storing food correctly at the appropriate temperature. Cooking in a kitchen that is sanitised daily is imperative as is avoiding cross contamination of food when preparing it. A qualified chef will be up-to-date with all health and safety matters relating to the above.


  • A Cook on the other hand may, or may not hold a professional qualification.  For those who do not, their skills and experience are not to be undermined.   They can produce traditional tasty home cooked meals and may specialise in a particular cultural cuisine, such as Chinese, Mexican or Indian etc.  Those that are employed in private residence are sometimes required to split their time between cooking the family meal and housekeeping duties - such a role would be made clear in the job description.


Despite the clarification above, many professional chefs enter the profession without formal qualifications. They learn their culinary trade from working their way up the ladder starting out as a kitchen assistant or trainee chef (Commis Chef) with the opportunity to achieve qualifications, such as an NVQ whilst learning on the job, or via an apprenticeship.


If you are a candidate, below are just some of the qualifications to kick start your career as a Chef within the culinary arts. However, we advise you to thoroughly research the array of qualifications on offer in the UK and by speaking to your local career advisor. It would be a good idea also, to speak with a professional person on the faculty of staff at your nearest college to ensure the courses they offer are right for you, and will put you on the right track to achieving your ultimate aim.  Alternatively, there are numerous independent culinary schools that can be found worldwide in addition to those in the UK which vary considerably in cost and duration.

Chef de Partie - Known as a station or line cook and takes orders from the Head Chef whilst managing his or her own staff.


BTEC HND in Professional Cookery

City & Guilds Diploma in Professional Cookery

Foundation Degree in Culinary Arts

14 - 19 Hospitality & Catering Diploma

Safety, Health & Food Hygiene (any course)


Sous Chef de Cuisine - Works under the Chief/Executive/Head Chef and third in line.


You will need a GNVQ Level 1 & 2 in Food Preparation at Commis Chef level.  Apart from this, there is no official college qualification for this role which is why you must acquire a minimum of 5 years of experience of working in a busy, fast-paced working kitchen before you can become a Sous Chef. That said, any professional qualification such as the Diploma in Professional Cooking will certainly help aid your career progression.


Commis Chef - Trainee


There are no formal qualifications for this position, as it is an entry level role, but you can acquire qualifications whilst learning on the job, for example, as an apprentice which should include the GNVQ Level 1 & 2 in Food Preparation or similar.  Other qualifications will be obtainable as you progress.


National Vocational Qualification (NVQ):

NVQ Level 1 Food Preparation and Handling

NVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery (Preparation and Cooking)


Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ):

SVQ Food Preparation and Cooking

SVQ Level 2 and Level 3 Professional Cookery

SVQ Level 2 and level 3 Professional Cookery (Preparation and Cooking)

SVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery (Patisserie and Confectionary)

Salary for Private Chefs

Chefs can earn on average £26000, whilst those who are highly experienced can earn between £30,000 and £60,000 plus for full-time roles.  Those employed on a temporary/short term contract can expect between £150 and £300 per day depending on experience, days and hours worked. Salaries can exceed those stated for those who have built up a first class reputation working in the culinary world.

Chef Accommodation

Accommodation provided if live in, is to an excellent standard and consists of own bedroom with en-suite and sometimes located within staff quarters.  Equally, a separate apartment may be provided, or own room in a hotel. Some families like to take their personal chef with them when travelling overseas.

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