Guest Author - Jason Hodge
When you're getting ready to delve into the world of personal cheffing there are some strategies you can use to help make your transition a more seamless, pressure-free one. As you use these your confidence will begin to soar. Here's what you can do.
For starters, if you're not already cooking for your family and friends, invite them over and cook them three, four or five course meals; but before you do that, start with hosting appetizer and finger-food mixers. Nothing formal in the beginning. Remember, your getting your feet wet and secretly building your confidence and your audience. Don't tell them that you're breaking yourself in for the personal cheffing lifestyle. You want to make sure that it all stays lite. So just simply cook for them. Observe their reactions and ask for feedback if their exuberance isn't so obvious.
Notice things like your timing. Did all of the dishes finish in the right sequence? Were they perfectly done? What can you do better to make it tastier and easier? Is their a lot of talking going on when your food is being eaten or are you guests inhaling it?
Take a look at all of the clues you can gather by observing your guests body language. Are they requesting that you make any of the dishes again? Are they going back for seconds? Are they eager to take you up on your dinner invites? If you start seeing these things take place, it's a pretty good indicator that you have a winner. If not, then you go back to the drawing board and tighten up your processes.
Another thing you can do is start looking for recipes that you enjoy eating. If you are into roasts, souffles, quiches, etc. start researching those recipes online. And for this I wouldn't rule out actual cookbooks that give you a good background, folklore, pictures and the author's feel. This way you start to get the essence of the dish and its origin. You get a better understanding of what the originator was thinking and can use that as a platform for your own interpretation of the dish.
If you have a knack for being a bit of a mixologist, try your hand at some of your own creations. Keep in mind you'll want to stick to things that can be cooked in a fairly short amount of time. When you go into professional cheffing as a career you'll be working with a time frame of 4-6 hours, so if your dishes can't be finished within that block of time, with clean up included, you'll want to just save them for other, non-PC events. Start working with your recipes and see if they garner the responses that warrants their being on your permanent menu.
These are a few tips you can use to get your beginnings off to a great start and more so to see if the personal cheffing industry is really what you want to break into. I would suggest you do at least 10 of these events to get your sea legs in the personal cheffing profession before you decide if this is really what you want to pursue as a career.
As always, it's been my pleasure to share these tips with you. Until next time...