Guest Author - Jason Hodge
One of the things that a personal chef needs to be aware of are the personal preferences of their clientele. Unlike cheffing where you're able to totally do your own thing, interpret your dishes the in the ways that give your dishes your signature, traditional personal cheffing requires a lot more consideration to your clients flavor preferences, food sensitivities and health concerns (if that's what you've signed on for). Here are some suggestions that will help you get to their end results and help keep you in business.
The interview is one of the most important aspects of your personal cheffing business. With the right approach to your interview process you will see exactly what your clients needs, desires and expectations are giving you the ability to meet them there. Take the time to understand things like:
Why they need a personal chef in their life
How you can meet their needs
What their tastes are
How frequently your services will be required
Your input is crucial to the relationship. For one your input establishes you as the expert and also as one who seeks to deliver to them what they ask for; what they need. Your input can give better insight on new directions that their traditional tastes can be made more healthy, how their shopping can be made more cost effective and the produce purchased be healthier. So as you are going through your process with them make sure that you are an active part of their solutions through your valuable input.
Your research is your foundation. With the right research you will be able to source any and every recipe and technique that will allow you to recreate your clients most prized dishes to give that familiar 'familial' home-made touch and presentation to it. One thing that you have to keep in mind when your personal cheffing is that it is ALL about them. Now this doesn't by any means mean that you can't stretch out and do your thing in order to get your creative release. It just means that you need to have your client sign off on it in your opening conversations.
Research can be done from various avenues. Some of the more traditional ways are in the libraries, cookbooks, restaurants, internet/online, but let me throw this at you... never disclude your client from this process. Mainly because, your client is the only one who truly knows their likes and dislikes. Although you may find a recipe that's called French Onion Soup, it may not be the French Onion Soup that they are accustomed to. They may remember it with a hint of garlic added, so in order to lock into what will make it all come together for them, delivering those warm fuzzies is by 'asking' them. So never overlook this step in your research.
So remember to do a thorough interview, have lots of input and do your research by not leaving any stones unturned.
Until next time... Bon appetite!