I’m a Private Chef – Surprising Things About My Job

  • Meredith Hayden Has a private chef in New York Metropolis and the Hamptons.
  • She talked to Insider in regards to the issues which may shock individuals about her job.
  • “Overall, it’s definitely not as glamorous as it sounds,” Hayden mentioned.

Whereas working as a non-public chef within the lovely dwelling of a rich consumer might sound like a dream, it is not at all times as glamorous as you may think.

Meredith Hayden, a non-public chef and recipe developer — who relies in New York Metropolis and works with shoppers there and within the Hamptons — spoke with Insider. 2023 South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February and shared particulars about what it is actually wish to be a private chef.

In accordance with Hayden, there are stunning issues you could find about a non-public chef job.

No two non-public-chef jobs are the identical, however you possibly can reside along with your consumer half-time

Hayden shares her experiences as a reside-in non-public chef her instagram pageHowever non-public cooks work below totally different circumstances.

“Working as a private chef goes way beyond just preparing and catering meals,” she mentioned. “There are, which I’ve documented on my social media, live-in opportunities. There are also full-time contracts that people can hire you for,” he mentioned.

Whereas some shoppers ask non-public cooks to reside and work of their houses, others might ask them to come back as soon as a week and meal-prep dishes that they will warmth up all through the week, she mentioned.

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A non-public chef’s schedule is topic to vary with the seasons

Meredith Hayden sitting outside holding a mug

Meredith Hayden.

Courtesy of Meredith Hayden

Through the summer time, Hayden would normally spend Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on the Hamptons dwelling of her main consumer—whom she did not acknowledge. She may even work throughout summer time holidays comparable to Labor Day or the Fourth of July.

Nonetheless, their schedule is vastly totally different throughout the off-season as a result of their shoppers are much less entertained.

“I really just need to prepare meals for them to eat throughout the week,” she mentioned, including that she will work on Mondays to arrange these meals.

Prospects can invite cooks to share a meal with them

Hayden mentioned that throughout the summer time, he’s invited to eat on the desk along with his shoppers. Nonetheless, he added that it’s “definitely not the norm in the industry.”

“I think I’m probably the only [private chef] I know who does it,” she mentioned. “I feel very fortunate to work for such wonderful people who have welcomed me into their home as part of the family,” she mentioned. “Obviously, every experience is different as it is a case-by-case basis regarding the relationship between a private chef and their client.”

Nonetheless, the chef have to be ready to work alone

“Again, I think everyone has their own personal experience, depending on their relationship with their client as well as their support team,” Hayden mentioned.

In some circumstances, a complete workers – together with servers and folks serving to with kitchen preparation – will work for the consumer. However this isn’t typical in Hayden’s expertise.

“It’s only happened to me once where they were already there to help me,” she mentioned. “Plus, I’m usually by myself during most of my work.”

As a consequence, working as a non-public chef entails lengthy, arduous hours.

Whereas it is a blessing to have the ability to go to native farmers’ markets within the Hamptons and “prepare beautiful food in beautiful homes,” Hayden mentioned the hours are lengthy and arduous. A few of that’s as a result of she works alone, she mentioned.

Hayden mentioned, “I never really wanted to set up my own private-chef or catering business, so I never really hired people to join me and expand my business.”

“I think there are instances in which there is a lot of support from the cooks which can make their day a little bit easier, but overall, it’s definitely not as glamorous as it sounds, I think,” she mentioned.

TikTok has given Hayden the chance to work with only one consumer

Relating to constructing her model and enterprise, Hayden hasn’t been shy in regards to the function social media has performed in permitting her to take her private-chef enterprise from a full-time job. Because of the sponsorship, Hayden mentioned she has been in a position to work with only one consumer and complement her earnings with the cash she earns from her TikTok.

She instructed Insider, “In the past, I’d juggle multiple clients at a time, but with TikTok, I’ve been more specific with my primary clients.”

Private cooks can cost greater than Hayden initially realised.

Meredith Hayden in her clients' garden.

Hayden within the backyard of his shoppers.

Courtesy of Meredith Hayden

“Before I started TikTok and working as a private chef was my only source of income, I had zero knowledge of what anyone else was charging,” she mentioned. “The only knowledge I had was how much I needed to charge to pay my bills.”

He started “working backward” and charged clients primarily based on the minimal quantity wanted for that month. Hayden later discovered that she was charging little or no for her companies.

“I wasn’t really getting rich off these gigs at all,” she mentioned.

“I thought I was being so smart as, ‘Oh, I’m going to get them an extra hundred dollars here and an extra hundred dollars there.’ But in reality, the value of the service I was providing was much more than what I was charging.”

The “biggest and most helpful advice” he obtained was to cost hourly companies individually from the price of his supplies. She mentioned this helps cowl rising grocery costs, availability of components and final-minute menu adjustments.

Restaurant cooks can double their pay by including non-public-chef gigs to their schedules

Hayden mentioned that though it took him a whereas to get on his ft and value his companies correctly, he noticed how engaging it might be to individuals who wished to interrupt out of a typical restaurant-chef profession, Particularly if they’ve a good advertising technique and a few preliminary clients.

“If they’re willing to take that leap and take on the extra responsibilities that come with owning a business, it’s possible to double your salary by doing private-chef gigs,” Hayden tells Insider.

Regardless of cooking for a residing, Hayden nonetheless loves it and does not order takeout as usually as you would possibly assume

Meredith Hayden in a tomato dress holding a tomato

Meredith Hayden.

Courtesy of Meredith Hayden

“After spending hours in the kitchen cooking for my customers,” Hayden mentioned, “spending 30 minutes standing alone is sore in itself, and the prospect of creating more dishes is even less appealing.”

“In times like these, I try to be strategic with my leftovers, so I usually make a bunch of soup and freeze it,” she mentioned. “Then, if I know I have a busy week ahead, I’ll pull some soup out of the freezer and make sure I have it on hand for nights like that.”

“Cooking for a living and living on a budget has made me a little more reluctant to order takeout than most people in New York City, because I see how expensive it can be,” Hayden mentioned. “I’m more likely to stock up on frozen meals at Trader Joe’s than to order takeout during those desperate times.”

Regardless of giving up cooking for her profession, Hayden says she nonetheless loves it.

“It’s really a matter of physical and mental exhaustion on everything around cooking, but I’ve always really enjoyed cooking,” she mentioned.

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