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Private Chef vs. Personal Chef: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to hiring a chef, the terms "private chef" and "personal chef" are often used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences between the two that are important to understand before making a decision.

A personal chef from BookMyChef, selecting fresh vegetables in a vibrant market. The chef is examining various produce, showcasing a commitment to quality ingredients for culinary endeavors.
A professional chef chooses to personally handle the shopping process in order to guarantee utmost freshness.

A personal chef typically works for one family or individual exclusively, preparing meals on a regular basis and often living on site. They may be responsible for grocery shopping, menu planning, and cleaning up after meals. Private chefs tend to be highly skilled and experienced, often having worked in high-end restaurants or for celebrities.

On the other hand, a private chef typically works for multiple clients and prepares meals in the clients' homes. They may come in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to prepare a week's worth of meals, or they may be hired for special occasions such as dinner parties or holiday gatherings. Personal chefs tend to be more flexible in terms of scheduling and menu planning, but may not have the same level of experience and expertise as a private chef.

a private chef's plating is a piece of art
A private chef in action

Ultimately, the decision to hire a private chef or a personal chef depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a chef to cook for you on a daily basis and are willing to invest in their services, a private chef may be the way to go. However, if you are looking for occasional meal prep or catering for events, a personal chef may be a better fit.

Here is a table that summaries the key differences between private chefs and personal chefs:


Private Chef

Personal Chef


Self employed

Full time employee of a single client or family

Work location

Client's home

Client's home/Chef's own kitchen


Meal planning, preparation

Shopping, Meal planning, preparation, clean up and delivery

Level of commitment

Part-time or full-time


Number of clients



Other services

May offer additional services, such as grocery shopping, cooking classes and equipment rental

May offer additional services like grocery shopping, kitchen set up, dietician consultant etc..


Flexible work hours with high paying clients

Stable income


Unstable income

Long working hours

How much do the chefs make?

Note - The earning range varies largely on the experience and the popularity of the Chef.

Which type of chef is right for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a chef who can be available full-time and who can handle all aspects of meal planning and preparation, then a personal chef may be the best option for you. If you are looking for a chef who can prepare meals for you on a weekly or biweekly basis, then a private chef may be a better choice.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to hire a private chef or a personal chef:

  • How much time do I have to cook?

  • How much am I willing to spend on a chef?

  • What types of meals do I want to eat?

  • Do I have any dietary restrictions?

  • Do I need a chef who can handle other household tasks, such as grocery shopping and running errands?

Once you have answered these questions, you will be in a better position to decide which type of chef is right for you. If you are seeking the services of a private chef for a specific event or a personal chef for ongoing services, BookMyChef can effectively link you with a diverse array of chefs who match your preferences and budget.

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