My Personal Chef Qualifications

Does this look professional to you?

Lately, I have been thinking about how much money I've been saving our family being their Personal Chef. If stay-at-home parents were paid for all of their services, they would be making $178K annually. Some caring folks over at Salary.com crunched the numbers for us in the hopes it would make us feel more valuable. We wish! There is no doubt I have to wear many hats in my family. I'm lucky that I am educated and skilled enough to take on all the different unpaid jobs I possess. Sure we lost a full income, but the career sacrifice I had to make gave our family a happier and overall better quality of life.

Cooking and baking definitely consumes a lot of my time. Not only do I make most of my meals from scratch, but I also have to make separate versions for some of us with dietary restrictions. Salary.com quotes Cooks at a general rate of $15/hour, but Personal Chefs make an average of $26/hour in my area. I'm more of a Personal Chef since I have to tailor to dietary needs and I tend to cook healthy meals. If you factor in the time I spend grocery shopping and organizing our fridge and pantry as well, I could theoretically be making around $30K annually, just for my Personal Chef service. That doesn't count the cost of food either. In fact, I might even be a Specialty Chef because I cook different ethnic cuisines and I bake quite often and treat my family to desserts like homemade ice cream and homemade macarons. Actually, I'm so much more than that because I also manage all of our finances so it's important to me that we have close to 0% food waste. I often decide on our meals based on what I have to work with to limit food waste. Did you know that U.S. households waste 31% of their food? So despite not earning an income for being the family Chef, I am making a valuable financial contribution by saving our family a ton of money.

I'm a self taught Home Cook with no paid industry experience and no culinary education, aside from the 6 months I worked part time at McDonald's when I was in high school. Does that count? Nah. Because of this, I probably wouldn't get the credit I deserve as a Cook. I'm quite certain I wouldn't. After all, society tends to put more value on paid employment than unpaid work like childcare and volunteering. I pour my heart and work extremely hard in every role I take on and that has never changed when I became a mother. I have been recognized and acknowledged on occasion for my work as a blogger and a volunteer at the school. But I never earned a dime from any of that work. I'm happy to see there is more recognition for Home Cooks from shows like The Chef's Line, where Home Cooks face off against industry trained Chefs. It turns out Home Cooks are capable of producing professional quality food too and can compete just fine against the best in the industry! A friend of mine once complimented me in the best way possible about my food. He told me that my home cooked meals were better than the food he ate at 95% of the restaurants he visited. I was floored. He was a working bachelor at the time too so he dined out a lot. It's compliments like that that keep me going.

No, I'm not currently looking for a Personal Chef job. I don't have the time but if I did, I honestly don't think I would be treated fairly in the hiring process. I have considered it, which is why I did all this research and even had fun writing up my qualifications. LOL. Well, why not turn all that work into a blog post? Think of it a bit like an extension of my About profile for this blog.


Modified from a vector found on Freepik.

My Personal Chef Qualifications
  • 30+ years hands-on culinary experience from home, with a desire to always learn.
  • Organized thinker and detail oriented with a natural understanding of time management.
  • Knowledge and experience creating different ethnic cuisines.
  • Familiar with dietary preferences (e.g. vegan cuisine) and allergy restrictions.
  • Always maintains a clean and tidy work station and personal appearance.
  • Consistently produces high quality baked goods with a sense of attention to detail and presentation.
  • Experience with high volume production and large batch cooking.
  • Knowledge and experience preparing food for children's theme parties and picky eaters.
  • Can manage multiple competing demands, able to deal with unexpected events, and excellent at controlling food costs.
  • Conducts weekly physical food inventory to assist with meal planning and to limit food waste.
  • Experience with recipe development, food styling, and food photography.
  • Master knowledge of where and how to shop for food supplies, including equipment and serving tools.
  • Understands the science and art of cooking and baking, with a passion for creating exceptional food experiences.
  • Owner and food blogger on swoonforfood.com since 2012.
How did I do? Would you hire me? Maybe I can go into private catering one day.

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