Personal Chef Training Programs

In our previous article we discussed the advantages of starting a career as a personal chef. Now let's take a look at some of the personal chef training options that can help you get started in this rewarding career.

The paths to a personal chef career are as varied and different as the people who pursue them, and the training option that's right for one chef might not work in your case. Let's examine the three basic methods of receiving your personal chef training so that you can determine which one is the best option for you.

Personal Chef Training at a Culinary School
If you're just out of high school, or simply a novice cook who's dreamed of learning the culinary arts, but you've never had any formal training nor worked for any length of time in a professional kitchen, then you might want to consider enrolling in a culinary school in your town or city.

The faculty at most culinary schools is typically made up of experienced professional chefs who love sharing their passion for food with enthusiastic students, and the culinary degree programs can often be completed in two years or less. These schools tend to be very hands-on and most require some sort of externship in the field in order to graduate.

Though culinary schools can be expensive, but most have financial aid departments that can help you secure scholarships, grants, or student loans. (For more information on financing your culinary education, be sure to see our article, 5 Ways to Pay for Culinary School.)

To save yourself from having to pursue further personal chef training once you graduate, make sure that you choose a culinary school that offers instruction on how to start a personal chef business. One place to start might be the Culinary Business Academy website where you can see a list of culinary schools and community colleges that offer their undergraduate personal chef training program.

Personal Chef Training Seminar
If you've already graduated from culinary school or have been working in the restaurant industry for a considerable length of time, you might not need the extensive training that cooking schools offer. For you, attending a seminar led by one of the personal chef professional organizations may supply you with all the education you need to start your new career.

These seminars, like the ones hosted by the American Personal & Private Chef Association, focus on the business side of your personal chef service by offering instruction on how to plan, start, and market your personal chef business. They also can include other benefits such as software to run your business, access to liability insurance for chefs, online referrals, and ongoing mentoring.

The seminars run 2 – 3 days and can range in price from $1,000 - $1,500

Personal Chef Home Study Course
If you're not near a major city that has a culinary school or hosts a live seminar, you can always choose to learn from the comfort of your living room with a personal chef home study course.

Often these are recorded versions of the live seminar, so you still get all of the handouts, software, and marketing materials that you would get if you attended in person. The APPCA and the USPCA both offer personal chef training courses, and the Personal Chef Network includes personal chef training materials in its membership package.

Along with the convenience of learning the material from your own home on your own schedule, the home study courses are also the most economical of the training options with prices varying from $595 to $795 for these courses.

Personal Chef Training Links
For more information on the personal chef training programs mentioned above, visit the following websites:

Culinary Business Academy
Associated with the United States Personal Chef Association, the Culinary Business Academy offers a home study course, quick start seminar, and, at select culinary schools, an undergraduate personal chef training course.

American Personal and Private Chef Association
Offers The Business of Doing Business as a Personal Chef© training course as a live seminar, home study course and video enhanced home study course.

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