Scroll to Top
Win a luxury 2-night sparkling Sussex break with Pride of Britain Hotels

The ultimate guide to hiring a private chef

Here’s all you need to know about the process – including seven reasons it might just be the best decision you make for that special day.

By LLM Reporters  |  February 13, 2022
Restaurant hotel private chef preparing desert chocolate cake

Looking to organise a show-stopping event this year? From birthdays and anniversaries to simple yet sophisticated dinner parties with friends, there are plenty of excuses to pull out all the stops and celebrate – and what better way to ensure the occasion goes with a bang than hiring in a talented private chef to do the catering?

Not only will the right chef be able to prepare a delicious spread or devise a mouth-watering menu to sort your taste and chosen theme, but you can rest assured that each dish will be highly Instagrammable, too. Not only that, but by alleviating yourself of the responsibility of handling the food, you’ll free up more time for the other stuff – from managing the performers, bartenders and decorators prior to the event, to letting your hair down and having some fun when the big day finally arrives.

If you’re new to the idea of hiring a private chef then rest assured, the benefits to doing so are many. Here’s all you need to know about the process – including seven reasons it might just be the best decision you make for that special day.

What is a private chef?

There is often some confusion surrounding the difference between chefs and cooks – so let us demystify the topic. While the latter is more focused on providing fuel for the body at mealtimes, to chefs, cooking is a fine art. Taking the dining experience to the next level, they will use their skill and creativity to come up with inspired flavour combinations and beautiful, show-stopping dishes that will get your guests talking for all the right reasons, using only the freshest and finest ingredients they can lay their hands on.

private chef in kitchen
Not only will the right chef be able to prepare a delicious spread or devise a mouth-watering menu to sort your taste and chosen theme, but you can rest assured that each dish will be highly Instagrammable, too.

To a private chef, both the taste and the presentation of each dish is of the utmost importance, and they can effortlessly curate awe-inspiring menus that work impeccably well together in a holistic sense, as well as impressing diners with their individual merits.

A personal chef will have a culinary degree and experience, so it’s safe to say they know exactly what they are doing in the kitchen. Having likely started their careers working in a variety of different restaurants – and in some cases, even Michelin Star kitchens – they are perfectly placed to deliver an outstanding all-round dining experience, and have the power to elevate any event from mediocre to truly memorable.

When you book a venue for your event, you might find that catering is included – however, you will always have the option of bringing in a private chef instead. They are also a great option for venue-only bookings, or if you’re holding an event at home. 

How much do private chefs charge for their work?

To hire a personal chef in the UK, prices vary depending on experience and also on the size of the event you would like them to cater. For small gatherings, you can expect fees to start at around the £180 mark, increasing to £250 and above for larger guest lists.

Services like Poptop will help you to find a top-notch professional in any region of the country, with any level of expertise – so if you’re determined to put on an event to remember, then look no further.

5 factors that impact the personal chef cost

Of course, these basic prices can only ever be a guide, as most people hiring private chefs in the UK will have a very specific set of needs and requirements. With this in mind, there are a number of factors that may impact the final bill.

private chef cooking food
To hire a personal chef in the UK, prices vary depending on experience and also on the size of the event you would like them to cater

Type of meals

If you’re looking for a personal chef to cater for a buffet style event, then you can expect to pay less than you would for a sit-down silver service meal, as canapes and sandwiches tend to come with a lower price tag than haute cuisine. However, if you’re expecting your chef to invest some extra time and effort into creating elaborate food presentations and displays, then you can expect the price to be a little higher.

Type of event

If you hire a personal chef for a large-scale gala event, you should be prepared to pay a larger sum for their services, because they will be catering to a large number of guests where standards must remain at their highest throughout. A cook for a relaxed picnic-style gala event will charge you much less, but if you’re looking to create a more formal feel to the occasion then it’s worth splurging on a chef.

Number of dishes

The more dishes you’d like to be served throughout an event – or the higher the number or guests – the larger the costs will be, too. A tasting menu is a great way to keep the excitement and momentum going throughout the evening, and each dish will make for a talking point.

Cuisine

Personal chefs who specialise in exotic cuisines tend to charge more than those who prepare more traditional fare, and rightly so. Having spent years honing their craft, they can offer something a little different to the standard private chef, so if you have a particular theme in mind then take this into consideration, and be sure to book well in advance, as chefs who bring something a little different to the table tend to be in high demand.

Dietary requests

Experienced private chefs know how to cater to all manner of guests’ tastes and preferences. While some might be intolerant to lactose or gluten, others might be vegetarian or vegan – but a good chef will be able to prepare the same meal in several variations to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy the experience to the full.

chef cooking outdoors on BBQ
If you’re looking to create a truly show-stopping event this year for any occasion, then hiring a private chef is the perfect way to ensure that it’s remembered for all the right reasons

7 great reasons to hire a chef

The reasons to hire a private chef for your gathering are plentiful, and doing so has the power to elevate your event to sophisticated new heights in a way that is certain to impress guests. Here are seven other reasons to consider bringing in a professional:

  1. While a personal chef will take care of the catering, you can focus on other tasks in the lead-up – and let your hair down and enjoy yourself on the big day itself.
  2. Meals are guaranteed to be delicious and visually appealing, and will make an excellent impression on VIPs.
  3. A personal chef will add an air of luxury to your event when compared with a cook.
  4. You can rest assured that all guests will be well catered to, no matter what their dietary requirements happen to be.
  5. A private chef will be able to recommend the best suppliers to ensure that your guests get the very best.
  6. They will cook with only the highest-quality, locally sourced ingredients and make health and safety a priority.
  7. You won’t have to worry about delays or last-minute change of plans, and can rest assured that your event will go smoothly.

The bottom line

If you’re looking to create a truly show-stopping event this year for any occasion, then hiring a private chef is the perfect way to ensure that it’s remembered for all the right reasons. With delicious and decadent cuisine guaranteed, it will also make the entire planning process far easier – and you can be certain that the whole thing will go without a hitch.