By Deirdre Anderson, Private Chef
Many years ago, having a private chef such as myself, was something reserved for the truly wealthy. Today, as the demand for private chefs has risen dramatically, so has the competition.
Although most people have a general valuation of a plumber’s hourly rate, many don’t realize that private chefs charge similarly for their services.
Here in Manhattan, private chefs will charge approximately $50-100 per hour and often offer competitive day rates. For my clients, a typical dinner with multiple courses for six would cost about $800 exclusive of wine and other beverages. I wouldn’t exactly call that “cheap,” but when you consider the cost of fine dining in the city, it certainly poses a viable option (not to mention the small fortune you will save on the typical, and in my mind outrageous, markups on alcohol in restaurants). I offer my clients a wide range of cuisines and styles—from rustic-chic to a higher-end presentation.
I consider myself a chef with a considerable range, which leads me to my next pointer: finding such gems in the world of private chefs. Agencies will cost you a fortune. The average to above-average chef will not come up on page one of a Google search. There are several internet platforms where prospective clients may peruse a multitude of chef profiles. I exclusively use Thumbtack.com., where prospective clients send out a “request” referencing their specific needs and preferences. There is no cost to the client; the professionals pay to send a quote. Profiles, menus, photos and reviews can give you a sense of their level of expertise and overall style.
To me, a dinner party at home is my most cherished social experience. At home you can laugh loudly, take all the time you want, and even dance between courses if you are so inspired. The level of intimacy far exceeds anything that you will experience at a restaurant, and if you hire a private chef you can leave all of the work to them—including the dishes.
Cheers to dinner parties, and bon appétit!