What is a Personal Chef?
A personal chef is a person on the tour that is hired to take care of the dietary needs of the artist. Eating is necessary to be able to function every day, and it is also crucial to be able to get all the things the body needs to stay healthy on tour. It is easy to fall into habits of unhealthy living, and one way to avoid it is to bring a personal chef on tour.
Skills Needed To Be a Personal Chef
To be a personal chef, the most important skill is being able to cook on a professional level. Without having the skill-set to perform in the kitchen, there is no way to get the job done. Along with this obviously comes being aware of all the safety rules regulations for handling food both within the space allotted to cook and in whatever state the tour is in. It is recommended to get a food handler’s license to be allowed to cook and keep everyone safe.
Another skill needed to be a successful personal chef on tour is being able to problem solving. A lot of the job requires independence, so it’s imperative to be able to fix any issues that might arise quickly and efficiently. Being self-motivated is a huge part of it also because there isn’t a team of people watching out for you or a manager checking in to make sure deadlines are being met.
Daily Tasks of a Personal Chef
A lot of the daily tasks that a personal chef has vary a little bit based on the artist they are cooking for. It is the chef’s responsibility to supply the artist with all of their dietary needs while keeping any restrictions in mind. Much like tour managers or production coordinators, a lot of the job is advanced before the tour even starts. For a personal chef, they have to figure out what they are working with in terms of what is available to cook in proximity to the venue, and how they are going to transport themselves with the food there and back. This can be done by calling up local purveyors to find out about local options like vegetable stands or grocery stores.
The chef’s typical day actually begins the night before when they send the menus for the following day to the artist. Once they decide what they want, the chef makes a list of everything needed from grocery shopping the next day. Depending on the setup for the tour, it might be possible to keep small stockpiles of groceries to bring from city to city, but this is not always the case. The chef needs to be prepared to roll with the punches.
Once all the grocery shopping is done, the chef comes back to the venue and starts preparing everything they need for the day. Mise en plase is the prep work that comes before actually getting started in the kitchen. This involves sharpening knives, pre-measuring ingredients, and making sure everything is ready to go before the chef begins cooking. The chef then cooks all meals and snacks for the artist throughout their day, and anyone they have on tour with them like their families.
Once the show starts, the chef is responsible for cooking any after-show food for the artist and their loved ones. Sometimes this can be quite a large group of people, so it is up to the chef to make sure they are able to accommodate the number of people the artist has brought out. When all of the cooking is finished for the night, they break down their kitchen set up, sanitize everything and get them loaded up into the truck to do it all again the next day.
- Never say no because you never know when an opportunity will turn out to be the best thing for you.
- YouTube University is a great place to start.
- Adaptability is everything.
- Find local touring companies to help get you started.