I don’t call myself a “Chef ” although I know could create almost any dish given a primary element, some salt and water.
The word “chef” feels bloated by the food network. Webster’s Dictionary defines the term as “a skilled cook who manages the kitchen.” The key word here is “manages.” The more accurate term is “Chef de Cuisine” because the French translation for “Chef ” is “chief, manager, or person in charge.” “Chef de cuisine” has a historical precedent since 1840 for people who manage a commercial or public kitchen. This is not a job for the faint of heart and I can see why the term Chef carries an image of respect.
So technically, are personal/private cooks entitled to the use the term “Chef”? Can they lean on the powerful image that is conjured up in the public’s mind? Do modern day Chefs ride the “fake it till you make it” facade?
Modern language for current times accounts for our titles of Personal Chef and Private Chef. The words personal and private indicate an intimacy of working for a person, small business or family. As personal/private chef we take charge and manage meals, kitchens, and co-ordinate events. We become chief directors of the timing, service, budget, food management and creations. A one person operation. And who do we manage? Ourselves. We strive to be calm and balanced, sensitive to our client’s needs without loosing our own. Historically only the rich had personal/private chefs. But today an accelerated need for special diets and improved quality of ingredients than what is available commercially, has opened the door for a different kind of Chef de Cuisine. If we use the word “Chef” people expect a professionalism. But only the “Chef” knows whether they can manage the job or not.
The International Academy of Natural Cookery strives to create graduates through a one of a kind personal chef training where upon completion they have the tools to be confident in managing situations they find themselves in. The spontaneous moments of cooking are supported by a strong knowledge-based foundation. Through our program we can offer families quality dishes for a similar cost as dining out. A personal chef graduate from our program easily wears the hat of “manager.”