Event Set-up Considerations

Personal Chefs in a Box

What should you know before you hire a Chef?

Prior to hiring a Personal/Private or Demonstration Chef you should always feel confident in your Chefs abilities.  To assist in your determination, make sure that your Chef is fully Licensed, Insured, possess a valid Food Handler’s certificate, and of course be able to provide proof of experience.  Not all Chefs in our industry have formal culinary educations but instead compensate with on-the-job learned skills.

All Personal Chefs in a Box Chefs meet and exceed the above requirements.  We are fully licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, insured by The Hartford, possess valid Food Protection Manager Certificates, Culinary Arts Degrees and various Culinary Awards.  Our Chefs have been providing Chef Services for many years and pride ourselves on providing services without the need of boasting or mentioning our client names.  We believe that service and quality of food determine success and we strive to earn client recommendations.

What are the fees associated with hiring a Chef?

Personal Chef Service fees are based on the number of meals required each day and the number of days each week.  This service is week by week and cost is determined based on labor and food costs.

Our Private Chef Service fee is based on labor, food cost and in some cases travel and lodging.  The labor prices are charged by the hour and are based off of type of service and complexity of menu.  Food costs are determined based off menu.

Our Demonstration Chef Service fee is determined based on location, type of demonstration, length (time) of demonstration, size of audience, guest tastings requirements, labor, food cost, travel and lodging when required.

Tasting Service:  For any service we can provide a tasting for a fee based on food cost and reduced labor fee.

Food Preparation:  All food is prepared fresh on site and never prepared off site.

Potential Labor Requirements:

30 min to 1 hour        Consultation (Chef only)

2 to 3 hours               Menu, Recipe Development and follow-up meetings (Chef Only)

1 hour                       Shopping (Chef only)

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours    Food Preparation (All staff)

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours    Service (All staff)

30 min to 1 hour        Clean-up (All staff)

The following are basic staff requirements for full service dining:

# of Guests                Staff Required depends on set-up and type of service

1 - 4                          1-2

5- 10                         2-3

11- 20                       3-4

20 or more                Special kitchen requirements, staffing and space restrictions and are determined

                                on a case by case basis.

Staffing Hourly Rates

Chef                                $40 to $60

Sous Chef                        $30 to $40

Prep Cooks                      $12 to $20

Servers                            $10 to $15

Dishwashers                     $10 to $15

Bartenders                       $25

Photographer                   Available upon request - Price Negotiated Separately

Message (Licensed)          Available upon request - Price Negotiated Separately

Hair & Nail Stylist            Available upon request - Price Negotiated Separately

How much is a dinner for two?

The price varies on location, menu and food cost. To help provide some insight, we have done dinners from $225 to $450.  The labor was $150 - $225 and the remainder was all food cost. We do not mark up food one penny. We use our contacts and obtain the best product at the lowest possible price.  Unfortunately, some items simply cost what they cost.For instance, Grade "A" Foie Gras from Hudson Valley New York costs $89 - $119; two pounds of Elk tenderloin for from Jackson Hole Meat Company in Wyoming  costs $135 and then of course a bottle of Dom Perignon, 2004 costs on average $140.

How is the menu determined/selected/developed?

We do not have a set menu but instead individualize each meal/menu based around our client’s specific requirements.  To help determine client requirements, we ask the following questions:


  1. Are there any dietary restrictions?   
  2. Are there any allergies?   
  3. Is there a specific cuisine that you like or dislike?   
  4. Is there a specific dish that you like or dislike?   
  5. What is/are your favorite:Meat (Beef, Pork, Lamb, Venison, other game)   
  6. What do you dislike?Meat (Beef, Pork, Lamb, Venison, other game)   
  7. Is there any type of food that you have always wanted to try but never knew how to make it or could find it in a restaurant?

Other event considerations:

  1. Will the event be indoors or outdoors?
  2. Will a kitchen be available?
  3. Will there be a Specialty Alcoholic Drink required?
  4. Will a Bartender and Servers  be required?
  5. Would you like a professional message prior to the event?
  6. Would you like a hair or nail stylist to be available prior to the event?