Written by Shirley Parker
Personal chef recipes come from many sources, both personal and professional. An established personal chef will have 100 or more of them. However, a new personal chef may also have a sizable family collection of recipes that have been handed down from grandma and great-grandpa.
If a personal chef does not already have a filing system for the recipes, from which to create a variety of menus, a system will need to be created. Menu software can help a great deal with this, since it enables you to personalize a menu, including nutritional analysis for your records. Any method of organizing personal chef recipes, including binders with laminated pockets for recipe cards, will work when first starting out.
You must pay attention to any dietary restrictions customers have, especially if they have allergies. Allergic reactions are absolutely life-threatening, so make sure a customer identifies family members who have allergies, when filling out likes and dislikes on your customer profile, and signs the form. (How you get in and out of his house should also be addressed in the customer's handwriting, or at least signed by him.) Joining a personal chef network can be a big help with this, since they often have standard forms available. Refer to your individual records often and never substitute recipe ingredients without checking first.
Personal Chef Recipes and Regionalization
Your part of the country will have its own favorite foods, especially comfort foods. Those may be steak-and-kidney pudding, grits, shrimp on the barbey, or fried chicken and pork in gravy. Sometimes, adding a large mixed salad to the menu will tempt the taste buds that first day. Not all lettuce keeps well, so label packages accordingly, as in "Please Eat This Today." Other customers will expect fancier food from your list of personal chef recipes, even if they're living miles from the city, or especially if they're living nowhere near a good restaurant.