Follow where your heart leads you and you may end up in your dream cheffing job!
When I left college after studying theatre for years in Boulder, Colorado I headed to LA to give it my shot as an actress. I was in my early 20’s with no money and some waitressing experience. I was able to find a job at the Beverly Hills Hotel as a High Tea server and hostess in the Polo Lounge. I worked full time but in between my shifts I was auditioned for parts and work as an extra on TV shows and movies. While acting wasn’t really working out for me- too green for LA (and probably shy too!) I was finding a strong interest in food and cooking. I was obsessed with the kitchen at the Beverly Hills Hotel and would often talk with the chefs about the dishes they were preparing. I started to experiment more at home and just found that I really enjoyed playing with food and creating meals.
I found that I really didn’t like living in LA so I decided to give up my job and apartment and move down to San Diego where life is a bit slower and more my style. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have much of an acting career in San Diego, but that was ok, living in a place that suited me better was more appealing than acting gigs. I found a job working as an executive assistant and continued to study cooking by taking classes, watching a lot of the food network, reading cookbooks and just plain trial and error. I had a serendipitous run in with a local celebrity chef; Chef Larry. I had been using a lot of his recipes at the time and I think I just about talked his ear off about cooking. He invited me to come on his culinary radio show and to my surprise that was the start of a 3 year stint co-hosting a live internet radio show and talking about food every week for 2 hours.
I was continuing to experiment in the kitchen and also helping Chef Larry with his catering events and live cooking shows. I was thinking about looking for a cooking job and had stumbled upon a Domestic Staffing Agency in San Diego. I met with the owner of the agency and he started sending me out on interviews- of course I told every potential employer I was really a novice cook without formal training. That’s the funny thing about Private Cheffing, most families are not looking for nightly gourmet meals so they were open to trying out a novice. They are generally looking for someone who can cook day to day good family style meals. And so it began, my career as a private chef. I worked for families who required me to wear a chef coat and prepare breakfast, lunch and 5 course dinners and I worked for families who just wanted a spaghetti and meatballs with a crisp salad.
So my route to becoming a Private Chef was not typical—I had little actual experience and had never gone to culinary school but what I did have was passion and a desire to learn as much as I could. So follow your heart and see where it leads you, you could have an amazing career cooking meals you love in a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean.
Good luck in all that you do,