Ways To Make Quick Money Launching...

A Personal Chef "Fast Cash" Business

Insights And Caveats

Online Videos

Since using knives is such an important aspect of cooking and is seldom part of a recipe, here are a few videos you can watch to improve your cutlery skills:

Finding The Perfect Knife

Chopping Like A Professional

Improving Your Cutting Skills

Cutting That Steak!

Using A Shun Knife

Working As A Personal Chef At Thirteen

91 Years Old And Still Cooking!

Maintaining Your Equipment

Regardless of whether you are using your own tools or your client's cooking tools, it's important that they be thoroughly cared for.

Never allow build-up to develop on your cooking tools. Oil, burnt food and stains should be removed as much as possible.

  • Remove oil build-up by washing the tool with hot water as soon as you're done cooking. To remove heavy food build up from a pot or pan, put it to boil with dishwashing soap.

  • Remove burnt food from any tools. Food that is burned and stuck to a pot can leave permanent stains. That's why it's important to clean off the food immediately after completing your cooking.

  • Some food can be difficult to remove even when using hot water. For such cases, it might be best to use abrasion. Start with Ajax cleaner with bleach, which contains crystalline silica (sand) to help remove stubborn food. Move up to steel wool, such as SOS soap pads, if Ajax doesn't do the trick. But do not use either on non-metal utensil.

    Even with metal utensils, be aware not to scratch plastic handles or covers. Some plastic looks like glass. Abrasion can remove its sheen.

  • Since you're moving quickly from place to place and you must leave a clean work space after your departure, towel dry all washed tools and dishes.

  • Don't put away tools or dishes that are wet. Wet dishes and pots can grow mold. Some could rust, such as iron skillets. Bring some paper towels or negotiate to leave the dish washer running if your client has one. But always clean the pots and pans by hand to ensure they're as clean when you leave as how you found them.

How To Avoid Burning Food

  • Whether your recipe calls for it or not, use a timer to help you keep track of what's cooking. It's highly unlikely that you'll leave food to overcook and burn when you have a timer beeping away in your ears.

  • Before cooking anything on a hot stainless steel skillet melt a little butter or put a smidgen of oil onto the skillet to coat it and keep the food from sticking to the bottom of the skillet. If you're cooking without oils, use vegetable or some other kind of stock before you add any food.

  • Don't place food into a pot or pan that is searing hot, unless your recipe calls for it. Otherwise the portion of food that touches the pot or pan will burn. Allow the pot or pan to get slightly hot, and then gradually place your food in to cook.

  • Follow recipes precisely to keep from making mistakes. Experiment on your own time, not when visiting with a client.

How To Cook Quickly

  • Start with an organized kitchen.

    Ask your client to have her kitchen clean and cleared for you to begin cooking immediately after your arrive.

  • Gather all your ingredients and tools.

    If possible, have all your ingredients and tools in a single box or bag, and lay them out in one single place in the order that you will need them to reduce the amount of back-and-forth movement in processing them.

  • Get the most of time doing the time-dependent tasks first.

    Complete the longest aspects of the cooking first such as starting water to boil, preheating the oven, and thawing meat. Use any gap of time between these steps to finish off other shorter steps of your recipe, like mixing ingredients.

    Begin to create a process in your mind that will help you complete a recipe in the least amount of time possible.

  • Clean your dishes after use.

    If the kitchen has two sinks, fill one up with water and dump the dirty dishes there as you no longer need to use them. This helps soften out any crusty, burned out food particles that later you will wash off.

    If there's only one sink available to you, then run hot water with dish soap over every dish or tool you are no longer using and leave them to soak in the soapy water.

  • Stack up your dishes in a rational order; large plates on top of each other, smaller plates on top of larger plates; smaller bowls inside bigger bowls, etc. Group silverware with silverware. Group plastics together. This will minimize the space that dirty dishes will require in the kitchen and will make your dishwashing more efficient.

  • Find shortcuts to cooking a meal.

    Rachel Ray, the popular Food Network star, is a master at shortcuts. You might find it beneficial to check out some of her techniques.

    Whenever possible use freshly bagged salads, pre-marinated meats, frozen veggies, pre-cut veggies, etc. Of course, if your client wants everything to be made fresh, then you're stuck with spending the extra time cutting, pealing, marinating, etc. Charge a premium for such a service.

  • Reduce the time you spend chopping.

    Chopping can take up quite a bit of time. You can become quicker with practice. Using a food processor is ideal when you have large amounts of food to cut and you do not need to care about how the food should look like if chopped mechanically.

    But there may be meals that require blocks of meat to look a certain way or cuts of fruit to look another way. For such cases a food processor might be more an incumbrance than a help. Also if the quantity of food is small, it may be best to do your chopping entirely by hand.

  • Memorize your recipes.

    Knowing a recipe by heart really cuts down on the amount of time spent reading and re-reading the steps to a recipe. Memorization will come with practice. But it helps if you commit a recipe to memory before you show up to the client's place, and use the written recipe on site only as a reminder.

Nurturing Your Customers

  • Be Friendly – Grouchiness makes for bad business. Imagine having to deal with a disgruntled waiter at a restaurant. It can ruin your dinner. The same happens to your customers if you're unfriendly to them while on the job.

  • Fulfill Commitments – I'm sure you know what it's like to be on the receiving end of a person who doesn't follow through on promises. You don't want your clients to feel the same way about you.

  • Be Honest – Don't be afraid to tell your customers the truth. They will respect you far better for telling the truth, than if you spoke falsely to give them a temporary boost.

  • Communicate Openly – Ask for feedback to eliminate confusion. Express yourself constructively. Enable your clients easily to approach you with any questions or concerns.

  • Make Everything Easy For Your Customer – Your customers are too busy to be asked to do anything you can do. They want things simple and smooth.

  • Listen To Your Customer – Listen to what's not being said. This is a perfect opportunity to learn where you should improve.

  • Pay Your Customers For Their Loyalty – There's nothing like being made to feel you're special. Make your customers feel special by gifting them for allowing you to be of service to them. Send them thank you cards occasionally and gifts on holidays. Speak highly of them in public. Refer business to them. Help them accomplish some objective. Make them never regret having hired your services.

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