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Career and Education Opportunities for Personal Chefs in St. Louis, Missouri

If you want to be a personal chef, the St. Louis, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for personal chefs sees this job pool growing by about 4.3% over the next eight years. Personal chefs generally prepare meals in private homes.

The average wage in the general category of Cooking jobs is $11 per hour or $23,628 per year in Missouri, and an average of $12 per hour or $24,401 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: cook, culinary worker, and household cook.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the St. Louis area, including four within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree to start your career as a personal chef. Given that the most common education level for personal chefs is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a personal chef if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Personal Chef

In general, personal chefs prepare meals in private homes.

Personal chefs peel and cook vegetables and meats, and bake breads and pastries. They also formulate menus in line with employers' needs and diet restrictions. Equally important, personal chefs have to specialize in preparing fancy dishes and/or food for special diets. They are often called upon to develop and explore new cuisines. They are expected to travel with employers to vacation homes to furnish meal preparation at those locations. Finally, personal chefs ready meals in private homes in line with employers' recipes or tastes, handling all meals for the family and possibly for other household staff.

Every day, personal chefs are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for personal chefs to stock, organize, and clean kitchens and cooking utensils. They are often called upon to direct the operation and organization of kitchens and all food-related efforts, including the presentation and serving of food. They also serve meals and snacks to employing families and their guests. They are sometimes expected to shop for or order food and kitchen supplies and equipment. Somewhat less frequently, personal chefs are also expected to formulate and ready food for parties and other social events.

And finally, they sometimes have to formulate menus in line with employers' needs and diet restrictions.

Like many other jobs, personal chefs must be able to work independently and make decisions on their own and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in St. Louis include:

  • Chef. Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. May participate in cooking.
  • Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
  • Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • Restaurant Chef. Prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.
  • Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Personal Chef Training

Jefferson College - Hillsboro, MO

Jefferson College, 1000 Viking Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050-2440. Jefferson College is a medium sized college located in Hillsboro, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,983 students. Jefferson College has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three students in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110. Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,164 students. Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Lecole Culinaire - Saint Louis, MO

Lecole Culinaire, 9811 S Forty Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63124. Lecole Culinaire is a small school located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 585 students. Lecole Culinaire has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated 115 students in 2008.

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has 2 areas of study related to Personal Chef. They are:

  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, less than one year which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant, less than one year which graduated 7 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Personal Certified Executive Chef: A chef with advanced culinary skills and a minimum of six years of professional cooking experience with a minimum of two years as a personal chef.

For more information, see the American Culinary Federation, Inc. website.

Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.

For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.