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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the standard rate of pay?
For beginning private chefs who cook the simplest meals, the customary rate is $35/hour. Four Star Private Chef candidates, most of whom have 5+ years of experience in fine dining, can expect to earn a starting salary of $40-$45/hour. Most families prefer to create a salaried position based on an average of 5 hours worked each day.

Are taxes taken out of the paycheck?
Yes, most families can easily set up a payroll service if one is not already in place.

Do I pay the chef even if I cancel or go on vacation?
Generally, yes. The chef has made a commitment to you and is relying on predictable income. However, flexibility is important to our clients, and our chefs will make every effort to accommodate a cancellation on another day. The chef's vacation should coincide with yours whenever possible.

How long will it take Four Star Private Chefs to find a chef?
The complexity of the position will determine the length of the search. Most clients will meet two chef candidates within two weeks.
Do you recruit chefs from other cities? Or place chefs in other cities?
Occasionally, we may represent chef candidates who wish to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area and who have had prior, high-level private chef experience. We welcome inquiries from clients nationwide who may be interested in candidates with California cuisine experience.

Will my private chef do all our household shopping? Clean out the refrigerator? Pick up the dry-cleaning? Wash the dog?
It is very important to honestly and openly discuss your needs and expectations when we develop the position profile with you. Our chef candidates may be reasonably responsible for all household shopping, including beverages, daily use items and perishables, and some cleaning supplies. (The housekeeper/nanny may already do some regular shopping.) However, ninety percent of our chef placements shop for the evening meal only. We recommend keeping the requests for tasks or "favors" outside of the kitchen to a minimum.

We welcome your questions and suggestions about our services and website. Please email Danielle Giesbrecht with your comments at

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