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Would you really want a celebrity boss?

Private chef: hard on artistic temperaments
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Private chef: hard on artistic temperaments

If you've acquired the culinary knowledge, skill and experience it takes to please celebrities who have been there and eaten that, you'd expect to run your own kitchen to best showcase your artistry, right?

Unfortunately, many private chefs find themselves at the mercy of the hectic, unpredictable lives of their employer.

"This is a very high-stress job," says Leigh. "Chefs are creative people, and many of them get into this business thinking they're going to control the menu. Guess what -- they're not. Sometimes they're making mac and cheese. Or they're cooking multiple different meals for several family members."

Berube says the stress increases for live-in chefs. "Some chefs are required to live in, travel with the family and be available in the middle of the night. When their employer comes in at three in the morning with their friends and family, sometimes they want food," she says.

Salary: Berube says a top-level chef can command $100,000 to $200,000, depending on whether they live in. Leigh puts the range at $65,000 to $200,000, depending on the employer and job description. Simply Hired puts the national average for a private chef at $41,000.


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