When we offer MN certified food manager training, we teach students from every sector of the industry. In one of our recent sessions, we had a student whose goal was to become a private chef and offer catering services and culinary classes to individuals and small groups in their own homes. One question that was asked was if there were any special regulations that applied to private chefs that differ from the standard rules that apply to institutions, food producers and restaurants. We thought this was an interesting discussion, so we felt it beneficial to share some information that we have learned.
MN Certified Food Manager Training and the Personal Chef
While conducting our research, we found that there are a few different regulations that vary by county or metro area, but there are four licenses or certifications that most jurisdictions will require:
- Minnesota Food Manager Certification
- A License to Run a Food Establishment
- A Catering License
- A Federal Tax ID (EIN)
If you’re considering becoming a personal chef, we suggest that you contact your local government office to find out which licenses you need in your particular jurisdiction. If you need your MN certified food manager training, we would be happy to tailor a course designed specifically for your catering venture.
There are a few other aspects of being a personal chef that differ from regular catering services. While in many cases it is acceptable to prepare food for clients at their home or other location, you should be aware that most jurisdictions will require you to have a preparation and storage facility that can be inspected by the health department. This presents a unique challenge for many personal chefs whose clientele consists of a small number of people.
We have been asked if private chefs are allowed to use their own personal home kitchens to prepare food before transporting it to a client’s location. Unfortunately, this is not an acceptable solution according the health inspector we discussed this scenario with. Many private chefs solve this problem by leasing space from other caterers with industrial kitchens or local restaurants who are willing to allow them access to their kitchen before they begin their service for the day.
Personal chefs are not the only unique part of the food industry. If you’re considering any food based business that doesn’t quite conform to industry standards, please leave your ideas in the comments section and we’ll do our best to cover it in a future article.