The Private Cook - My Day



I wake as usual at 7am, have my coffee and walk over to the main house. I’m a live-in cook, so my flat is only a minute away from the house, in the outer grounds. I begin my day by putting on my chef whites, apron and washing my hands. My employer comes in to go over the day ahead and together we check the menu I’ve proposed. 

My employers work from home so I prepare lunch for them daily and for any guests that might be coming. I always ask about any intolerances or allergies for any arriving visitors during the week ahead. Today there are three guests for lunch. No allergies or intolerances. The children are away at school at the moment but if they are back home I always check with my employers or the House Manager what the children would like as it is usually different to the adults. 

I check my fridge-freezer and decide to do one of my employer’s favourite recipes which is roasted salmon with kale and crispy croutons, with a warm potato and watercress salad and a Caesar dressing. For dessert I’ll do an apple tart as we have an abundance of delicious home-grown orchard apples. I make a note in today’s diary date to do a crumble as well. 

Late morning:

I make sure our new coffee machine is working properly. These machines can take a while to understand! We have finally grasped how to engineer it to make everyone’s favourite coffee now. The Housekeeper pops in to say hello and grabs a quick cup of tea on her break. We chat about our day’s duties. I’ve got to visit the local game-keeper this afternoon as he has been hanging some game for me (hare and pheasant) which I will use for a pie for Friday’s dinner party. I always source the best local produce and we pride ourselves on building and maintaining strong relationships with local farms and producers. 

I prep the salad and fish and check my fridge for stock that needs using up today. I check the time and make sure I’ve got things moving and will be ready for the lunch to be served at 1pm. There is no butler here so I serve and lay the table myself. I enjoy taking the food out to the guests although sometimes I get a bit embarrassed by the attention! I check if my employers will want wine with their lunch. Today they just want water so I fill up the crystal jugs and place them on the table. 


After everyone has eaten and I’ve cleared away and checked if anyone would like coffee, I prepare the menus for the week ahead and create a shopping list accordingly. I find it easier to keep everything else in a diary so I don’t lose anything, plus it’s a good reminder for my rotation of certain ingredients that need to be used. I have a white board on the kitchen wall for my shopping list or reminders. 

I bake an orange polenta cake for this afternoon’s tea and make sure everything is clean and tidy for the next meal’s preparation. 

I do the food shop. Put everything away and organise my fridge-freezers. For supper my employers have asked me to do a homemade pasta tonight, which is nice and easy. I always use fresh herbs from the garden and I love my pasta machine - a perk gift of the job. Tonight I will prepare a spicy chorizo and tomato linguine followed by eton mess. 

By early evening at around 6pm I will have prepared supper for my employers to have when they wish. Their evening meal is a relaxed affair and I don’t need to be on hand to serve unless they have more guests. I check my employer is happy with everything and my kitchen is clean and tidy before going back home to my flat to put my feet up and have a glass of red! 

Daily challenges and requirements:

Thinking on one’s feet, working under pressure, creating new and interesting menus, having a good balance of rapport with guests and employers and other staff.


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