Hiring a Private Chef in Anguilla

Hiring a Private Chef in Anguilla

Guide to Hiring a Chef for Your Island Getaway

A private chef seems like a lofty idea, and perhaps unnecessary on an island as fabulously foodie as Anguilla. Yet, for many guests to the island, a romantic private dinner a deux or a private chef for a weeklong villa experience with friends is just what the vacation doctor ordered. There’s a personal touch, and the menu is catered to your palate and dream dining experience. What’s not to love?

We’ve been testing the waters with private chef services on a nightly basis at our new villa in Anguilla, which has allowed us to learn how to approach the process of collaborating with a private chef.

And it should be a collaboration. The entire process should be somewhat consultative in nature. How many people? What’s your style? What are you looking to achieve? To work effectively with a private chef and have it wow you, both parties need to understand the other’s expectations. Based on our experiences, here’s a quick guide on how to work effectively with a private chef, whether it’s a one-off experience for a special night on vacation, or services spanning your entire getaway.

Find Your Chef

Hiring a Private Chef

1. If you’re staying at a villa, the owners or property managers will likely have recommendations to share with you. At Frangipani, we’ve been vetting chefs ourselves to find out whose style vibes best and which chefs offer the easiest experience from start to finish. We’ve had some bad eggs, but in the process we found our keepers.

Understand the Payment Terms

2. For some people, this may be a non-issue, but for many of us, it’s important to know how this process works from a financial perspective. Chefs operate in different ways and it’s important to understand what you’re getting into so everything ends as happily as it starts. Are you paying per hour or per person? Some charge a flat rate for a fixed number of people with a cost per head beyond that. Know how they operate on this front. Once you figure out that price, dig deeper. What exactly does that price include?

For many chefs we’ve spoken with, a quoted fee doesn’t include the cost of food. You may need to provide the chef cash to shop. They should return the change and all receipts. Is service charge included in that cost? Some chefs include a fee of 10%, 15% or more on top of the final bill as a mandatory service charge. What about service? Some chefs have quoted us a price that includes a chef and a server, while some charge an additional fee for service and clean-up.

Some may prefer to bartend themselves and choose their own wines, but if that’s something you’re hoping to add on, some chefs can bring in a bartender or sommelier to help craft cocktails or create a wine pairing menu with dinner.

Do know that the cost of hiring a private chef can vary hugely so don’t always assume it’s out of your budget. Many chefs will provide pricing for a one-off dinner vs. an entire week experience, with pricing becoming incrementally more enticing with more people in your party.

Ask for Inspiration

Hiring a Private Chef in Anguilla

3. If you’re hiring a professional chef, they should be able to provide you with sample menus or some inspiration for your dining experience. As we’ve learned in the past: if they can’t articulate what they can offer, then you probably don’t want to be a guinea pig. The chefs we’ve had the best experiences with were able to share sample menus they’ve created in the past or were able to consult with us to craft a menu that fit our tastes and interests. Don’t be afraid to ask them to send over some inspiration – most chefs are happy to send over previous menus they’ve crafted to get the ball rolling and gauge which types of cuisine interest you.

Communicate What You Want

Private Chef in Anguilla, Hiring a Private Chef

4. Chefs work with a huge variety of diners with different tastes, dietary restrictions, and ideas about the dining experience. Communicate what you’re looking for, or at the very least communicate what you’re not looking for. Any dietary restrictions? Be sure to tell them! Do you prefer bold flavors or do you shy away from spice?

Ask if they have specialties – you can use these or modify them to fit your taste. Chat about what a typical dinner looks like for them: is it three courses? Is it family style? Dream up what you have in mind and see how that vibes with their style and their abilities. Not a dessert person? Let them know to scrap dessert and add a pre-dinner snack (e.g. shrimp cocktail, ceviche, pita and hummus, etc.) or pre-dinner cheese plate instead.

If you’re looking at hiring a private chef for the week vs. a single dinner, talk to them about stocking your kitchen in advance for different meals and be prepared to provide a list. With a high-end villa like the Villa at Frangipani, we communicate with guests prior to arrival to provide a checklist if guests are looking for stocking services prior to arrival. Generally it’s good to come up an idea of what you want and what will make your dining – and snacking! – enjoyable.

Wanting to hire a private chef for an upcoming stay at the Villa at Frangipani? Email our concierge at concierge@frangipaniresort.com to check out sample menus and get recommendations!

What are your thoughts on hiring a private chef? Have you ever hired a professional chef on vacation before? 

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

This post appeared in its original form on The Wanderlust Effect

Unveiling the Frangipani Fitness Center

The 2014/2015 season has brought a lot of excitement for us at the Frangipani! We officially unveiled our new reception area, and with it, our new fitness center and conference space. Yes, Anguilla’s all about lazing in the sun under a palapa and sipping rum punch overlooking the Caribbean Sea, but we had many guests wanting to sneak in a good morning workout, or a pre-dinner run.

Frangipani Beach Resort, Anguilla Fitness, Anguilla Gym

Behold, the brand spankin’ new fitness facility at the Frangipani Beach Resort. Treadmills, ellipticals, a couple of bikes, free weights and two benches (currently en route to Anguilla), along with an area for stretching, complete with medicine balls, resistance bands and mats.

Plus, check out this view! It certainly makes that extra mile a little easier.

Frangipani Beach Resort, Anguilla Fitness, Anguilla Gym Facilities

The resort’s new fitness center provides a great complement to our second pool, which is a great space for swimming laps for those that prefer water-based exercise. Our fitness facility is open to guests only, and passes are not available to outside guests.

Cheers to a happy, healthy 2015!

 

Donating to the Blowing Point Youth Development Center

Pack for a Purpose

Smiles, laughs & thank yous from the BPYDC

As you may recall, our team at the Frangipani Beach Resort pioneered the Pack for a Purpose project on Anguilla. Through the program, visitors to the island – not just guests at the resort – can bring necessary supplies for us to donate to the youth program. The center, run by one paid staff member and a slew of volunteers, is run entirely on donations. After a couple of months of collections, we had 96 pounds of goods; everything from books and flashcards to watercolors and construction paper donated by a number of incredible individuals that have helped us get this program off the ground.

We were lucky enough to take the supplies to the youth center and see the kids’ faces as we delivered bag after bag of gifts. The children at BYPDC wanted to say thank you to everyone who has helped to make this possible thus far:

The pure happiness, gratitude and excitement in the air was remarkable – it’s a wonderful reminder as to why we adopted this program in the first place. It’s an opportunity for us give back to the island and to help guests do the same. Before we could even finish unloading, kids had taken books and begun reading; some started chatting about what they were going to do with their new arts and crafts supplies.  Below are a few snapshots of the kids digging through their new supplies.

Anguilla, Caribbean Youth Programs

Blowing Point Youth Development Center

Anguilla, Caribbean Youth

Anguilla, Caribbean Youth Programs

Anguilla, Pack for a Purpose

Blowing Point Youth Development Center

Anguilla, Caribbean Youth, Pack for A Purpose

If you’re interested in donating supplies during your trip to Anguilla, please visit our Pack for a Purpose webpage to see what supplies will be most beneficial to the center’s efforts. For more information on other countries working with Pack for a Purpose, please visit their site. Thank you to the Blowing Point Youth Development Center for working to create a program like this in the first place. We’re honored to be a small part of such a great project!