5 secrets to building your recipe collection fast!

[00:00:00] A lot of times when I talk to people who are new to thinking about starting a personal chef business or thinking about starting, you know, your own business where you get paid to cook, they’re worried that they don’t have enough recipes to start an actual business, whether it’s doing weekly meal prep services or small cooking or whatever, and I don’t want you to be stuck in that purgatory.

So today We are going to fix that. Hey there, Chef Shelly here. I’ve had a successful personal chef business for over 15 years, and when I’m not cooking for my own clients, I help passionate cooks just like you start your own personal chef business so you can get paid to do what you love without having to work horrible restaurant hours or anything else like that.

So if that is something that you’re interested [00:01:00] in, be sure to, if you’re watching this on YouTube, subscribe to my channel and click the little bell so that you never miss a weekly video. Or if you’re watching this somewhere else, you can follow my page. click to subscribe, whatever it is, right? So the first important thing is figuring out how many recipes do you really have?

A lot of times we make these things up in our head where we don’t really know and we don’t really know how many we have so we just kind of sit in this I don’t have enough. I can’t get started. Right? And you might actually be surprised at how many you have. So the very first thing you need to do is take what you already have and get organized.

So for the purpose of this, you know, and it could be for anything, we’re going to talk about meal prep services. So the thing to [00:02:00] focus on is entree recipes. If you’re thinking about doing small catering, then you’ll want to think about Maybe starters and entrees and desserts or something like that. So, go through your recipes and actually figure out how many you have.

The second thing you need to do, I implore you, Please go digital. I am a paper person. I fully admit it. I have a paper planner. I like to take notes when I’m learning something. I, I’m all into the pens, right? But when it comes to being a professional with a Personal chef business, you really need to have a just higher level of organization than is really possible when you just have everything in file folders or binders or anything like that.

It just makes your life so much easier because I promise you. When you’re [00:03:00] successful and you have a lot of clients, it’s going to be super hard to keep track of everything on paper. So go digital now when you’re just starting. I’ll link to a video here to one I did on Copy Me That. It’s a free program or there’s a very inexpensive.

one time pay premium version of it, but I love copy me that it’s got a ton of functionality and it’s super cheap and easy to use. What more could you ask for? Right? So go digital and start putting your entree recipes into categories. So if you are a general cook or have an ethnic cook or have specialty or anything like that, you’re going to want to categorize like by chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, meatless, stuff like that.

Now, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you might have your own specialties that you know what your categories would be. You might want to do something like beans, tofus, [00:04:00] nut based recipes, cheese based recipes, things like that, um, tempeh, other kinds of proteins, right? So, you need to have your recipes organized, digital, put into categories, right?

That’ll make it so much easier to see where you really need to expand. The easiest way for you when you’re just starting out to really expand your recipe library is to just do some basic brainstorming. You, I guarantee, know more than you think you know. So, think about… Pasta. How many different types of pasta do you know that you might not even have a recipe written down for?

Whether it’s a spaghetti, or a shape of pasta, or a pasta sauce. Do the same thing with stir fries. And again, this all works whether you are a general cook, vegetarian, vegan, [00:05:00] keto, paleo, gluten free, whatever. Stir fries. There’s a million different Asian countries that do stir fries, a million different vegetables, a million different proteins, a million different sauces.

You probably know more than you think you know. Then start thinking about techniques. How many recipes do you know for the instant? So, How many do you know for your slow cooker? How many, you know, do you saute chicken breasts all the time? How many different ways do you prepare them or sauce them? Do you grill something all the time?

How many different things do you do on the grill, right? Then think about different ethnic dishes. How many Mexican dishes do you know? Italian, Caribbean, Nigerian, Moroccan, Thai, Chinese? Get all those out into a list. And finally, don’t discount cookbooks that you have. Cruise through and pick out the ones that you’ve made a million times or even that you’ve forgotten you [00:06:00] know.

That can be a great thing just to, you know, remind you again of things you’ve forgotten you even know. Because remember, when you have a personal chef business, you do not need to have created all the recipes, okay? You didn’t invent lasagna. I certainly didn’t invent lasagna. That doesn’t mean you can’t include lasagna in your personal chef business, right?

If you have 30 to 50 different entrees. That is perfect to get started. Practice on yourself, practice for your family, practice on friends, and that is a great bridge to start getting into taking clients. Because I’m telling you, clients are out there and they are hungry for what you’re cooking.