What is a Personal Chef?It used to be quite commonplace for wealthy families to hire "Private Chefs" to take care of their needs. A "Personal Chef-service" is often an individual who serves many families, going into their homes and preparing meals for one to two weeks or more at a time, charging them for the cost of ingredients and for the labour separately.
A growing field now is the "Personal Chef Caterer " who operates without a "bricks & mortar " commercial kitchen, but arranges a menu, shops that day and then cooks all the courses from scratch in the clients home.
This way the client is not buying a prepared food, but enlisting a service, therefore only GST is charged, and of course the chef has much less overhead costs than a caterer.
The difference to a client is that you are getting a professional who specializes going into many sorts of kitchens, that person can think on their feet, and is able to work under pressure doing everything "A la Minute" ( to order).
Large catering companies, , do most of the prep in commercial kitchens under the supervision of an experienced catering chef and then send the food partially assembled, so to speak, and then often rely on semi-professionals to re-heat the food on-site. They operate this way in order to guarantee consistency, and also because of time restraints and food cost concerns.
Why you may not want use a Personal chefCaterers specialize in making the difficult happen.
Cooking food at a Wedding takes split second timing and is hard enough in a banquet hall, and these days many events are done in a barn or even a farmers field. Destination venues charge 20K or more just for the space, and have assigned food caterers for that hall.
If an event requires a moving van to carry all the décor necessary and days to set up then a Personal Chef may not be as good a choice as the large established caterers such as L'Eat or Presidential Gourmet, both of which I highly recommend for these challenges.
Beware that many home cooks can give it a try and set up shop as caterers with little or no experience in the food industry. They may even be great cooks, but you should be sure of their credentials.
For large events commercial kitchens can be rented by the day, and a personal chef should be licensed by the Canadian Personal Chef Association, and must be insured, as I am.