Note that a personal chef is distinct from a private chef, which refers to a chef who is employed exclusively by one client.
When hiring a personal chef:
 to provide either a packaged meal service or to cook for a dinner party, there is usually collaboration between the client and the chef to determine the menu, based on individual tastes and preferences as well as dietary restrictions.
 An estimate is then provided by the chef. Some chefs charge a fee based on the number of meals and servings prepared each time, and some charge an hourly fee plus the cost of food. Typically, the chef is given approval, a deposit, or (if familiar with the guest/frequent client) an expense account for the menu.