David Rosov is the owner and founder of Palm Beach Personal Chefs in South Florida, where he works as an executive chef. A passion for great food and wine was passed down to Chef David by his grandfather, a purveyor who had a gourmet butcher shop that was established in the early 1940s. Having acquired his first account at the Waldorf Astoria, Chef David’s father then went on to develop his own state-of-the-art refrigerated warehouse in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). The warehouse was designed for the procurement of high-quality ingredients that would then be distributed to the cruise ships that would depart from the port of Charlotte Amalia on their excursions.
Chef David’s parents introduced him to gastronomy at a young age and instilled in him a fine appreciation for exotic foods. Culinary memories such as sips of champagne and the cultivation of a taste for caviar would remain on Chef David’s palette as he progressed. At The Saloon, a family-owned fine dining establishment, his parents were training him to arrange the tables and stock the bar when he was 13. After Chef David’s father passed away in 1981, the Saloon was maintained by Chef David and family. Chef David’s mother, Chef David, and other family members carried on his father’s heritage until the restaurant’s final closure in 1985. During his time at the restaurant, The Saloon’s Executive Chef began preparing Chef David for his future as a culinary school student by teaching in him the fundamentals of French culinary tradition.
Chef David continued his culinary education by attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York from 1988 to 1990. The Cooking Institute of America is renowned for having industry-leading faculty members with qualifications that are unequaled by other culinary schools. The lecturers offered their knowledge and experience. This valuable training for Chef David’s future career path included hands-on instruction from renowned master chefs, entrepreneurs, and wine experts.
In 1990, Chef David met the up-and-coming Michelin Chef Guillaume at world-renowned L’Orangerie in Los Angeles. In the following years, the two spent time living in Guillaume’s grandparents’ Chateau in Paris and touring the country, while Chef David had the honor of staging for a year in the country. A stagiaire, sometimes known as a stage (pronounced “staahj”), is an unpaid kitchen intern who works in a restaurant. These are highly sought-after positions in Michelin-starred restaurants, where a chef can learn and experiment with new techniques. Prior to the establishment of culinary schools, this was the most common type of training available. And in many top-level restaurants throughout the world, chefs say that they derived a great deal of personal inspiration from those from whom they learned, indicating that this is still a popular method of learning today.
When Chef David returned to the United States after completing his overseas training, he put himself in a unique position to teach others about the methods he had acquired while staging. His skills and instinctive talent provided him with the opportunity to enter the world of Motion Pictures and Television Catering in Hollywood, which he took advantage of. His first employment after returning from Europe was with actress Victoria Principal, where he worked as a personal chef providing private services. In addition to high-profile celebrities and American icons such as Barron Hilton, Chef David has worked with a number of other well-known athletes, politicians, and other high-net-worth individuals.
As a result of the strong demand for Chef David’s private chef consulting services, Chef David formed a vision for the next logical step, which was the establishment of Palm Beach Personal Chefs. Gourmet food preparation for dinner parties, menu development, planning, purchasing, estate management, and a variety of other high-end services are provided by Chef David Rosov’s company. The company places an emphasis on the highest quality ingredients and exquisite pairings, and its services are one-on-one, customized, and delivered.
How did you get started in this business?
I like to introduce myself as being born in the kitchen and growing up in the restaurant industry. A taste for exotic ingredients and an intuition for successfully managing a restaurant has run in our family’s blood for generations. By the time I was 13, I was stocking the bar and had a firm grasp on both the concepts of French cooking and the management of a restaurant. Personalized services for high net worth, celebrity, and elite clientele became an area of focus for me as my abilities progressed. As a result of the personal, one-on-one consulting I provided, my clients were just as excited for me to start Palm Beach Personal Chefs as I was.
What made you want to start your own personal chef business?
I was working as a personal chef for actress Victoria Principal. I enjoyed this very glamorous and exciting new facet of the industry. Then I had a first-hand look at what the personal chefs on mega and superyachts do before it was even glamorized. I really enjoyed the lifestyle, I found passion in it. It wasn’t until I met Baron Hilton that things really took off. He became my biggest personal supporter, and I still remain close with the Hilton family today.
What makes you successful?
My judgment. It’s served me well on so many levels throughout my lifetime it’s hard to count them all. I have a nose for business, this industry is one of the most personal you can imagine. But what really makes me unique is that I enjoy what I do more than being driven by the business itself or accolades from others for doing it well. My sense of taste will never go out of style, but there are some pretty hot young personal chefs out there. It’s really nice to have a personal chef who can do it all, though!
What are the current issues personal chefs are facing?
The personal chef industry is changing so rapidly. The “in style” diets may change overnight from keto to paleo to low carb. The folks I’ve worked with in this profession for years are brilliant at what they do but it can be hard to keep up with the changing times and demands. The personal chef industry needs personal chefs who can overcome the rapidly changing demands. My clientele is in need of some of these diets as well, so I am happy that I am so in tune to my client’s preferences and can meet them at every turn.
What do you think is the biggest benefit you provide your clients?
Every personal chef I’ve ever met offers their client a personal touch, but that alone isn’t enough anymore, especially in Palm Beach. My clients want gourmet food that looks as pretty as it tastes. They also expect personalized service from all aspects of their lives: meal plans delivered including ingredients, meals cooked once a week or every couple days depending upon what they need or prefer or a personal chef warms up your meals to enjoy. All personal chefs are uniquely qualified to cover this personal experience for their clients, but I do it with a personal approach that inspires lasting relationships.
What tips would you have for anyone wanting to start their own personal chef service?
The personal chef industry is so demanding at the moment that success is tough, even if you’re well qualified and experienced – it’s difficult to keep up with changing demands. My advice is not only be flexible enough to meet these demands, but also remain knowledgeable and up to date about your clients preferences as well as what your client ultimately wants or needs. We’ve all had those nights where nothing good looks appealing in the fridge – making sure your client will eat something healthy they’ll love takes some time and practice. I think personal chefs should be encouraged to develop their own personal style, or at least to personalize the dishes they prepare.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I’m a huge sports lover. I get another level of enjoyment when cooking for professional athletes. When I got a chance to work with NHL’s Wayne Gretzky, NHL’s Russ Courtnall, and NFL’s Carl Lawson these were big moments. Athletes have strict diets with custom carb and protein intakes, so knowing that I was able to satisfy their needs and make such big clients happy was very satisfying.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am very excited to grow the meal planning and delivery aspect of Palm Beach Personal Chefs. My clients, especially the athletes, really enjoy the ease and simplicity of having a completely personalized and curated menu each week that I have prepared and prepackaged then delivered straight to their door. It’s such a personal touch and I’m excited to continue personalizing this service.
What would you say is your personal “secret sauce” to success?
An understanding of people and their needs! That means keeping an open mind. A personal chef has the chance to influence a family or a team in a positive way, or at least that’s my goal every day with each new client relationship. This industry requires personal chefs who can think on their feet, taste buds intact – not everyone can do that. It takes personality as well as good taste to be successful as a personal chef nowadays.
What is favorite meal, from hors d’oeuvres to dessert, that you have ever put together?
Hors d’oeuvres: Black Mission Fig with Gorgonzola and Smoked Prosciutto, Balsamic Glaze with Pinot Grigio (Russian River, Napa Valley).
Starters: Wild Exotic Mushroom Risotto with Seared Diver Scallop and Salad of Cucumber-Wrapped Field Greens with Baby Loom Tomato, Angel Hair Carrot Endive, Diced Pear, Lemon Goat Cheese Crumble, Blood Orange Segments, Light Citrus Dressing with Chardonnay (Avalon).
Main: Porcini Dusted Veal Chop with Rosemary-Lime Natural Veal Jus served with Gratian of Potato and Cauliflower, Sautéed Haricot Vert and Baby Squashes with Pinot Noir (Russian River, Napa Valley).
Dessert: Individual Calvados Sauteed Apple Tart on Puff Pastry with Marzipan and Vanilla Glace with Sauvignon Blanc (Lieu Dit) and then a Vintage Fonseca Port wine to finish.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I am quite busy at this time, but if you are currently enrolled in a culinary school, they can certainly help connect you with a chef to shadow or even start staging!
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