The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills is, you guessed it, a reality show about 6 young, ethnically diverse, private chefs dealing with their super rich and demanding Beverly Hills clients.
I don't know how much this show actually mirrors real life situations in cooking for the rich, but in the first episode, the chefs are asked to cook for a luxury doggie country club event. Huh?
I caught up with Manouschka Guerrier, a chef on the show, to learn how one goes from cooking for your friends to privately catering for the rich.
You moved to LA as a professional dancer and actress. How did you make the transition into cooking?
Well, being from a Haitian background, I've always cooked. But the transition was kind of crazy. It all stemmed from a really humiliating, bad break up. I thought, wow, this has got to be happening for a reason. So I ran away to Honduras with a self-help book to clear my mind and ended up in Vegas visiting a friend who was on tour as a back up dancer for Cher.
Nothing like going to Vegas when you need to find yourself! What happened there?
It was the most ghetto thing. I made all the dancers a meal from random items out of my friend's cooler. It consisted of pasta, canned corn, canned olives, some summer sausages, pepperoni, cheese and butter. They loved it, and told me I should have my own cooking show, where I knock on people's doors, raid their cupboards and make something fabulous out of it.
That was your turning point?
Yeah, the next day I withdrew $100 from the bank, went to a Food 4 Less and cooked them dinner every day for the rest of the tour. At that point, I knew this was something I could do.
How does one become a private chef?
I started my own company called Single Serving, which celebrates being single, and started blogging about food. Then, I got a job with a company called Big City Chefs, which is a private chef placement service. I had to cook for them, and they saw how passionate I was about food. Now I'm on call 24/7.
So how did you get to be on The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills?
Big City Chefs had the show already in the works with the Food Network, and they asked me to join the cast. As far as the show goes, I'm the newbie. You got chefs that are Cordon Bleu trained, and then there's me that's fresh off of a break-up and just wants to cook all the time.
What should we expect from the show?
I don't want people to think it's another Real Housewives type of show. It's more about the chefs making it work no matter what their clients need. It's about victories through food.
Something you and I have in common is that we are Haitian. How has the earthquake in Haiti affected your work?
Well, we shot the show one week after the earthquake hit and it was really hard. I mean, my country was pulverized, and I'm serving Beverly Hills dogs $87 worth of Kobe beef. But Haitians are strong, and I really have my Haitian roots to thank for my cooking skills. Didn't matter what time you came to my grandmother's house, you crossed her doorstep, and she would offer you something to eat.
If you ever wanted an insider look into the kitchens of rich folk, or should I say, rich folk who don't have time to cook for themselves, here's your chance.
The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills airs every Friday night at 10 pm after Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.