The second season of the Food Network’s “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills” premieres Tuesday. amNewYork caught up with the show’s ever-charming redhead (and former NY resident) Sasha Perl-Raver, to dish about the real life of a private chef.
How true to the life is the show? Are the personalities and the situations on “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills” the sort of thing you actually run into?
The show is totally true to life. If anything, I think occasionally people are on their better behavior because they realize cameras are around. I’ve been a private chef for half of my life — I started at 16 and I’ve been doing it for 16 years — and I’ve seen things you can’t imagine. We’re talking the serious upper echelons of crazy. “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills” gives a peek behind that Oz-ish curtain, but in a fun, light-hearted way.
What’s one of the more unusual food requests you’ve gotten?
At this point, I’m so desensitized to wild requests, nothing seems that unusual. I had a client, an actor, who used to wake up at 3 a.m. to work out and I had to be at their house cooking bison, ostrich, eggs and broccoli for breakfast when it was still dark out and most people are in the REM phase of sleep.
This season we were asked to cater a really high-end, sophisticated birthday party — for a seven year old. That sort of thing still gives me pause. The client gave us “sushi” and “a Grecian vacation” as reference points for the menu, and I’m thinking, “This is a princess party for a 2nd grader. Shouldn’t we be making Dora the Explorer backpack snacks and 3D sheet cake?”
What’s one of the biggest misconceptions a person outside the industry may have about what it’s like to be a private chef?
Hmmm, good question! I think the most common misconception is that what I do is somehow glamorous when in fact it’s a tremendous amount of stress and pressure, really physically taxing, and at the end of the day you go home sweaty, gross, singed and reeking of onions and garlic. There’s nothing glamorous about that.
How would the show be different if it was set in NYC?
I would love nothing more than for the show to do some New York City episodes! I spent the first half of my childhood in New York and I’ve been dreaming to get a call to go work on the East Coast. I’d move back to New York in a heartbeat, if I had a reason to.
The thing about Manhattan is, no matter how rich you are, space is always an issue. We’re used to cooking in huge Beverly Hills mansions but I’d love to see us cooking in a five-floor walk up with a railroad kitchen.
In New York City, everything would be different. We’d have to deal with parking, subways, getting the groceries around, doormen — ohhh, I’m having a total vision of riding on the 6 train to the Upper East Side with 15 bags from Citarella and Fairway! That would be awesome! New York also has a more defined “society” scene that would be amazing to cater to. I’m totally having Gossip Girl fantasies!