Thursday, August 22, 2013

Personal Chef-ing for Fun and Profit

Mission Impastable should be available this fall. In that book, Alli, and her friend and business partner, Gina, start a personal chef business. A bold and brave move they take while seeking their goals of self-worth, independence, and financial security. Gina has always been the professional worker, while Alli has pasted together a series of temporary subsistence-level jobs.

However, Alli and Gina are quite naïve when it comes to starting a personal chef business, or any business, for that matter. Gina has worked for others, admittedly in a supervisory capacity. Still . . .  But, Alli? Well, you know Alli. She’s sort of like Maria in The Sound of Music (“a flibbertijibbet, a will-of-the-wisp, a clown”). Bright and shiny things draw her attention so she has a hard time staying focused on details, especially if she thinks they’re boring. She says that Gina makes things happen but Alli is the one conceptualizing the happenings.

In preparation for writing this book, I read about personal chefs, I checked out some of the official personal chef associations websites, I looked for requirements, and finally I talked with a personal chef who also writes mysteries and romance books with recipes. Carolyn Hughey was a great help.


By the time Carolyn got her hands on me, Mission Impastable was off to the editor for publication in a couple of months. Think, think, think!

Ah, ha! Got it! I know how to fix all the errors they are making in book one of the “Dinner is Served” series.

Things are not going well with the PC biz in book two, Prime Rib and Punishment, so they take on a teaching job at the local culinary institute. While there, they teach a couple of courses on how to run a PC business. Doing the research for that (and meeting a PC in the region) helps them figure out what they need to do to fix the reasons they aren’t successful. They acknowledge what they did wrong and then rectify their mistakes. Business picks up, life looks good! This takes re-working the first part of book two, but that is relatively easy at this stage.

Just like in real life, if things don’t go the way they are supposed to, step back and analyze the options. Yanking the book back and re-writing it was NOT a good option. I think editors lose patience if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this case I can have my personal chefs learn, just like all of us do in reality.

In case you are interested in how personal chef-ing works, try these resources:

1.     American Personal & Private Chef Institute & Association ...
American Personal & Private Chef Association excels in Personal Chef Training, Certification, Personal Chef Support, Conferences & Personal Chef Association ...

2.     United States Personal Chef Association - Personal Chef Training ...
Personal Chef Education and Personal Chef Membership: United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA)

3.     The Personal Chef Association
With this in mind, the United States Personal Chef Association was able to allow this new career field to flourish while maintaining and regulating the manner in ...

4.     Personal Chef Certification (CPC)
Personal Chef Certification (CPC). CPC - Certified Personal Chef. In 1996 the United States Personal Chef Association created a certification program with a ...

5.     Personal Chef Association - Hangin' With People Who Love Food
Social Networking site for foodies, personal chefs, culinarians, and other folks who simply love to prepare and eat glorious food.

6.     Find and Hire a Personal Chef - Personal Chef Search.Com ...
Find and hire a personal chef, the American Personal Chef Registry invites you enjoy the ... Hire a Personal ChefAmerican Personal & Private Chef Association.

7.     2013 Personal & Private Chef Summit in Baltimore at Stratford ...
The American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), based in San Diego, promotes the “business of doing business” as a personal or private chef ...

8.     the American Personal & Private Chef Association's Discussion ...
American Personal Chef Association the Industry Leader in Personal Chef Training, Certification, Support, Annual Conferences & Networking. Find and hire a ...

9.     American Personal & Private Chef Association Forums
American Personal Chef Association the Industry Leader in Personal Chef Training, Certification, Support, Annual Conferences & Networking. Find and hire a ...

10.  Personal chef - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Various training programs are also offered by the United States Personal Chef Association and the American Personal & Private Chef Association.


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    1. I absolutely agree, Humphrey. I've had fun learning more about the profession for my culinary mystery protagonist.