Look up professional organizations in the Encyclopedia of Associations and you’ll have to go through quite a long list–some 23,000 national and international organizations. If you have a job or a business, it’s likely there’s a professional society or trade association you can join.

But why? You pay an annual membership fee and what does it give you? Most experts agree on six basics:

  • Industry information and professional development opportunities
  • Networking opportunities
  • Professional credibility
  • Mentoring
  • Job listings
  • Industry best practices
  • Scholarships

Not all organizations offer everything, of course. You have to read up on the organization you’re considering and learn what they offer and if that’s meaningful for your goals. And, you should try to talk to those who are already members to learn about their experience with the group.

At the risk of sounding self-serving, as one of those groups, we’ve worked with thousands of members over the years. As the profession of personal chef has grown and evolved, we like to think our perspective has evolved with it (not to mention what we offer). And while it feels like everything you need to know about your profession is available to track down online–that joining a professional association is irrelevant these days–in fact, we feel that it’s more important than ever. All of us are searching for community, whether it’s via Facebook or what we used to call chat rooms (remember AOL?). All of us are looking for critical business information–how to deal with clients, how to add a new service, what are the latest trends. Having a group of people to call on who are part of a community, who are familiar with the issues you’re going through, and who can help you grow in your profession is invaluable. So is access to information. The question is, though, is the group you’re considering going to be the right fit?

We thought we’d help you figure out this path with some questions for you to ask yourself that should help you decide.

1. What do you wish to accomplish by joining a professional association?

We know that membership in a national or international trade association can give stability and credibility to a new business and elevate the professional impression of that business through the strength and reputation of the association. There’s also strength in numbers. A solid membership base means more opportunities to locate and interact with peers who can contribute to your success. At a basic level it shows you have a certain level of expertise. At a deeper level it also gives you connections to tap into.

2. What type of benefits and support are you looking for?


Some people join an organization just to put it on their resume or website. It gives that immediate credibility we’ve already cited. But others appreciate a specific list of benefits. These could be access to an online knowledge base, materials like business forms that help with better managing the business, the opportunity to attend continuing education conferences or webinars, support groups via online forums, business visibility through a website or mobile app, professional coaching, access to professional insurance, software systems, website construction, links to industry information sites… The list can go on and on. You need to evaluate what’s most important to you.

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3. What are your expectations of the group?

You have to dig deep for this one–especially since this is one of those things that tends to depend on how much you’re willing to participate. Most association members will say that the more they put into a group by using its resources, participating in events, and interacting with other members the deep their level of satisfaction and the more positive the impact on their businesses and careers.

4. What are you willing to give back to increase the value of the organization?

Initially, your expectations will probably run to “what can they do for me?” But in all honesty, much of those benefits comes from other members who feel such a close connection with the organization and fellow members that they’re doing a lot of the giving. Do you need advice to clarify how to respond to an uncomfortable situation with a client? Certainly whoever is running the organization can respond, but it’s just as likely if you’re asking this on a forum that a fellow member will help–or two or three or more. Perhaps members in your community are teaching classes or mentoring colleagues. In time, one of those members could be you–if that’s important to you. And you know the old saying, the more you give, the more you receive.

Member Carol Borchardt of A Thought for Food, who is generous with business advice and photography expertise

Member Carol Borchardt of A Thought for Food, who is generous with business advice and photography expertise

We’ve had this experience with many of our members. Our forums are filled with people who are eager to ask questions and eager to offer help and advice. Our conferences are populated with members who offer to teach colleagues in their area of expertise. Many of these members have bonded over the years.

Dennis Nosko and Christine Robinson of A Fresh Endeavor

Dennis Nosko and Christine Robinson of A Fresh Endeavor

One business is A Fresh Endeavor Personal Chef, whose chef/owners are Dennis Nosko and Christine Robinson. The Lexington, Mass.-based duo is one of the longest-running personal chef businesses in the greater Boston area. They joined in May 1999 and, as Christine says, “Fifteen years later, when you look forward to renewing membership, that speaks volumes. We are home.”

Christine believes that even though she and Dennis aren’t “joiners” their APPCA membership has given them a wealth of support. “We’ve gotten business guidance in the form of education and support, peer support, access to special benefits like liability insurance, leaders who understand what we do and how it works.”

Christine and Dennis also have thrived on the opportunity APPCA has given them to share experiences so that “we can learn from each other. They’ve built a community to support its members–giving longtime members recognition and allowing them to help guide newer members. From minute one we were invited in to ask questions, compare notes, build the business, receive educational materials, get continuing education, keep up on business and food trends, and get to know colleagues.”

As an organization member, Christine advises people who are newly joining a professional group to make their presence known on forums, ask questions, and keep asking until you get the answer you need. “Get to know the people who do what you do! We’re an eclectic bunch but we really understand each other. Solitary business owners can be lonely. This is our office!”

Indeed, the pros call it networking–but with the right group, what you’re nurturing are long and warm friendships that are both professional and personal.


So, what is it you’re looking for? If by answering these questions you locate a professional trade association that meets your needs–and you join–you could be embarking on a life- and career-changing journey that gives you the opportunity constantly learn about your industry and how to improve your business. Even more, it will provide the means to meet, interact, support, and enjoy a whole new world of people who appreciate what you’re trying to accomplish and are looking for the same from you.

What are you looking for in a professional association? How can we best meet your needs?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

CandyWallaceAPPCAheadshot (low rez)

Periodically members on our forum will ask about how to manage summer lulls or clients who seem to disappear on them—or at least act noncommittal about upcoming cooking sessions.

What I like to come back to in all these situations is the importance of making a working plan that leads to dedicated long-term clients. And that means having a solid Client Service Agreement—one that confirms the level of service being ordered, the frequency of cook dates, pricing, the type of containers requested, and client/chef agreements regarding deposits, cancellation of cook dates, use of the kitchen, pets, children, access to the home—basically whatever comes into play in the performance of your personal chef services.

Your clients turn to you for professionalism. And, it’s up to you to provide that—not just in the kitchen but as a businessperson. You also owe it to yourself. Not a seasoned businessperson? That, of course, is where we have always come in. APPCA is here to help and guide you as you establish your business. We’ve got all the education and even the forms (including the Client Service Agreement) you need to get started.

One of the basics we emphasize is that even the most talented cooks must develop solid customer service and communications skills if they are to run a successful personal chef business since effective interaction with each client is the backbone to their enjoyment of both your service and your food. You must establish what the client wants to accomplish by using a personal chef. What they like to eat. How they like to eat. If they have allergies, sensitivities, or tastes or textures they simply don’t enjoy. This is a given, right?

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But you also need to know how often they want your service and make sure they commit to that on a quarterly basis. Finding that frequency sweet spot enables them to enjoy your delicious, healthy, palate-specific meals in a timeframe that supports their well-being and enjoyment, rather than putting pressure in their lives by providing too much food, too often—or not enough. Committing to it gives them security in knowing you’ll be there for them and gives you the security that you need to plan your time and know what income is coming in.

So, as part of that client assessment we always talk about you should incorporate the Client Service Agreement and schedule regular cook dates on a quarterly basis. How many of you have had a client call on a Monday evening to see if you’re free to cook for them the next morning? That’s pressure you don’t need—especially if you’re already committed and have to say no. Even if you’re not busy all of a sudden you’ve got to pull together food and equipment for a last-minute cook date.

Now what if you go ahead and sign up clients for quarterly service and they have to cancel a cook date? As hard as we try to avoid this, cancellations will always occur. Perhaps your client has to go out of town. Perhaps they’re ill.

In a way, you must train your clients how to work with you in a way that makes sense for running your business.

To avoid financial catastrophe, or at least inconvenience, establish in advance your rules for cancellations and put them in writing in your Client Service Agreement. Perhaps you have a rule that if you have a standing date and the client cancels 24 hours or less before the date, they must pay for groceries already purchased and some portion of your time. Whatever your rules are, put them in writing and explain them to your client at the time you meet to sign the agreement. This prevents misunderstandings between client and chef, and enables you both to want to continue to work together.

We like the idea of a quarterly commitment because it’s a good amount of time for clients to make a commitment and for you to have that commitment. It also sends a couple of important messages to your client. The first is that you are operating a professional service and guaranteeing your services for a set period of time. The second is that you are a busy professional and that unless they make that commitment, you may be booked when they want your services at the last minute.

It allows you to build a schedule that gives you control over your time and allows you to earn regular income. You can fill in open times to schedule appointments or meetings, take on alternative gigs like events, demos, marketing or promotional appearances—or enjoy family time. As the quarter draws to a close, be sure you talk to your client about the upcoming quarter and find out what their plans are. Are they interested in continuing your culinary relationship? Again, get that commitment in writing.

Having a confirmed quarterly schedules means you are the driver of your circumstances. It allows you to plan and grow your business—to market yourself to bring in more clients if you need them or recruit help if you’re jammed full of business. You’ll find that you’re much less stressed when you take control of your business. And, you’re likely to make more money more efficiently. That’s one of the best definitions of success!

Have you been scheduling for success? Tell us how you’ve had that conversation with clients and the terms you’ve established.

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.


Enjoying lunch and some San Diego sunshine at a recent weekend seminar

Enjoying lunch and some San Diego sunshine at a recent weekend seminar

I’ve planned a terrific, intensive two-day seminar for new personal chefs next month at my home in San Diego. These intimate seminars of no more than 10 people are always a hit with attendees for several reasons. The first is simply the amount of information we cover on how to get your business up and running–profitably–as quickly as possible. We review the training program and manual at your pace and answer all your questions. We review your business plan, and go over finances and best practices in marketing. We get into SEO for your website, advertising, and media exposure. And we introduce you to Personal Chef Office and the Personal Chef Forums.

We’re personal chefs so naturally we also talk recipes and cooking methods. I have some great resources for using equipment like pressure cookers. Even if–and we assume you are–a terrific cook, you’ll learn all sorts of great cooking tips from us–and from your fellow attendees.

And, speaking of fellow attendees, the two-day seminar is a great opportunity to bond with others from around the country in your same situation–who are committed to providing delicious healthy meals and are in a dedicated pursuit of information and techniques to create them. They’re also just getting started in this profession. You’ll have people with whom you can share questions and experiences with long after the weekend is over.

In short, you have the opportunity to spend a weekend with an experienced working personal chef who can assist in building a realistic plan for start up, promotion, target marketing, administration, and customer service–as well as menu planning, recipe development, sourcing, food storage, containers, and countless other topics. This is invaluable information and will save you both time and money in starting up and building your business.

One of the issues that comes up most–which we cover thoroughly–is the client assessment form. This is the way you and your client get to know one another. You’ll learn what foods they like, what their priorities are, what their dislikes are. They’ll have a chance to review your menu and select dishes. In the seminar, we’ll review with you how best to conduct the assessment, how to look for potential issues, but most importantly, how to have a productive discussion that leads to a good and long relationship for both you and your client.

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We’ll also go over the best way to book clients so that you have extended commitments and we’ll review our standard client service agreement so you’ll be confident discussing it with your client.

We know that as exciting as starting a new business is, the challenges can be intimidating. You need to develop a reliable clientele, you’re going into someone’s kitchen to do the cooking, you’ve got to bring equipment with you and be able to get everything–including clean up–accomplished efficiently. All this can be daunting at first. We’ll talk you through it, answer your questions, and give you the confidence to get out there and fulfill your dreams.

As Mary Ziebart of Chicago said of our most recent weekend personal chef seminar, “I wanted to get back into the kitchen again and make people smile. This seminar took the fear out of starting my own business.

Val Cathell of Virginia, who also attended our latest seminar, had long been a star in her own kitchen and was encouraged by friends to go into business for herself. But cooking for friends and launching a food business are two very different things. So, she joined APPCA and attended the seminar. “It was invaluable in helping me understand the important business aspects of being a personal chef. Your instruction was thorough and so entertaining. Your personal stories were wonderful and provided great insights and tips on things to do and not to do.”

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Dennis and I have been at the forefront of this profession for decades. Our love of what we do–which is to help members like you reach your goals–comes from the heart. The personal chef seminar is where head and heart meet. They’re small personal, interactive, and impactful. We want to share with you the benefit of our many years of experience so you can return to your community and wow them with your talents. Your success gives us great satisfaction.

Be sure to sign up for our September seminar so you can take that great leap forward!

Have you been to one of our weekend seminars? If so, please share your experience here. Have questions? Please ask away!

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.


Nicole Gaffney

We’re all a little too aware of the way personal chefs have been portrayed on reality food shows. The producers have long had a habit of selecting wackadoodle folks who have nothing in common with the craft and career path we’ve honed. So, when we learned that APPCA member Nicole Gaffney was selected as a finalist of Food Network Star, we knew that finally we’d be well represented to the public.

Nicole didn’t let us down. Indeed, she did us proud. On Sunday night we watched the finale with bated breath, hoping that as one of the three finalists in this long road she’d prove the winner. Unfortunately, viewers–in all their wisdom–selected cowboy Lenny.

On Rachael Ray

In our eyes, though, Nicole is truly a winner–and she knows it, too. Out of tens of thousands of applicants she was selected to compete. She made some gaffes (who didn’t!), but she learned from them. And, she was a trouper. Remember Episode 3’s Cutthroat Kitchen challenge when she got a spice grinder to grind her meat for spaghetti and meatballs and then, in the middle of making her dish, she was sent to stomp grapes? Who else could channel Lucy Ricardo and turn grape stomping into a charming comedic routine? That was our Nicole!

Stomping the grapes

“You have to be slightly insane to do a competition like this,” she laughed back then.

In that same episode, she came out of whatever shell they judges felt she’d been locked in and helped create a zany Hershey’s commercial selling Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, trilling her Spanish R’s like a nut in her blue poncho–and helped win the challenge.

Reese's Pieces

Nicole’s Coastal Cuisine point of view (our Jersey girl “Food Network Star de la Mare”) was consistent, week after week. Okay, she had to get over her self-acknowledged “resting bitch face,” and find her bubbly side. And she did. She came to be at ease in front of the camera. The turning point came in week six, when Giada told her to just let go and stop being wound up so tight. “Be who you want to be.”

Green screen dreams

That was what she told call-in viewer Traci from New Jersey on finale night. “When Giada told me I was wound up too tight, I realized I needed to relax.”

Presentation counts for a lot, clearly, on a television show. But the food can’t fail. And in every challenge, Nicole’s food was praised by the mentors. They loved her food from the first–from her sesame-crusted tuna with spicy soy glaze that was her introduction to us, her couscous salad that chef Alex Guarnaschelli had to follow her on, her spicy pork kabobs with pineapple that she demoed at Knott’s Berry Farm, her fried frogs legs with spicy tamarind glaze and cucumber mango slaw along with her desconstructed s’mores dessert in Las Vegas, and even her spicy shrimp and vegetable lettuce wraps–even though it wasn’t a hit with the little kids. Okay, there was that brush up over prosciutto versus serrano ham–but let’s just let that go…

Vegas pool party

When Bob opened that first red envelope on finale night and it turned out that Nicole had hit third place, you could see the disappointment on the part of the judges and Susie, who told her, “I’ve always thought the world of you and just seeing you today so elegant and such a lovely person… It would have been a pleasure to have you join this family.”

With Robert Irvine

Bobby Flay told Nicole that she had a natural ability to be on camera. “I was rooting for you all the way. This is just a bump in the road to your success.”

And here Nicole showed all the class she’s demonstrated throughout the competition. “It’s been a huge dream of mine. It was life changing. I’ve grown so much as a person and learned so much about myself. Maybe I’ll get to be on TV someday.”

Ronnybrook Milk Bar

Nicole, no doubt your dreams will be realized. But whatever you do and whatever path you take, you’ve already shown the world what a real personal chef can do and be. You’ve been one of the best ambassadors for our career that we could dream of. Bobby’s right. This is just a bump in the road. Your journey is just beginning and there are great things in store for you! We will avidly be reading your blog Too Full for School to learn what’s up next!


What did you think of Nicole’s run on Food Network Star? Is there a cooking show you want to audition for?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

Our organization’s name is the Association of Personal and Private Chefs of America. It seems straightforward, yet there still remains confusion over the difference between personal and private chefs–and, to my chagrin–the terms are frequently used interchangeably.

So, I thought I’d take the opportunity here to make the distinctions because they are, in fact, quite different animals.

Let’s talk about private chefs first. Remember Rosie Daley, Oprah Winfrey’s private chef who got a lot of publicity in that role? Or Art Smith, who also worked as a private chef for Oprah for 10 years? These two are examples of a chef as an employee. Private chefs like Rosie and Art receive a paycheck and, hopefully, benefits.

Chef Art Smith with Chef Candy Wallace at FENI 2011

Private chefs satisfy the culinary needs of their employers, usually preparing three fresh meals daily, along with any other entertaining, creating menus for parties, perhaps business meals–essentially whatever the client, excuse me, employer–wants. Some private chefs travel with the boss, especially if he or she maintains multiple homes. Since they’re subject to their client’s business, social, and family schedules, it’s often necessary to disappear into service, with long hours and work schedules frequently par for the course.

And, don’t be surprised if you encounter the need for security clearances, drug testing, and confidentiality agreements. You’ll likely need to be well versed in etiquette and protocol. And you’ll be expected to have culinary training and experience, as well as rock-solid references.

Unlike private chefs, personal chefs are entrepreneurs operating their own small business. They don’t have a single employer but instead numerous clients. They determine their own level of service, pricing, location, and availability. They locate and schedule their own clients.

When we created the personal chef career path, it was with the goal of offering an alternative for culinary pros who chose to no longer cook in commercial situations. That included women chefs who wanted to have and raise children as the heart of the household, chefs who are also family caregivers and need flexibility in their schedules, chefs of a certain age who choose to extend their professional careers, and chefs who choose to own and operate their own small culinary business without the financial and time-intensive commitment of owning a restaurant.

As the profession has grown it’s also come to include culinary school grads who may or may not have worked the line in a restaurant. Others are adept home cooks who want to put their skills to use for others. Some have degrees in nutrition or are dieticians. They may specialize in gluten-free or low-carb diets, weight loss, paleo, cancer or other disease-related nutrition–or be generalists. They may have a full schedule of regular clients–or prefer to service just one or two. Their business. Their rules.

Hidden Harves

Unlike private chefs who are employees, personal chefs create their own income stream through their small business. And to generate that income, many personal chefs also have multiple revenue streams under their personal chef brand umbrella. They may cater parties or other events for clients and others. They may offer cooking classes or do cooking demos at local shops or events. They can be authors, speakers, and media personalities. One of our members, Nicole Gaffney, is currently competing on Food Network Star. (see below)

How do they learn how to run what can be a complex business? Well, that’s where we come in. We have honed our training process to help our members get started quickly so they can achieve success in the shortest amount of time. We have forums where you can chat with your colleagues to share and get information. We have seminars and videos. We have social media. All these together help personal chefs–and private chefs, too–get the information and support they need to make their business work for them.

Being a personal chef is hard work, but it has proven to be appealing on so many levels. Many personal chefs feel it’s a calling and that they’re serving their clients and their community through their food and knowledge about food. Others have wanted to find a culinary alternative to restaurants where grueling hours and low pay sap the life out of them. By creating their own business, they can make a living cooking what they want, when they want, and for whom they want. Being a personal chef allows you to be a culinary professional on your own terms.

You can hear more on my thoughts about what it takes to become a successful personal chef in this video I made for our partner Escoffier Online:



Nicole Gaffney

APPCA member Nicole Gaffney did it again! In the first part of this week’s competition, she helped talk Alton Brown through the breading part of making chicken fried steak, something she acknowledged she didn’t make or eat since it’s not a dish popular in New Jersey. But she offered what Brown felt were good tips. Then came the elimination part of the show, in which the contestants had to prepare a dish out of random pantry ingredients in front of the camera with Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli serving as the “viewer” following them and simultaneously making the dish. Nicole created a couscous salad with arugula. Bobby Flay liked her salad and her kitchen tips. Alton Brown thought she was adaptable and offered cogent instructions. Yes, she needs to pump up the energy level, they said, but she was unquestionably in for another week. So tune in next Sunday night to cheer her own! 

Have you channeled your passion for food? Do you have any questions about becoming a personal or private chef?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.



I grew up in a restaurant. I also grew up in a large Eastern European family that believed in growing much of its own food, preparing, preserving, and sharing fresh seasonal meals together.

It’s that background that inspired me to make food my career. I’ve been in the culinary industry for more than four decades–as a restaurant chef, a private chef, a caterer/event planner, and a culinary educator. Over the years I’ve watched many talented, competent culinary pros forced to leave the industry because of their inability to be on the line nights, weekends, and holidays. There were too few career options until recently. You were either the restaurant owner, on the line, or out of the business if you were cooking for a living. That was always especially true for women chefs. It’s impossible to be the heart of a household and raise a family if you can’t be there to provide them with care and attention.

Taking a quick break at our recent Chicago seminar

Taking a quick break at our recent Chicago seminar

And, if you’re older? What’s your option then? Teaching, perhaps, but not all chefs are good teachers or even want to teach. Then there are those second-career folks, who chuck previous work to follow their passion in culinary school only to find they’re not welcome on the line because of their age.

There are all sorts of variations on this. But, what they have in common is that many people want to have a culinary career, but not necessarily a conventional one. So I decided to start what I call a big recycling project for culinary pros who wanted to support themselves and their families by cooking, but not in a traditional commercial situation, like a restaurant, hotel, catering company, or country club. A profession that would allow these pros to control their own destiny, cook for a living, but not have to have a commercial space, commercial equipment, staff, and a giant bowlful of stress.

Enjoying lunch and some San Diego sunshine at a recent weekend seminar

Enjoying lunch and some San Diego sunshine at a recent weekend seminar

And so the personal chef career path was born to serve hungry, time-pressed clients who want Monday through Friday meal support in the form of custom-designed, palate-specific meals prepared from fresh ingredients in their own kitchen in one day, safely stored and labeled with heating/handling instructions.

Twenty years later this has become a legitimate culinary career path and the APPCA is the recognized leader in representing personal chefs. The people we’ve trained have helped their clients segue into healthier living and eating. They provide delicious meals that address the variety of medical issues their clients have–from heart disease and diabetes to celiac disease and cancer. They help seniors stay independent in their homes, professional athletes reach peak performance through nutrition, and families enjoy nightly meals together.

A recent seminar at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas

A seminar at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas

One of the APPCA activities I enjoy most is teaching weekend seminars, whether they’re in San Diego, where I live, or cities across the country. I learn so much from our participants and marvel at their accomplishments. I want to share with you some of their stories to give you a sense of the power of personal chefs in their communities.

A new APPCA member is married to a busy OB/GYN and is in the process of establishing a personal chef business to provide healthy meal support for his spouse’s patients so they can enjoy healthy meals from fresh, local, organic ingredients throughout their pregnancy. Part of his service fee is designated for a similar program to be offered through a local free clinic in a challenged neighborhood to support the clinic’s pregnant patients.

Another member is not only a registered dietician and nutritionist, but also a trained chef who provides meal support specifically for her diabetic clients. Other member/chefs with similar skills are supporting clients with special needs, such as food allergies, cardiac incidents, and chemotherapy.

Many of our member/chefs are deeply involved in wellness and nutrition programs, teaching healthy cooking classes in local schools, offering school gardening classes and services to support students and parents who wish to learn how to safely grow part of their food source at home and at school.

Personal chef and APPCA member Patrick Lacaille of Colorado teaching a healthy cooking demo

Personal chef and APPCA member Patrick Lacaille of Colorado teaching a healthy cooking demo

One of our Northern California members, Dane Mechlin, is not only a successful personal chef, he also plans, plants, and maintains the school garden at his children’s elementary school and participates in the planning of the school lunch program to include produce from the garden.

Dane Mechlin of Nadine & Dane's Personal Chef Services in Northern California--a former yacht chef/restaurant owner who became a personal chef so he could help raise his three little boys

Dane Mechlin of Nadine & Dane’s Personal Chef Services in Northern California–a former yacht chef/restaurant owner who became a personal chef so he could help raise his three little boys

In March, our seminar for start-up personal chefs revealed three new personal chefs who had achieved safe, significant weight loss and planned to offer their culinary and coaching services to clients and community groups seeking support and assistance toward the goal of safe weight loss through lifestyle and nutritional modification. Teaching what you know to assist others in achieving their goals is a common theme for personal chefs.

Finally, we have a number of veterans in our organization who have transitioned from active duty into the civilian world. They’re our heroes and we offer several programs, including financial discounts on training programs and scholarships, to support their professional culinary goals.

Our first four military chef scholarship winners with kitchen coach Mial Parker

Our first four military chef scholarship winners with kitchen coach Mial Parker

So, everything is possible in the personal chef world. You’re limited only by your imagination.

For more than 20 years, APPCA chefs have been answering the “What’s for dinner” question with nutritious, delicious food made just for their clients, based on their unique palates and needs. Are you wowed by what you’ve read about our members? Imagine how proud I am of them and how satisfying it’s been to have both launched a career path that fulfills their professional desires and to have created an organization that helps these amazing professional personal chefs realize their dreams and serve their communities. In fact, the APPCA is the only award-winning, culinary professional-owned professional trade association in the industry. If this is your dream, you should join us!

If you’re a personal chef, how are you making an impact on your clients and your community? Tell us your stories!

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.


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