The following are excerpts from actual, email messages, letters, and forum posts we've received from so many happy members and site visitors:
Dear Candy & Dennis,
I wanted to thank you for... Where do I start? Just thanking for everything doesn't sound like enough.
Thank you for helping me make my dream of cooking the way I want to possible.
There. That sums it up!
After attending the summit, I feel inspired to go out and cook for the world! I came away with so much knowledge and comradery that it is spilling out of brain! The speakers and were all wonderful and informative. It is going to take me weeks to tackle my notes and handouts.
I am so grateful that there is such a thing as the APCA. Oops! Sorry...APPCA! How wonderful that news was! I know that this is going to expand our business by leaps and bounds.
Again, thank you for....everything!
I have to jump in and say that I have been an active member for a year now. My business is growing so much faster than I could have imagined! I have never been more tired or happy in my life. I work very hard but when my head hits the pillow I am so happy that I became a personal chef and even more happy that I joined this organization. I feel like I have friends across the US.
Candy, I don't know how you've done it but you have gathered so many wonderful people together. People who have helped me grow my business, who were there when I wasn't sure I could do a party for 50 and encouraged me and then when I did it and needed someone to boast to there were there again cheering me on.
Thanks Candy, Jim, Jackie, MariaLuisa, Kathy...the list of people who have helped goes on and on! Thanks everyone!
Just got back from the NJ seminar today and I'm trying to figure out how to put my thoughts into words. I've been a member for almost 1 year but I got my materials in the mail, never actually got through them (have ADD, no way I'm ever getting through the whole manual). I decided going to the seminar might be a good investment.
Jim, you did one heck of a job because the first words that come into my head are, "I was blind but now I see", (only had 1 glass of wine, promise!). I learned so much in the 2 days about PCing but most important, I gained confidence in myself and my business. Being in the group brought me back many years to when I was on a team or in a school club, where I had the genuine support of a leader and my peers and no matter what, they always had my back. I've always missed that feeling and now because of this association I've got it back. I'm on a team again!
First and foremost I'd like to say thank you to Candy for having a vision and making this whole association possible and putting the people in place for these seminars.
Jim, you're a gem (your wife, Sandy is a precious stone for putting up with you!), Jim Huff for your words of wisdom I'm truely grateful (of course your wife is totally responsible too), my group, I'd love to work beside anyone of you, APCA forum thank you for having me on your team and watching my back.
Anyone on the fence about jumping in, is there something wrong with you???
Watch Out Here I Come!!!
I just attended the Personal Chef Seminar in NJ and I can't say enough WONDERFUL things about it !!! I got so much information and feedback from the course. Jim is the most wonderful charismatic and dynamic speaker/instructor. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone in the class and wish everyone great success. If you are on the fence about attending, I say jump right on it, you won't regret it!!!!!
Hello Staff at American Personal Chef Association,
Thank you all for everything that you do. Because of you and your service I just signed a contract with New Orleans Saint [name withheld for privacy] to be his personal chef for the football season.
Again, thanks for everything.
Hi my name is Chef Darlene.
I've been in Food Service for about six years now, not counting the many years cooking for my family and friends. I got into food service because of my love of cooking, but sometimes in food service you don't get to be the cook. So I decided the only way I would always know that I would be the cook today was to take that step and be a personal chef. I joined the association July 12,06, I've been studying and getting all the legalities in order and before I was really ready I got my first call which turned into my first client. I had not even begun to work on advertising, my clients found me through the "find a chef" link at personalchef.com. Candy Thank-you for developing this association and helping me make my dream come true.
I am new to your wonderful organization and I wanted to thank you for loving what you do! It shows in the way you have covered everything a chef needs to get started and be continually supported. I am very happy I joined and look forward to a long relationship with APCA!
Hi Chef Candy,
I joined the APCA recently and have already gotten two inquiries from potential clients from your website. This is very encouraging as I am concerned about having enough clients (or any clients for that matter) when I go into business. I am not in business yet however and am writing to ask your advice as to whether or not I should be listed on the site at this time. Should I explain to my leads that I am not yet in business but would love to get in touch once I am licensed and insured, or should I be removed from the site? Please advise.
P.S. I have submitted my FBN and am waiting for it to run in the paper for four weeks so that I can get my license and insurance. My business name will be "Iz Delicious". I am so excited! Can't wait to go to the seminar in July.
I have been reading the posts in the forums on the APCA site and reading them has been so helpful already.
I have to add my thoughts on the recent seminar as well. I was unsure whether the seminar was the way to go or whether I should just purchase the materials. I am so glad I decided to attend the seminar. The information and insight we were provided will prove to be invaluable. Additionally we had the opportunity to talk to Jim's son Brian another successful PC. I now have a clear picture of what I need to do to get my business up and running as well as the confidence to do it.
Thanks Candy and Jim for a job very well done.
I found the seminar this past weekend in Boston invaluable. Jim is a GREAT and engaging teacher. Thanks to to established chefs Javier, Dennis & Christine, John & Emily for taking time to visit with us and to make this industry 'real' by sharing. I would highly recommend this to not just new or prospective PC's, but also to PC's like me who's businesses are in a lull, or just does not seem to get off the ground. I have renewed insight and a new sense of direction and a new purpose with what I want to do my PC business. Earlier in the year I actually thought of closing my business, but it aint going to happen anymore! Thanks for the caring and sharing. This is a great organization!
I just have to tell you that I am once again overwhelmed with the generosity of the APCA members. I just attended the seminar in Boston this weekend. I am energized and I feel like I can take my business to the next level. I couldn't wait to get back and sing Jim's praises - thanks Jim! I feel so lucky to be a part of this organization.
I think we had a great group of newbies that can make a real contribution and make the organization proud. And the veterans... what can I say? You guys are great! You took time away from your families and businesses to help us. John, Javier, Emily and Christine and Dennis thank you so much! Your advice was great and talk about entertaining! I can't remember when I've laughed so much.
So now I just need to get a really big dinner party and I'm booking a flight to San Diego.
Okay enough of the sappy talk. Love you guys!! Thanks! Okay, now I'm done.
Thank you for your prompt help... I'm all set for now! That Jim Davis is sure the best! We all had such a GREAT seminar with him over the weekend, and came away feeling so fortunate to have had such a terrific instructor. And we all had an absoloute blast! What a terrific program... you are all so personable and helpful! So now, can you send me about 100 clients, so I can get started making my millions?
Hi. My name is Chef Debbi and I am the WCR 2005 APCA scholarship winner. I debated for a very long time about taking the seminar and was so excited when I won the scholarship! I took the seminar in October and thought that I'd start my business out slowly but clients started seeking me out right away, thanks to Candy and her wonderful team! I've done nearly no advertising and I can take no more clients at this point. This group is supportive and passionate about what they do! Don't hesitate if you're still questioning about taking the seminar. It's easy to get started (be ready to go from the very beginning) and Candy teaches you everything you need to know! Thanks Candy!
I would like to echo the comments from the chefs at Gift of Thyme. We attended the 2-day seminar last weekend together in San Diego. What an incredible experience! The group represented all walks of life...age, gender, experience/no experience in the food service industry, formally trained or self-taught. But we all had one thing in common. We are passionate about food and want to make it our vocation, either full or part-time. The information we got from Candy and the ensuing conversations were so valuable. The encouragement and support from each other was motivating. We couldn't wait to get back home and get started! We are so fortunate to have had Candy pave the way. She has removed so many road blocks and organized invaluable resources to make our start-up easier. Where else could you get great training materials, access to low-cost insurance and web designers and an established group of veterans ready to cheer you on? I am so grateful for the hard work that my new Personal Chef colleagues, but especially Candy, has done to make this adventure into a new career go smoothly. There is so little monetary investment for all that a new personal chef gets in return. I encourage any of you to consider "jumping in." The water is great!
I just flew in from the seminar in San Diego and I have to say it was the best money I've ever spent. The training manuals and seminar are priceless and when you realize what this little nitch in the culinary industry really is and what it can mean for you (even those of you with "no formal training" or second career folks), it all makes sense and it just brings a calming smile to your face. Does this sort of work sound delightful and rewarding? It is! Does the APCA seem like a credible and legit association and support center? It is! Don't sit back and let what seems to be right pass you by. I am so glad I took this chance and I would have regreted it if I didn't. Now, I get to look forward to a future that I am in control of, making money I deserve, doing what I love and am passionate about, working on my terms, with no more nights, weekends or holidays or corporate ladder. If any of you need any extra boosts or more details please email me and I'd be more than happy to chat with you. Candy Wallace is an amazing pioneer for Pesonal Chefs (besides being the sweetest lady you've ever met) and I will be her number one advocate from now on. Hope this helps!
Gift of Thyme PCS
I also bought the materials including the videos and they were great as I could rewind and refer to them often in the beginning but the education you'll get from the forums is priceless IMHO!
I just had my first official cookdate today, and it went great. I just want to take a moment to thank you all for all the help I've received. First, I owe a HUGE part of my success to the October training in Maryland that Candy and Jim did. It helped me develop my "elevator speech," which has landed me TWO clients. And second, these forums have been so helpful to me both in recipe research, pricing, "cook kit" development, and cookdate strategy.
This is exactly how I envisioned my business getting off the ground, and it is working beautifully. So thank you, fellow personal chefs, for helping me launch my fantastic new career. I certainly couldn't have done it without you!
In May 2005, I joined the American Personal Chef Association as one of the ways I could support my decision to change careers and become a personal chef. About the same time, I enrolled as a culinary student at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR. Since that time I have heard multiple accolades about our association and you specifically, Candy. As a student member of ACF, I receive the periodical, Sizzle, published by the organization. What a treat it was to see you featured in the article, "Advice from the Pros!" It was great to see our niche of the industry represented in such a positive way. Also recently, I was on the student panel that met with the ACF accreditation team on their site visit to our school. During introductions, we were asked to talk a little about our visions for our professional future. When I said that my goal was to be a personal chef, all members of the panel commented on how they had heard you speak at a recent conference and they were so impressed with what you said. Again, I was proud to be affiliated with our organization!
Just wanted to let you know I have not one, but TWO clients now. (Only got the business license 10 days ago.) Both clients came from the personalchef.com web site. The first client assessment took about three hours. That woman can TALK. (A moment of silent prayer that she is not home on Monday, her first cook date.)
It works. You're the best.
I just wanted to take a moment to comment on the seminar that I attended in New Jersey the weekend of October 15. As with any new venture, I was very nervous about becoming a personal chef prior to attending the seminar. I know that I can handle the cooking, but I was concerned about the business end. Jim Davis is a great instructor. He was so generous with sharing his knowledge. He discussed how to start our businesses, PR, menu planning, and so many other relevant topics. He also had us work on that all important elevator speech. This past Saturday, I found myself giving my elevator speech to a room full of people at a cocktail party. I mentioned the words "personal chef" and was like a scene from one of those old E. F. Hutton televison commercials. Everyone stopped talking and listened to every word. Before the seminar I would not have been comfortable discussing the profession or my career goals. Since I returned to CT, I've prepared my brochure, started working on a website, and had my first client assessment interview. I'll be cooking for him later this week. I would encourage any visitor to this forum who may be thinking about entering the profession to attend one of the seminars.
Thanks to Candy for your wonderful seminar this past weekend in San Diego. You are a superb teacher and the information was in depth and exactly what we needed to get started in this wonderful industry!
Excellent information, so many tips and helpful hints. I always feel if I get one great idea from a weekend seminar, it's been well worth my time - this weekend far exceeded my expectations. I learned so much and thank you for sharing your wealth of information. Your passion is contagious!
The logistics of the class were also very good. You handled all our random questions with grace (sorry if we all broke into your flow so many times!) We're all so excited so thank you! The location was fine and I loved the size of the class, it felt very intimate.
I would tell anyone to attend the class rather than simply read the manual - your information, first hand was the springboard I needed to start my business off on the right foot.
All personal chefs are guaranteed success with the APCI!!
I just wanted to let you know again how much I enjoyed attending the 2 day personal chef class in Gaithersburg last weekend. It was really terrific. I learned more than I had ever hoped for. You are a wealth of information and the practical experience you shared was invaluable. I enjoyed your style and sense of humor very much. I feel like if I lived near you we could be instant friends for life.
I wasn't sure if I would really go forward with this at first, but after the weekend I am excited about doing what I love for real now.
Your speakers, including Jim were all great, however I felt like I identified with your style and approach more so than the others. I am people person and really think working with the elderly will be very satisfying.
I am not the most organized, detailed oriented person (except when it comes to cooking). My only worry is to make sure I keep organized enough to run this like a real business. I ran a couple of online business' in the past selling gifts and such. I ended up giving too much away and keeping my prices low which caused me to not make any profit at all...and actually lose money. I hope this doesn't happen in this effort. I have a tendency to be too nice and too giving...and I am famous for not being able to say 'NO'.
Anyway..I hope I can write you at times to ask for advice or suggestions on how to handle situations. You have really done a remarkable job building the visibility of this business. The respect of the industry, as well as admirations from your peers must bring you such inner happiness and satisfaction at a job well done.
I will definitely attend Seattle's conference (or wherever it ends up). Take care and talk to you soon.
I attended a seminar taught by Jim in February and it was fantastic! I still canít believe how much I learned in just two days. It was great to learn the ropes from Jim. Heís not only extremely knowledgeable about the business, but also very entertaining. Having left a teaching career to start my personal chef business, I can say that there arenít many people out there who can present for 8 hours and keep it interesting. Jim made the seminar informative and fun.
I still refer back to the pages of notes, tips, suggestions, advice, and ideas for my business that I got in February. When I was finally able to dedicate myself full-time to starting my business in early July, I reviewed everything that I had from the seminar. I followed Jimís advice and Iím happy to share that in less than three months I already have three weekly clients.
Going to a seminar is really a must if you want to get your business up and running with success. If you have any doubts about spending the money, just remind yourself that the seminar is a key part of your business investment. Itís worth every penny and then some!
Proud to say I am finally a member of the American Personal Chefs Association.
Had to learn the "hard way" again. Shopped for liability insurance and web hosting on my own. Wow. Wonder how some people survive doing liability insurance on their own. No comparison on what the APCA offers vs. paying for liability insurance on your own.
Thanks also for your kind words and low key sales approach. Your competition just doesn't get it. Everyone I talked to at San Diego and in Chicago was very helpful.
Please pass on to Karen Tursi how great she is to be part of the APCA. She is truly a walking poster for how to be a personal chef.
Looking forward to a long relationship with the APCA.
Hello Chef Candy:
Thanks for all of the stuff you sent to me. I am definately going with YOUR program soon. I have a new message phone. I will be in touch in the coming weeks. Again, thanks! Bon appetit,
Hi chef Candy,
I received your information packet and have browsed your sight quite often. Of the three big personal chef sights, I think I like yours best. Especially your commitment to the industry...
Thank you so much for your help this morning. I have talked to everyone now. But you made my decision for me. The level of professionalism and your love of what you do tells me a lot. I think you are definately going to be able to help more, and teach me more than anyone else.
Hi Terry, Candy and Meredith!
I just received my prize package today and I am SOOOOOOOOO excited!!! First of all, I love getting surprise packages...and second, I opened up my box and kept finding more and more goodies as I went through!! I found the spice caddy first and thought - oh wow, that's awesome...I need that!! I love that! Then I found the framed and signed beautiful award and I was so thrilled and proud and can't wait to hang it on my wall and put it on my website now that it feels official!! Ooh, maybe I'll scan it....when I figure that out that is!! Next I found the cool measuring beaker that won't tip over - and won't leak like my other one...now I just have to decide whether it is going to go to work with me or stay home....hmmm!! Such FUN decisions!! Then I found my awesome microplane that I totally can't wait to use - LOVE it!! NEED it!! And THEN I found an envelope with a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE TO MAC KNIVES!! I was like, oh my gosh - that is awesome!! Woohoo!! yippee!! I already have the original APCA knife kit from Mac and a santoku (the cook's illustrated knife winner) that I got about two years ago -- and now I am already shopping on the website to find my next Mac knife!!
I thank you all so much for these wonderful prizes and for all the work you did on putting together such a professional and exciting contest! I am still so proud to have won (especially the vegetarian one!) and receiving this wonderful package today just brought back all of my original pride and excitement!!! I am so proud to be a member of APCA and now a very happy 2005 Best Vegetarian Recipe Winner!
Thanks so much again and all the best to you guys!!
I attended the Charlotte Seminar April 23rd and 24th. Wow! What a great way to power up my business! Jim Davis is an excellent and informative instructor, and was very patient with all my/our questions. Thanks Candy for encouraging me to go.
This is Phyllis Brannin. I just attended the San Diego Seminar this past Saturday and Sunday April 9 & 10. What an incredible experience! A wealth of information in a relaxed, warm and nurturing atmosphere. Just one of the many affirmations I have had this week that I am defininetly on the correct career and life path. Thank you Candy and Dennis for starting my journey on such a positive note.
This morning, I booked a Mother's Day sit-down dinner for 8 adults and 2 children and procured a 5 x 4 client for every two weeks!
Candy, it was so nice to have someone to share my victory dance with verbally on the phone right after it happened.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In my opinion, the seminar is invaluable in terms of information and tips that you could never gleen from the videos alone.
Please attend if you afford to do so... the seminar in fabulous in terms of a confidence booster and from a information standpoint.
Well I'm back from sunny San Diego and in sunny Fort Lauderdale... just wanted to send a note of thanks for your fabulous seminar!
I've been to many seminars in my (former) career as an Art Director and I have to say, the fact that I am so enthusiastic about yours tells me I'm on the right track in my choice to become a Personal Chef. I realize now that had I just purchased the the tapes and course materials, I would have missed all of the great tips, insights and wealth of personal knowledge that only a class with you can provide. The seminar gave me such a boost in confidence. I now really know that, yes, I can do this. I'll be able to do the kind of work that I really love, and support my client's well-being with delicious meals.
I'll ditto that! I have yet to launch my full-fledged campaign to let my community know I'm in business, but I've received 4 inquiries via Find A Chef in the past 6 weeks. Plus, I got a call this week from a local reporter wanting to interview me for a small publication. Once again, she found me on the APCA website. I definitely feel I joined a great organization.
I just wanted to tell you what a great seminar and over all conference this was. I felt such a sense of companionship with everyone here. Usually I keep to myself at stuff like this, but that was not an option here. Everyone was so friendly and fun to be with. It was just like I was always meant to be with this group of people. Wow...it was just great.
It also reinforced my confidence and desire to be a personl chef. The cooking classes at AI did the same thing. THey confirmed I already know a heck of a lot and gave me some great pointers.
You were especially motivating and inspiring. I felt your love for this business and your desire to help others succeed and make it grow as an industry. You weren't selling anything. Just giving us the support we need to make it happen for us. Thank you so much for that.
Well, I guess I'll be talking with you over the next year and hope to see you in New Orleans.
Thanks again for wanting so much for all of us,
Beth you are a professional and pleasure to converse with (prompt and professional). Thank you for your efforts, I would not give up the privilege of using the APCA web link.
The APCA is the best personal chef organization ....................period.
...I would like to add one more thing. I have recently left the Royal Navy after twenty four years service, and took your book to my careers advisor just before leaving because we have an interview on what we are going to do and if we have any questions about our future.
My advisor stated that she wished every company could produce a manual as concise and helper to new business starters as yours is, she was overwhelmed with the amount of advice and information contained in your manual.
I also would like to thank you for your help and I hope that my business will serve you well as an advertisment for your association and that I shall be kept very busy in the future.
thank you once again.
Thank you so much dennis-
again, i hope everyone in the web class realized what a great opportunity for exposure being on the person chef search website will be. you were so right when you mentioned it is the first site that pops up during a search, and if i were looking for a chef, what better place to find one than on the apca web site.
I had been dragging my heels, procrastinating about doing more marketing - ok, doing ANY marketing, when I finally decided to contact APCA about putting up my little one-pager website. Well, I gotta say - it's been the best thing (after joining APCA)that I've done in a really long time!
I've been getting phone calls and emails from all sorts of potential clients and today, just rec'd an email from a local newspaper planning to do a story on personal chefs! Needless to say, I had never bothered to send over a press release or anything else and am thrilled to be getting the attention!
I'll be sure to let everyone know if I make it into the article!
I was one of the newbies attending the seminar led by Chef Dane Mechlin in Santa Clara this past weekend (January 24-25). (You can probably tell I'm a newbie because I registered my real name as my user name. Now I've noticed that nobody else seems to do this. I guess I'll have to figure out how to change mine!)
I found this seminar absolutely invaluable. I can honestly say that it exceeded my expectations -- by far! The seminar focused on the business aspects of being a personal chef, and particularly on business startup. So, writing a business plan, identifying demographic groups to which you hope to sell your services, and marketing -- especially marketing! -- were all addressed. This business is admittedly "not rocket science," so someone who has some business background might imagine that they don't need any coaching on these subjects. Not so, in my opinion. Every business has its unique characteristics and challenges, and if you have a chance to learn about these from the experience of others you should seize it. Learning from your own mistakes is really the only alternative, and mistakes can be very costly in a business that is necessarily reliant on reputation and word-of-mouth for building a clientele. I told my wife after the seminar that I was confident that it was well worth the time and money just for the mistakes it would enable me to avoid. (And I got a lot more out of it than that.)
It is pretty easy to list the topics addressed in the seminar. It is much harder to convey the value of the interactions with Chef Dane and the other people taking the seminar. Dane is a very encouraging person, as well as being very knowledgable, and I don't imagine any of us doubted the sincerity of the encouragement he gave us. And talking to the other newcomers was equally encouraging in its own way. I felt considerable relief just from learning that everyone else has their own reservations and concerns, just as I do. But each of us also has some significant strengths, and talking about them with others helped me realize that this business really can provide opportunities to take advantage of them.
The bottom line for me is that I feel much more excited and confident about entering this business on account of attending the seminar. I really can't ask for much more than that.
Looking back at what I've just written, I do believe I've been gushing! This is not my habit by any means -- on the contrary, I tend to be pretty critical. But in this case, I just don't have any significant criticisms to offer.
I know this particular discussion forum can be viewed by people who are just considering whether to become personal chefs, and I would like to offer one specific piece of advice to them. You have the option of just obtaining the written materials that are provided for the seminar and treating it as a "home study" course. Don't, unless you just absolutely have no option. The additional cost for attending the seminar is not much, relatively (although you might also have to incur some travel costs). But I don't think I can overstate the additional value of it. I read all of the materials (well, not ALL of those recipes) before the seminar. Yes, a lot of those materials were used at the seminar, but I got so much more out of the discussions and the opportunity to ask questions of Chef Dane and talk with other newcomers than I did from just reading them, I was actually really surprised by it. If you are serious about this (and why would you spend $700 on the materials if you weren't?), take advantage of one of these seminars. It is definitely worthwhile.
Hey, Jim -
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for all of your awesome advice and support! My first cook date was AMAZING! It took me about 5 1/2 hours shopping - clean up (4x4). I was tired at the end of the day, but not exhausted as I had expected and I had SO much fun!
The plan was for me to come and cook so his mother wouldn't have to cook for their daughter while they were away. Afterward, I would come bi-monthly for them. Well, they went thru eight of the sixteen meals in 2 1/2 days!
The best part is that it looks like I may be switching to weekly (YEAH!!!) - we're going to talk when they return from a business trip. Also, he is the publisher/president of the only newspaper so we're talking about some sort of press....any suggestions?
After the September seminar, I hit so many PA red tape glitches, that I thought this would never happen. Thank you for giving us the vision to see past today and to focus on the possibilities of tomorrow. Your seasoned advice really helped me to not give up (at least not until I earned back that $1000!!) and I'm so glad I didn't.
You are the best!
Blessings and joy,
I wanted to drop you a line to let you know how incredibly helpful and informative the workshop at L'Academie de Cuisine was for me. I have been toying with the idea of becoming a personal chef for some time and after taking the class I finally feel I have the tools and the support to actually make it happen. Both you and Chef Jim were wonderful in conveying the information found in the materials, but also in sharing your personal stories and anecdotes with the class.
Thank you again!
Hello Chef Patt:
Wow, I finally did it:) Thanks so much for your help earlier.
I am reading all the questions from the forum and truly amazed with the diversity of questions asked and the spontaneous help provided by the other members. It's like a class room with a very welcoming and encouraging atmosphere. I feel excited and very motivated:)
Happy New Year! The second week of the year I receive 6 phone calls from potential new clients. There must be alot of new resolutions, I guess. That is the most I have ever gotten at one time. I have already cooked for two of these leads and have received back 3 more client profile forms with set meeting dates next week.
I asked all of them how they heard of me: my web site, a referral, signs on my van, or the APCA website? Everyone said from the APCA website. I have been a member of the APCA for over 5 years and it's great to realize it works for new reasons and old. Yes, I think I'll pay my membership fee again this year and go to the APCA Summit to smile and learn new tricks with friends.
You absolutely, positively, must have a link to the APCA website. All of my current customers have found me through the Find A Chef feature. By the way, did you know that the APCA is the first association returned when you do an Internet search on a major search engine for personal chef? How much do I think that's worth? About $1200 a week for me...
Just a short note to thank you thus far for all your help in my decision to become a personal chef. I know I joined the BEST organization. I am looking forward to my new career and promoting APCA. Thanks again.
I simply wanted to write and thank you for all your assistance. A few months back, I contacted the APCA regarding my externship from the Orlando Culinary Academy. Immediately, you got on the phone with me to discuss my need for a mentor. My school allowed me to use my business as my externship and I needed a mentor. You recommended Chef Ira Michaelson. And you were right! Chef Ira has been a great help and answered countless questions. I'm so glad I joined the APCA!
Thanks again for all your encouragement and assistance!
I am a very new member of APCA. I joined the organization yesterday after talking to few members, a staff member, and you regarding liability insurance, and would like to thank you for your time.
I am a cross-cultural and bilingual culinary professional with background in design. Iíve received culinary education in San Francisco and worked in restaurants. This spring I found myself suffering from strain and left restaurant environment. As scary as it is, I m committed to build my business and actualize my mission to preserve myfamilyís culinary tradition; raise awareness of food, health, and season among dining public, and make people well and joyous.
I am also a member of WCR and enjoyed reading the article about your organization on Entrez newsletter. I am hoping to introduce myself at the annual conference in November.
Thank you for building the organization where people like me can find the support and new possibilities. If I can support the local (SF) chapter in any way, please let me know.
Bringing wellness and joy to your dinner table
It was sure great seeing you again in Washington, D.C. I wanted to personally thank you for organizing the personal touch demonstration at our convention. From all accounts, it was a tremendous seminar and workshop.
I've heard what a great success your conference in San Diego was. Your work and dedication speaks well for the personal chef industry.
Let's keep talking, sharing, and growing together.
Mike Baskette, CEC, CCE, AAC
ACF Director of Operations
When I decided that it was time to do something for myself, a very difficult decision for Cancer women, my first choice was pop star. Since my daughter told me that I couldn't sing or dance, I had to look for something else. I was a nanny for eight years, service director for two years, accounting assistant for three years, and a personal assistant for the last five years. Personal chef made perfect sense to me.
When I started my research into the profession, I quickly realized that a national, professional affiliation was absolutely necessary. I printed each page of the websites of the three major organizations. My husband and I read over them many times - comparing points on each one. For months, I spent my evenings pouring over huge amounts of information, needing to make the best decision for me, and my family.
By the time I felt like I knew everything I could learn from reading - looking at websites of members of the different affiliations, I decided to make some phone calls. I made more than one call, but my conversation with Candy Wallace made my decision for me. This is the right profession for me, and APCA is the best professional association to help me succeed. I know I can make this change in my life with the support offered by Candy and the APCA.
Thank you so much for your attention - to my silly questions and my grave concerns, for the confidence in my success and your dedication to making this a profession to be
Susan Conner Banchs
New Orleans, LA
I am working on my business plan and self-studying for my serv-safe test in August.
I hope to run my test cook-dates (I have four lined up) in September and start advertising in October!
I think I may have finally found the business for me. My biggest worry is not the cooking or work involved but in finding the new clients. The forums really help. There are a ton of good ideas out there.
Thanks for supplying such a great resource. The Web is a wonderful place.
Thank you Candy Wallace and staff!
Just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity
to promote my business. The A.P.C.A. has been a great
marketing tool for me. I appreciate all the kindness
you have given me.
Chef Cindy Rhodes
Le Chef D'Amour Fine Catering
..I just viewed the tape "A Day in the Life" and am delighted with the presentation. It showed the "nuts and bolts" details that I needed to extend my services to individual families. Thank you for bringing this opportunity to my family.
The Bread Man
Just wanted to send a thank you for getting back to me with the preliminary info on the Summit. I appreciate so much that a real person answers my e-mails and that you care so much about your members! Just another reason I love being part of the APCA!
"Wow! A whole year has gone by! Once again, thank you for helping me change my life and for all you do for all of us."
"I have enjoyed my membership in the APCA so much. The forums have been a great source of inspiration, recipes, advice and friendship. Thanks you for all your hard work."
"My association with the APCA has been nothing short of wonderful. My business is soaring and prospering."
Hi Candy!I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for coming to Denver to lead the Personal Chef seminar this past weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and left the weekend very invigorated and inspired. I know that no matter what direction I take I will use many of the ideas presented by you..
I also wanted to let you know that I have attached the picture that was taken of you and I and my buddy, Kim Hicks, from this weekend. I think it turned out pretty good!Once again Candy, I'd like to thank you for your tireless efforts in bringing this exciting career path to the forefront and giving it the credence and credibility it so deserves. You are truly an inspiration.
With Best Regards,
If so I am happy to respond to the survey! Wow, that would be awesome to win the drawing for the summit!
The APCA has provided the support and information that I have needed in the past and would expect that our awesome members will continue to help when I need it. I try to pass on whatever helpful information that I can to those who need it. I am very happy with my decision to join the APCA and am proud to be a member.
"Every client I had I got through my website and they found me through my APCA link on the find-a-chef page. I never even did any marketing. The people just found me through the web. I thank the APCA for that."
Hi Candy - Welcome back from Orlando!
Not sure if the reporter you spoke to with "The Daily News" in Memphis sent you a copy of the article she interviewed you for, but here's a copy.
Also enclosed is a little article my local newspaper did.
I love this business!
Thank you so much for spending the time with this reporter and for being our friend and mentor!
You are one hard-working lady!
Have a great day!
A Thought For Food Personal Chef Service
Although I will be attending the Summit next week, I thought I would send you an e-mail to thank you for all that you do instead of trying to tell you in person since I know you will be very busy next week.
I have been in the food industry since 1994 working part time for caterers learning the business. In 1998 my 20 year marriage ended and I needed to go from being a stay at home mom to a full time worker. I started a catering business and it was good because I was able to still be there for my son when he needed me. However catering can be very stressful and I had enough stress in my life. Last March I spoke with someone about the personal chef industry and immediately got on the internet to obtain more information about this new and up and coming industry. The first organization I discovered was APCA. It sounded to good to be true. I looked at other organizations but I came back to APCA. Two days later I ordered the tapes, became a member and began my personal chef business. I gave myself at least 6 months before I would get my first client. Two months after becoming a member, I had my first client. Sinc! e then I have obtained two more clients and I am currently working on publicity in my area to let people learn more about Personal Chefs.
My son just left home to start college in Boulder, Colorado, my life is somewhat settling down after adjusting to a nasty divorce and my personal chef business is on a roll.
If it wasn't for this wonderful organization you started and the immense support I get from the forum, I don't know where I would be now. I still have my catering business but I prefer being a personal chef.
The other night as I drove home after doing a food assessment for a new client, I suddenly felt like my life was back on track again. All I could think of was Candy Wallace was a gift from God for me. I was told in my darkest days that as one door closes another one opens. I thought for me that would never happen. Boy was I wrong.
Candy, my chef hat is off to you. By starting the APCA, you have helped me in more ways than you can imagine. I love what I am doing and I really am happy about that.
I just needed to let you know that you are very instrumental in helping me get my life back in order.
If we have a chance to meet face to face at the Summit, I will give you a big hug.
I'm just getting set up to start my business...I'm one of those "crazy ones", trying to get everything ready in 30 days...but I'm actually almost there!
I just wanted to say a thousand thanks to Candy and everyone else in the APCA! I've gone through the training manuels and am reading the forums daily...I'm sooo impressed with the caliber of people, the support everyone is willing to give, the practical suggestions, and the committment everyone has to the success of, not only their own businesses, but to the success of others!
I first heard about the APCA a few months ago when I read a press release about Chef Kerri's Gooseberry Fool. I've had a desire to work in the cooking industry for many years, but still wanted to be my own boss, and didn't really have the knowlege how to make it happen.
Since the first day I phoned and spoke with Candy, I knew this was the way I wanted to go! Candy, your dedication to this association and the personal intrest you took in supporting me really made the difference! I'm truly grateful!!!
I also had the privilege of spending time with Chef Kerri. She showed me how she put her kit together and gave me many wonderful suggestions...her help is invaluable to me, Kerri, thank you with all my heart!! Kerri also helped to ally so many fears I had! (Ok, I still have some fears, but I'll just keep reading all your wonderful experiences and suggestions on the forums!) What a beautiful team to be a part of!!!
I wish I could meet everyone at Orlando next month, it just isn't possible for me to come at this time. But I'm already determined to go next year...by then, I hope I can be there to encourage others, the way you all are now encouraging me!
Grazie mille e tutto!
A thousand thanks to all,
As a professional chef on a yacht, I already knew how to cook. What I needed to know was how to market my service, how to set up my business and how to reach potential clients. The APCA provided all that and more. I got all most all of my clients from personalchef.com. I love owning my own business.
Chef Dane Mechlin, CEC
Nadine and Dane's PCS
Santa Clara, CA
"As an ACF member, I have learned the value of a national organization
which supports my profession. As a personal chef, no other organization has
compared to the APCA in providing this same level of professionalism,
and support. I am confident in my cooking, but they have given me the tools
to build a successful and rewarding business."
Chef Ira Michaelson
Your Personal Gourmet
"A Personal Chef Service"
If you are SERIOUS about this business, you must make the investment in enrolling in this seminar. If you've already purchased your training materials, the additional cost to attend a seminar is not that much (Just call Candy and ask!). There is NOTHING like getting together with experienced PCs (Jim Davis conducted and Wendy Perry visited), along with other new PC's--to sit down, face- to-face with "Experience" and hammer out all those questions you have (packaging, procedure, marketing, etc., etc., and yes--those insecurities too! There's no way to ever put all this into a training manual. Each of us are different, and we, therefore, will want to run our businesses differently. The seminar helps you "run with it."
The forums are WONDERFUL, however, the one-on-one is priceless!
Jim and Wendy, heartfelt thanks once again.
A Thought For Food
. . . and P.S. Candy Wallace - You impress the daylights out of me! There are NOT many heads of major organizations that are SO accessible. Every time I've dialed the 1-800 number, Candy has answered! Most other places you get the freakin . . . "If you want this, press 1, for this press 2." And then there's the e-mail response! Thanks for the wonderful example!
Thanks Patt so much for the prompt attention. I had a great time at the
seminar and it it so nice to have faces to connect to the names. FYI: When I
got home I had a message from a woman who wants my service as well as her
daughter and for her mother! I have as assesment meeting with her on Friday!
Great blessings and joy!! Thank you again for all the encouragement and
support and I may be calling you for a pep talk before Friday.
I greatly enjoyed meeting with you at the (IACP) conference. You are a gifted
speaker with tremendous presentation skills. Your workshop was a hit!
I am looking forward to discussing the Personal Chef option in greater
detail soon. Regretably, I will be in LA this weekend and unable to
attend your San Diego workshop this time. I will contact you when I return to
see if we can set up another time when you're in town.
Should I return to live in San Diego after culinary school next year,
perhaps we can network more often.
Thanks so much for your help. I really love this organization and have learned so much from the forum and the materials. I now have three clients, another who will be starting next month, and two more who are very interested. I was so nervous to make the leap, but everything has gone so smoothly, and I think a lot of that is due to the APCA.
my name is lisa and i'm a member in the boulder co area. my business is personal culinary preparations. let me say first that i have received more new clients via the internet than any other media form. joining was a definate plus and i would reccommend it to any new personal chef. i'm going to be traveling to thailand and austraila for 6 months. i want to study the cuisine in each area, but am especially interested in thai cooking. from what i have seen on the internet most of the thai cooking schools are geared for tourists (non professionals). i am looking for a more indepth study of thai cooking. could you suggest any particular school? any help in this area would be greatly appreciated. also, are there any websites for personal chefs in that area? i found one for austraila, but nothing for thailand. Thank you so much for your help.
I spoke to you before Christmas and I am now getting my feet off the ground
I want to let you know how much i have enjoyed the wealth of information in
your kit I am excited to begin my personal chef business and I look forward to on-line
Hello, I first would like to thank you for letting me pursuit my dreams. I've always love to cook and when I realized I wanted to become a Chef, It was too late. I've already had two children and an Internet business with my husband. I couldn't possible say to him...Honey, I quit...I am going to school for a year to become a Chef and when I graduate who knows who will hire me... Surfing the net I found you and well...I had made a name for myself here in Montego Bay. I don't particularly follow your rules. Things in Jamaica are different. Everybody has a maid so I don't cook for them. They also don't beleive in frozen food, BUT!!! I implemented a eat healthy plan and since Jamaicans don't know how to eat healthy, they hire me to cook their meals daily. I cook their three meals plus two snacks from my house and they pick it up from me and put it in their fridge. I also cook for parties and corporations. Anyways, I like more information about college. Can you do it online or by mail??? Thanks, Madelaine
.. It is apparent you all really enjoy what you do . . . thank you for your dedication. I also want to complement you on the advice to purchase the Mastercook software. It is truly useful tool, and with the for a $10 rebate, a real bargain. Keep up the good work.
Enough can't be said about your efforts! While I'm a new pc (first cook date is Tuesday), I joined the APCA back in November. Once I laid out all of the business plans, made it through the holidays and a needed medical procedure, I started advertising/marketing. I'm happy to let you know
that my first client found my website via Find A Chef, only 1 week after my link being added to the site!
I've also collected a $1,000 fee for an event I'm catering for a party of 12. My closing ratio is at 100% (ha ha)! I do however, recognize that what this closing ratio means is that Find A Chef brings in well qualified leads.
And today, I received an email from an individual in Canada who found my website through Find A Chef and is wondering if I could provide consulting services to help her begin her business. My background is in consulting, so this of course is invigorating! I of course will be passing her
information along to you so that you might contact her to further support my recommendation that she join the APCA.
Thanks for you efforts. They do not go unnoticed!
I spent most of Saturday and Sunday reviewing your web site and reading
through the archives. Personally, I believe this is a wonderful tool
because it gives a prospective PC the opportunity to visit the archives and have
most, if not all, of their questions answered. I have always loved
cooking and I believe it is truly my passion. The price you charge for the
course is VERY reasonable and I know within a month (if not before) I will be able
to join your organization. It is good to know that you don't have to be a
professional trained chef or have a culinary degree. Moreover, while
reading the responses in the archives, it became very clear that APCAs are more
like a family and are always willing to help. The information that was given
to potential PCs was very endearing. Candy, you have definitely touched the
pulse of the camaraderie that is needed for everyone to become
People often forget that Together Each Accomplish More.
Have a great day! :-)
I am fairly new as well, about 4 months. I am so loving this job.. I have no clients yet, but I may after tomorrow when I have a business breakfast with 50 of the areas business owners. I am so excited. I do have a hot tip for you. Use the website in the manual www.kidon.com and type in your state and get all the newspapers and tv stations in your area and email and send a hard copy of your press release. I did this on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning I had an email from a paper about it, a call from a paper about it and a tv crew that wanted to film me cooking for a client.
Candy really knows what she is talking about, use her info and have fun!!!!!!!!
Last night I typed up my press release and went to the www.kidon.com website like suggested in the manual to search for Maine newspaper publications. I emailed the local publications with the press release and also printed a hard copy and mailed it. Just from email alone, I got two calls. One was from the local tv station which I emailed for the heck of it and hoping they would just print it on their website and they asked if I would be interested in either doing a cooking show in my home once a week or doing a tv interview for my PC business. I was so floored I almost died.
Then 5 minutes later I got a call from a newspaper that said they were
going to print the release or atleast part of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moral
of the story-
THANK YOU CANDY for such wonderful advice and such an awesome oppurtunity.
Use that website!!!!! Email and send hard copy.
I need to share with all of you that the NPR interview with Candy has
brought me nine calls and three e-mails and I have sent six packets of brochures,
prices, menus, etc. out just today! I even developed a kid's menu last night!
And my phone rings every morning early.....ALL from Candy's interview. All I
can say, Candy, is thank you. I'm thrilled!
Gram ( Ellie Ruth)
Dear Fellow Chefs,
I am new to this association, joined in Nov.
2000. This PC business is a longtime dream of mine and I finally got up the nerve
to give it a whirl, thanks to chef Candy, she really gave me a lot of encouragement!!!
I am a culinary school graduate (Art Institute of Atlanta ) and have
been working the hotels and restaurants since my graduation in 1990. Most recently
I was an executive chef with Marriott Corporate Services.
Exec. Chefs in Marriott Svcs. are really an elite group but I have to tell you,
they have nothing on you guys!! (all gender inclusive) You Chefs seem to be top
notch professionals the way questions are asked and fielded so efficiently.
knew that I would miss the camaraderie & professionalism then we all
enjoyed in our meetings with Marriott, but I think that I have discovered an
equal if not transcendent forum in this association. I just wanted all of you
to know that I am proud and honored to be considered a part of this group. Best
of luck to all in growing their business. Mine has really taken off and I have
gotten invaluable help & information that attribute to that, right here on this
forum. Keep up the good work Chefs.
Two years ago I got on the internet and found Candy and the APCA.
I bought the whole program; membership, seminar, training program and a listing
on personal chef.com. After several months of shuffling my feet and afraid
to leave my roots in the restaurant industry, I got down to business and followed
her program. It's very hard work starting your own business.
customers, made mistakes, got better and then I got quite good. Now, I have
200% of I wanted to achieve. Before taxes, I will make six figures this year. I
work five days a week/50 hours. I cook for 10 great clients weekly that love my
service and me.
I am certain I would not be this successful, prosperous
and happy without Candy & Dennis's organization. We now have a Northern
California APCA Chapter, one of the first, which is supported by the APCA/APCI.
Everytime I look around this organization is growing and getting better. It's
very exciting. Now, I'm part of it.
If you have what it takes, you
will love working for yourself in this industry. Save yourself time and money and
join THIS organization. Take it from someone who walked the road less traveled.
WHAT A BLAST!! I am SOOO excited -- having just completed a LIVE 30 minute interview on 'GAYBC.com' radio show 'Hangin'OUT.' When our President, Candy Wallace of the APCA contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining her from the east coast for an on-air interview, I was both excited and nervous. Jeff and Chelle, our on air host however, took no time putting us both at ease. Candy answered questions regarding the association, our beginnings to date and I answered questions regarding my experience as a novice [but already successful] personal Chef as a result of my training thru the APCA. You can 'hear' our interview on line beginning tomorrow 2/25/2000 after 5:00pm in the 'archives' of the program HanginíOUT at: www.gaybc.com This is one of the many benefits to being a member of the APCA. Candy, thank you for garnering advantage for personal chefs across the nation. As always your timing is impeccable.
CONNIE'S Carribean American Soul, A Personal Chef Service
WOWWWWWWWWWW!!!! What an incredible weekend!!! Too pooped to post, but will soon! Never met a finer bunch of folks...SO MANY new friends, all so enthusiactic and excited! Thanks to Candy and all my fellow 'presenters' for all the great info.! Now, MUST GO SLEEP!!!
Angel In Your Kitchen
Hi everyone! I just became a member of this wonderful association, and I want to tell anyone who is interested in becoming a personal chef that this is the only association worth becoming involved with. Chef Candy has done so much research to be get us started and there is so much important and helpful information in the training manual that starting up this business is almost a snap! I'm sure that without Candy Wallace and the American Personal Chef Association and Institute I wouldn't be doing what I love to do most: cooking delicious food and working for myself. So far, every time I've had a question regarding start-up--from marketing to demographics to pricing--I've called Candy and she's been there with a willing ear, a gentle voice and a lot of incredible knowledge that she's more than happy to share. I want to thank her for all the work she's done and keeps on doing! Thanks, Candy! and let's get cooking!
Our Personal Chef Summit will be held in Washington, DC, September 17-19th. If there is ANY way you can make it, you should! You could jump-start your business from information that is going to be provided. Joining the APCA is certainly something I think you should do, but call Candy Wallace @ 1.800.644.8389. If you would like to contact me personally, my e-mail address is provided. Just an *idea* but if there are two of you, maybe one of you could start it up & the other join in later! This industry is just getting started, there is CERTAINLY room for you! Read the archives here... :)
Your friend in TX,
Neno's Personal Chef Service
Yes, there are two associations available for Personal Chef's to join. This website is sponsored by the American Personal Chef Association, which I'm a member of, but anyone can post here. It's an open forum. It need not be confusing.... look over the materials & find out which one you think is right for you. I chose the APCA for many reasons, but the main reason was price. Next, when I posted here so many people helped me & were nice to me! I really liked that aspect of it too. Candy & Ina helped me through my start-up, answering ALL my dumb questions w/ *tried & true* answers; being successful personal chef's themselves. The member's only forum is full of wonderful people that will help you with anything that comes along. Next week I'm going to the East Coast Summit where I'll finally get to meet my many APCI friends! Personal Chef's from all over the country (and Canada) are getting together for this meeting. In October I'm organizing a Texas Chapter meeting for Personal Chef's in TX & in the spring we plan to have our first ever annual convention. We also get together in a member's only chat club to talk about pressure cooking, heating instructions, chat for newbies, crock pot cooking, recipes, cultures, etc... I've met some wonderful friends online. I also have friends in the USPCA that like their association fine. It's an individual decision. But, I'm sure you can figure out which association is right for you! Please let us know if anyone at the APCA can help you further! Good luck :)
Neno's Personal Chef Service
I would like to thank you for the phone call yesterday.
You really answered a lot of my questions. It's great to have some support.
Starting you own business can be a bit scary, but you have calmed my fears. It's
nice to know we're not alone.
Again, I want to thank you for your
thoughtfullness and knowledge.
I just closed with my first client last Tuesday! The whole client
assesment process was very very easy to me.I felt very comfortable throughout
the entire thing.Anyway,I left with a check in hand 7 day's prior to my first
cooking date! They(a busy couple) need me to cook for them weekly! what a trip!
I'm very pleased.
Enclosed, please find a copy of my flyer which I
would like to use as my "new Web-page". .... Candy, Thanks so much for your positive
support. It's a great help to have you in there with me .