APCA Stresses Professional Standards at Summit
chefs unveil an international code of ethics and, with the help of ACF, promote
the “image” of the professional culinarian.
Brent T. Frei, ACF director of marketing
“Driving the Industry: Setting the Standard,” lured culinarians to the
sixth-annual Summit of the American Personal Chef Association and American
Personal Chef Institute at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San
Diego, Aug. 14-16. The summit, led by APCA and APCI executive director Candy
Wallace, hosted nearly 200 personal chefs.
Executive Director Candy Wallace welcomes attendees to the sixth-annual Summit
of the American Personal Chef Association and American Personal Chef Institute
in San Diego.
Brian Boots, executive chef and owner of Elegance Ala Carte Personal Chef
Service in Wilton Manors, Fla., and chairman of APCA’s ethics committee, talks
about the organization’s Personal Chef International Code of Ethics.
“That’s a pretty significant increase in attendance from our
first summit six years ago,” Wallace said. “That first summit we had 20
attendees. We’ve come a long way since then.” Several postsecondary educators
attended this year to learn how to integrate a college-level
personal-chef-training curriculum, recently developed by APCI, into their
Walter Bronowitz, CCE, AAC, vice president of ACF’s Western
Region, keynoted, describing how, three decades ago, ACF lobbied the U.S.
government to define "chef" as a professional occupation, and how standards are
critical to developing professionalism and prestige. ACF, Bronowitz said,
established standards for professional chefs, and continues to protect and exalt
those standards. Standards, once met, become inadequate, and a new level must be
reached. The bar must always be raised, he said.
Brent T. Frei, director of marketing for ACF, followed Bronowitz
with a presentation on the image of the professional chef, which ACF established
nearly 75 years ago and continues to uphold for the industry.
APCA unveiled its Personal Chef International Code of Ethics (www.personalchefethics.com)
at the summit. Development of the code, which stresses care of clients’
property, professional conduct, and the choice of quality food ingredients,
among other standards, began with Brian Boots, executive chef and owner of
Elegance Ala Carte Personal Chef Service in Wilton Manors, Fla., and chairman of
APCA’s ethics committee, at APCA’s 2002 Summit in Orlando.
Said APCA’s director of program development, Gordon Johnson, who
announced the code to attendees this year, members of APCA are leaders in the
personal-chef segment of industry “because they lead.”
“I thought back to the ACF National Conventions I have attended,
and my private thoughts about how having all these people calling each other
‘Chef’ and wearing whites everywhere was kind of...um, well... unnecessary,”
said Johnson. “At some point before taking the stage I got thinking about what
Chef Brian, Chef Walter, and Mr. Frei said, and this new perspective started
“We set standards which are destined to become inadequate because
we ourselves will raise the bar as we meet them,” Johnson said.
“We have set standards for ourselves as an industry,” he
continued. “With the Code of Ethics we have collectively set standards for
ourselves as individuals--standards that, once met, will require revising and
honing as we seek to continually improve. We have done this not for any
competitive edge against other personal chefs or associations, but because we
are in the process of creating ourselves, our image, and the foundation upon
which that image is built. This is a process that will continue to grow and
change and lay out a path for others--something not to be taken too lightly. The
‘Orlando Project’ will never be complete as long as we continually seek to be
better than we are.”
APCA’s annual continuing-education Summit, designed to support
the industry’s development of profitable, efficient business practices, this
year offered a full and varied educational agenda that included workshops and
seminars on better marketing one’s business, accommodating clients with food
allergies, honing knife skills, developing and enhancing Web sites, and catering
for personal-chef clients, among others. The ServSafe exam for certification was
also offered. Preparing better, more flavorful and more wholesome and healthful
food was the chief message of much of the educational programming, which was
preceded by local farm tours and capped by a barbecue competition with proceeds
donated to a local culinary-related charity.
Of particular note was a panel discussion on personal-chef
certification, presided at by Bronowitz; Ira Michaelson, CCC, owner of Your
Personal Gourmet in Palm Beach County, Fla., member of ACF Palm Beach County
Chefs Association, and president of the Florida chapter of APCA; and Stephan
Viao, CCP, representing the International Association of Culinary Professionals,
whose own certification, Certified Culinary Professional, was recently made
available to members of APCA. Approximately 30 culinarians interested in
becoming certified as chefs attended the panel discussion, at which Bronowitz
and Michaelson outlined the criteria and procedures for obtaining Personal
Certified Chef and Personal Certified Executive Chef credentials through ACF.
Dane Mechlin, CEC, chef and owner of Nadine & Dane’s Personal
Chef in Santa Clara, Calif., member of ACF National Chapter, and president of
APCA’s Northern California chapter, was named APCA’s inaugural Chef of the Year.
Next year’s APCA Summit will be held in Minneapolis, Aug. 26-28.
For more information, contact APCA at (800) 644-8389 or visit