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4 Reasons to Take a Vacation From Your Business

Lisa Givens Personal Chef of the Year Getting Started as a Personal Chef

A Personal Chef ’s Leap of Faith Tips for Creating Business Cards That People Will Actually Use

All About Gluten



MEMBER RECIPES • Chayote Squash • Crawfish Etoufee • Winter Slaw • Olive Salad • Buttery Fava Beans • and many more!

About the USPCA


Membership Milestones ....................................................4 A Leap of Faith ..................................................................6 Meatballs in Stuffed Cabbage ............................................8 Rocky Mountain Chapter Rocks .......................................9 Getting Started as a Personal Chef ...................................10 4 Reasons to Take a Vacation from Your Business ...........11 GLUTEN! ..........................................................................12 Tips for Creating Business Cards ......................................16 Important Tax Reform Depreciation Changes .................18 Chef of the Year Lisa Givens ............................................20 Member Recipes ................................................................28 Digital Platform Analytics..................................................34 ACF + USPCA....................................................................35

With the introduction of the Personal Chef Service in 1991 came the responsibility to create a solid, workable foundation on which this new industry would be positioned. The USPCA was aware that as founders, their duty included establishing guidelines and standards for Personal Chef services to follow. With this in mind, the United States Personal Chef Association enabled this new career field to flourish while maintaining and regulating the manner in which Personal Chefs conducted their service. Thanks to these efforts many years ago, clients from North America and beyond can have confidence that service standards are in place and that all USPCA Personal Chefs adhere to these standards including a professional code of ethics. Today USPCA is by far the largest and most well established association for these working professionals. The USPCA continues to set the standards and create guidelines as this industry grows. Media exposure, National recognition, increased sales and ongoing education which keep the USPCA on the cutting edge are just a few of the benefits realized by the Personal Chef. For more information, visit



Personal Chef Magazine is the official publication of the Personal Chef Industry. This publication is made possible by the United States Personal Chef Association. The purpose of this publication is to bring Personal Chefs the most useful and timely information and ideas from experts, working professionals, and industry leaders. Personal Chef Magazine welcomes any articles, manuscripts, tips, hints, photographs, recipes and ideas from our readers. We appreciate all submissions. Please include name, address and phone number. Send your contributions to: United States Personal Chef Association PC Editor PO Box 56 Gotha, FL 34734 or

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Production Director: Editing, Layout & Design: Advertising:

Larry Lynch Dan Chancellor Robert Lynch

Personal Chef is published by: United States Personal Chef Association Copyright Š 2018 United States Personal Chef Association. Reproduction prohibited without permission. All rights reserved.

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK There is no better approach to solving challenges than the famous saying “two heads are better than one.” You’ll certainly see that as an underlying theme in the article about this year’s Chef of the Year, Chef Lisa Givens. And it is true of USPCA. Last year a number of our members asked, “What happened to the annual conference?” It certainly wasn’t the first time that USPCA skipped a year or two. But this was far more than just skipping a year. The idea of bringing our chefs together has to be one where we reach more of our members. The annual conference typically attracted just over 100 members – less than 10% of our membership. That’s a lot of resources (human and financial) that are expended that are missing the chance to reach the other 90% of our members as well. We looked at regional meetings but we realized that some of the lifting at the chapter level was a bit much. But that doesn’t mean we gave up. About four years ago, the American Culinary Federation invited me to attend their Southeast Regional Conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Some members told me that there was some friction among the groups, not so much at the management level but by the perception of some ACF chefs toward personal chefs. Thankfully I saw none of that at the conference, and it allowed us to start a conversation about working together. Like many things, it never happens as fast as we like. But this year we finally did it with the launch of the first-ever ACF/USPCA meeting this summer in New Orleans. It allows us to reach our members and more and spread the word of personal chefs while providing our members with a top-notch program. And that is just the start. We are looking at other partnerships as well to better

use our resources to bring more and better services to our members. The growth of the personal chef profession is critical to everyone’s future as this industry continues to morph.


And, speaking of change, the everchanging dining habits of people is bringing new competitors finding ways to help people eat at home. With that growth comes the government’s need to somehow regulate these new business concepts. The home-delivery business certainly has some risks related to food safety. I was recently talking with friends who used a home delivery system. The experience up front was troublesome, but it went from troublesome to potentially dangerous when the food was simply left at my friend’s garage door in the heat. The problem with the scrutiny is that government “best intentions” often turn into overreach (which we are presently seeing in California). We recently published information about new California legislation and posted it on Facebook and sent it to the California chapter presidents for distribution and action.



I encourage every member to watch for legislation looking to tackle safety issues related to food delivery businesses that could open the door to inspections of your clients’ kitchens and more. USPCA encourages members to train in food safety and, in fact, it is one of the requirements of membership. But legislation is best impacted by voters at the local level. Legislators and their staffs care about voters, not some people in Orlando, Florida, calling them to explain the profession’s concerns with their actions. So its simple…pay attention and get involved. We all have to consider partnerships in business and in government. | 3


Charles Blakey, CPC Sherman Oaks, CA Deb Cantrell, Ft. Worth, TX Stephanie Hopkins, CPC, Sicklerville, NJ Glenn Lyman, Charlotte, NC Liz Mount, Golden, CO Cindy Pullen, Pelican Rapids, MN Jodi Sacco, Huntington Beach, CA Anne (Bobo) Smith, Newport News, VA Jennifer Urda, White Plains, NY Marie Wilson, Houston, TX


Brittany Baldwin, Scappoose, OR Julie Burns, Frisco, TX Karen Kitchen, Longview, WA Alfredo Lopez, Kansas City, MO Janet Lubas, Millsboro, DE Jacob Lucas, Niagara Falls, ON Laura MacDougall, CPC, Plainville, MA Susan Mayfield, Cape Canaveral, FL Lynne McCleery, Palm Springs, CA Shelley Nachum, Delray Beach, FL Tracy Reynolds, Madison, TN Lilia Roldan, San Bruno, CA Cheryl Tate, Hawthorne, CA Joelle Turnbough, Grand Prairie, TX John Wyman, Auburn, ME


Fio Antognini, Saint George, UT Richard Boufford, Newport Beach, CA Rebekah Brown, Dallas, TX Marc Freedman, Leeds, MA Rebecca Hemmerlingm, Charleston, SC Cindy Hilliard, Mill Creek, WA Rhonda Marcotte, Cincinnati, OH Amy Power, South Lake Tahoe, CA Christopher Strachan, CPC, Lantana, FL Stacey Taylor, Raleigh, NC Laura Taylor, CPC, Seattle, WA Cecilia Vanderlinde, Atlanta, GA Anne Volk, Boulder, CO Angela Whitford-Downing, Norwood, MA


Cari Avit, McKinney, TX Cari Avit, McKinney, TX Susan Bruccoliere, Philadelphia, PA Laura Buckley, Markham, ON Nicole Bunting, Englewood, CO Melody Lyle, Woodstock, GA Wesley Morrison, Louisville, KY Joseph Pietrowicz, Somerville, NJ Kimberly Smith, Pittsburgh, PA Susan Ytterberg, Winter Park, FL Julianne Zepeda, CPC, Santa Fe, NM

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NEW MEMBERS from 10-17-17 to 2-28-18

Douglas Apicella, Glen Ridge, NJ Christian Bachman, Anderson, CA Heidi Blacker, Warwick, NY Heidi Braun Crooker, Glen Ellyn, IL Nita Carroll, Weaverville, NC Michaela Clauss, San Mate, CA Elizabeth Dau, Berea, KY Michelle DeCanio, Franklin Square, NY Lisa Diesso, Bridgewater, NJ Ellen Doerr, Sioux Falls, SD Melissa Druley, Boston, MA John Duran, Milliken, CO Beth Ellis, Jackson, TN Didi Emmons, Milton, MA Debra Fegley, Garland, TX Ilde Ferrer, Miami, FL Nol Foretia, Philadelphia, PA Carolyn Fruzzetti, Arlington, VA Aria Gottsmith, San Francisco, CA Chris Governa, Delran, NJ Mary Granzow, Halsey, OR Jennifer Haddad Bell, Playa Del Rey, CA Eileen Helmer, Manlius, NY Gail Herring, Los Angeles, CA Melissa Jo Hill, Ithaca, NY Jeff Holmes, West Caldwell, NJ

Rachel Hoover, Indianapolis, IN Branden Johnson, Charlotte, NC Sue Kazakis, Chicago, IL Friedrich Kook, Orlando, FL Christine Lapidow, Hillsborough, NJ Teresa Latiolais, Lexington, KY GaNean, Lewis, Elk Grove, CA Jessica Lutz, Huntersville, NC Meryl MacCormack, Framingham, MA Noel Marrero, Davenport, FL Kristin McCaig, Stittsville, ON Nancy Meadours, New Braunfels, TX Erika Minkowsky, El Cerrito, CA Wesley Monahan, San Francisco, CA Ngiana Moshi, Lithonia, GA Gail Murchison, Oklahoma City, OK Andreza Oboli, Houston, TX Dalton O’Connell, Delray Beach, FL Antoinette Oliver, Aubrey, TX Midori Owaki, Port Washington, NY Liz Parker, St. Louis, MO Deborah Petersen, Mill Creek, WA Michele Phillips, Kennesaw, GA Haley Pollock, Greenville, RI Michelle Price-Quarles, Pasadena, CA Marcy Ragan, Rumson, NJ

Lisa Redman, Ladera Ranch, CA Sarah Regan, Berwyn, PA Kelli Riel, Rochdale, MA Angela Saunders, Orlando, FL Teresa Scrimenti, Alexandria, VA Donna Shea, Lewes, DE Alan Sherwood, Chapel Hill, NC Eva Shumpert, Hazelwood, MO Rachel Siegal, Dallas, TX Angela Smigel, Woodbridge, VA Ashley Stakelin, Lexington, KY Joshua Stoneking, Carmel, IN Kimber Styles-Ashley, Santa Cruz, CA Licely Suruy, Ballston Lake, NY Donica Tomko, Oakland, CA Michalene Tumbry-Bird, Denver, CO Bill Turpin, Elkhart, IN Lexa Walsh, Oakland, CA Matthew Wetzler, Lakewood, CO




Building a clientele seemed at once an insurmountable task and a sure thing. Everyone eats, right? All I needed was 4-8 busy-butwanting-to-eat-healthy families in the $200k+ income bracket. With my husband and I both being in the sales industry for the last 10+ years, we knew A LOT of people. Family and friends had raved MICHELE DUNN about my food for years, but how member since 2015 could I just call myself a chef and magically get people to pay for my food? I couldn’t. What we’ve built here at Dunn in the Kitchen is not magic. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of putting myself out there, a lot of mistakes, prayers, and tears. But now? Now it’s all about celebrating the milestones and being grateful for the clients and employees I have. In 2013 I was a donor recruiter at our local blood bank. While I enjoyed the flexibility of schedule and the change of pace from selling beer and soft drinks in my previous jobs, I was missing the opportunity to be creative and to serve people on a more personal level. Because of the flexible schedule, I had time to cook some meals for family and friends that were going through medical issues. As I was pouring my love into a pot of soup, I thought, “I wonder if people get paid to do THIS.” Not a restaurant, not catering, not a private chef, but someone who could be of either temporary or long-term assistance to families that just wanted and/or needed home-cooked meals. A Google search told me that person was called a personal chef. Circumstances changed at my job, making my hours less flexible and cutting pay across the board in my department. I was miserable. This tug kept pulling harder on my heart and in July of 2014, I applied for my business license. I announced my intentions to a few close friends and began cooking for one client on the weekends. The feedback was fantastic and I was hooked. Working on Sundays was not an option for me, so my husband and I began the planning and preparation needed for me to quit my “day job” so I could grow my clientele. I stayed long enough to be fully vested and take all of my retirement fund with me and use the vacation time I had earned. The last day of 2014, I said goodbye to the corporate/non-profit world and took a leap of faith into life as a small business owner. We held an open house with samples of my food. Friends and family came to support and encourage me. My husband and I resolved to give the business a year to see if this was a viable business. We had some money saved and had always lived far enough below our means that we could pay most of the bills with my husband’s pay, but it was definitely a lifestyle change. The Type A personality in me swallowed a huge humble pill when I wasn’t making a significant contribution to the household income.

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In that first year, I took on clients that were not ideal. Most in this business will tell you not to do that, but I just don’t think that’s realistic. Take the practice, take the ones that may not be able to pay your full asking price but that you know will pay dividends in referrals. The key is being up front with them: “I am desperate to get this business off the ground, so I will do it this way for as long as I can in exchange for referrals. Please understand that as more consistent, higher paying clients come along, I may be changing my availability to cook for you.” My hairstylist understood this. The executive director of our chamber of commerce understood this. But I have them to thank for leading me to (and preparing me for) the clientele that I have today.


That first year was a roller coaster of emotions and business activity. One week I was hitting my stride with a couple of clients and several potentials on the line, the next I was clinging to “hopefully I’ll get a call or two so I’ll have some income next week.” But every year since, as January rolls around, the clients start rolling in. Three and a half years in and we (I have 3 chefs who work for me) now have 14 weekly clients and a couple handfuls of as-needed and freezer-meal clients. This completely unqualified woman who likes to cook has been blessed with the impossible...a six-figure business, three employees I said I would never hire and a job I never get sick of doing. For all of my years in sales, I’m not that great at “the ask,” but I am pretty good at serving people. I strive to make that shine through my elevator pitch, my “THIS COMPLETELY cooking and my UNQUALIFIED WOMAN service. “Fresh WHO LIKES TO COOK HAS Meals ~ Crafted Love” is BEEN BLESSED WITH THE with our tag line and IMPOSSIBLE...” speaks to the care that we put into the food and into our client relationships. People don’t forget that. People love it and want to share it. If I had any marketing advice, that would be it. Create what is worthy of being shared, whether it be your food, your pictures, your recipes or the experiences you’ve created for your clients, family and friends. And for the love, do people the courtesy of returning their calls and emails--bonus points for being quick about it. Apparently no one does that anymore so they’re sold just on that first impression! Also, the leap of faith of doesn’t end at the decision to start your business. I take a leap of faith every time I’m asked to appear on local television, learn how to cook for a new diet or even teach a class. Never let the fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone. Do your research, act as if, and before you know it, you will be. | 7


AMY CASEY member since 2009

Amy Casey, of Sparta, is a food columnist for the New Jersey Herald, personal chef, and recipe developer. See more of her recipes on her website Follow her on Facebook at amycaseycooks and on Twitter and Instagram at amycaseycooks. Email questions to

The cool temperatures pull me into my kitchen to leisurely prepare hearty stews loaded with tender beef, baby carrots and red potatoes, big pots of thick and creamy soups, and simmering batches of meaty Italian Bolognese sauce. Some days I’m pressed for time but, still want to prepare a dish filled with that all day, slow cooked taste. That is when I whip up a steaming pot of Unstuffed Cabbage Meatballs.

Stuffed cabbage is one of the ultimate comfort food dishes. Many ethnic groups including Polish, Serbian, Jewish, and Croatian prepare and serve stuffed cabbage. The basic rolls are the same for each nationality. It’s the tomato sauce that they bake in that varies from group to group. Some season the sauce with sauerkraut and smoked ham. Other recipes call for the addition of raisins, brown sugar or smidge of honey. Traditional stuffed cabbage is a recipe that takes a few hours to prepare. Tender cabbage leaves are blanched and filled with sautéed onions, ground beef and pork, white rice,

and simple seasonings including garlic, salt and pepper. The sturdy rolls are nestled in a baking dish and covered with slightly sweet tomato sauce. The home cooked dinner slowly bakes for about an hour and a half or so to allow time for the flavors to combine and mingle. Unstuffed Cabbage Meatballs are prepared with the same ingredients as traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. The meatball version speeds up the recipe prep by baking a combination of beef and turkey meatballs in the oven. While the meatballs bake, a lightly sweetened and chunky tomato sauce teaming with sautéed onions and cabbage simmers on the stovetop. The meatballs and sauce are combined for a taste reminiscent of slow baked cabbage rolls in much less time. The comfort food dish is an ideal freezer meal. After preparing the entrée, cool it completely. Package it in an airtight dish and freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw and heat in a large pot over medium low heat for a delicious dinner on a busy night.


2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small head green cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups) 1 medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup) 1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided 1/3 cup golden raisins Squeeze of lemon juice 1 ½ tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 1 pound ground beef 1 pound ground turkey 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 2 eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large pot over medium high heat add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the shredded cabbage, sliced onions, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The cabbage should be wilted and the onions translucent. Add the diced tomatoes, ¾ of the can of tomato sauce, golden raisins, lemon juice, honey, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer the sauce for 25 – 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl, add the remaining tomato sauce, ground beef, ground turkey, garlic, paprika, ground cloves, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Gently combine the ingredients until thoroughly mixed together. Form the meat mixture into about 40 small meatballs about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add to the cabbage tomato sauce. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 471 calories; 23 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 160 mg cholesterol; 796 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 6 g fiber; 18 g sugars. serves 6

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHAPTER ROCKS The members have changed through the years. Many have come and many have gone, but there still remains a core of about 10-12 chefs that value the benefit of camaraderie and support among the m e m b e r s h i p. C h a p t e r members meet consistently and share their struggles, provide good advice, and best practices. M e m b e r s work in other’s business when required and refer business to fellow chefs. The chapter has long been committed to collaboration and community service. We participated in joint marketing efforts including the Colorado Home Show Food Demos and Chef ’s Open House with food and demos. Every holiday season we choose a restaurant where we get to relax and have someone cook for the group as we connect and network.

Our community outreach included raising funds for the Great American Bake Sale for Share Out Strength, the Inner City Health Benefit Gala for three years, and more recently the collaboration with the organization, “The Lord’s Daily Bread” to feed 250 homeless individuals. The chefs got together in Chef Lisa’s kitchen and prepared a healthy meal of Smothered Chicken with onions and bell peppers, succulent mixed vegetables and herbed rice and cookies. A second feeding took place in late January with food provided by one of Chef Lisa’s clients. Over 150 people were fed. The Rocky Mountain USPCA Chefs continue their commitment to support each other and the community.


CHEF SAM BITTNER President, Rocky Mountain Chapter Current Officers President- Chef Sam Bittner Secretary – Chef Mary Broere Treasurer - Chef Liz Mount. Members include: Barb Crispin, Ire Evans, Lisa Givens, Sentoria Hardiman, Elizabeth Fritzler and Kelsey Griffith, Teresa Lindgren, Marla Simon & Brandon Spies. Members from 2017 that recent located to California and Michigan include Chefs Haydee Collado and Nicole Parker Bunting. | 9


ALAN PETERSON member since 2010


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Years ago when I decided to retire from corporate life and begin a new chapter as a Personal Chef, an immediate challenge I faced was how to launch the business. I joined the Atlanta USPCA Chapter, attended the USPCA Business Academy, opened a website, advertised in different media and informed all my relatives and friends of my new business just like most of us probably do. Perhaps, one of the single most impacting events for my business was an almost accidental visit to a small olive oil, vinegar and condiment store. My wife and I were killing time waiting for a dining reservation in a nearby restaurant, and as we strolled around this small business area, we came upon this store. I had heard about it so in we went. The owners were super friendly and I immediately saw a large kitchen area with a big counter and chairs around the counter. The owners explained what the area was for: classes, demos and the like,

featuring their products. As we talked, I saw an opportunity, explained that I am a personal chef and would love to be part of their plans. I handed them my card and well the rest is history. I’ve been with them since they opened their store and continue to do classes and demos at this location every month. Aside from being a ton of fun, the success lies in the fact that every attendee is a potential client. I have given out tons of business cards and have gained numerous repeat clients through this channel. So if you happen to stop by one of these shops, or even Cooks Warehouse, Williams Sonoma and other businesses that have kitchen facilities, therein lies an opportunity to advertise your personal chef business and potentially land new clients going forward.

4 REASONS TO TAKE A VACATION FROM YOUR BUSINESS Business owners are notorious for being bad at taking vacations. In fact, one survey found that only about 33% plan on taking time off this summer. And in reality, that’s bad news.

boosts productivity by as much 31% upon returning home. Vacations are directly connected with a happy, more satisfying life — so why deprive yourself of those positive side effects?

Vacations are not only good for mental health, but they’re good for the business’s employees and the relationships a business owner has, too.

Try to schedule at least one vacation per year, and when you’re away, shut yourself off from daily business-related thoughts. You might have some ideas on the back burner of your brain, but for the most part, this should be a time for you to disconnect and recharge your mental batteries.

In this post, we’ll look at reasons you should take time off this summer and enjoy a vacation away from your business.

1. Brainstorm New Ideas

When you’re stuck in the daily grind, it can be easy to sink down into the details of day-to-day business. But if you don’t look up, you can easily let months (even years) slip by without realizing it. Time flies when you’ve got your head down and you’re working hard. Taking a vacation from your business allows you to get out of daily processes, and to free up your mind so you can think about new ideas instead. It’s scheduled time in your hectic business life to stop, take a breather, and allow your mind to expand.

2. Enjoy the Benefits of Your Hard Work

Being a business owner comes with some serious perks — like a flexible schedule, opportunities to grow profits, and, well, being able to call the shots. But so many business owners forget that they can, indeed, take time off for a vacation and actually enjoy those perks. Taking a vacation means that you’re blocking out time to actually enjoy yourself and your life as a business owner. Allowing yourself to do this keeps you from being resentful and burnt out. If all you do is work, at some point, you’re going to think, “Why am I doing this anymore?” Vacationing is a helpful reminder that your hard work is all for a good reason.

3. Improve Productivity Upon Return

Some data shows that vacations help business owners maintain a happy, healthy outlook on life — which in turn,

4. Show Your Team You Trust Them Taking a vacation also shows your team that you trust their skills and abilities while you’re out of the office. If you’ve trained them well, stepping away for a few days should be no problem — and for your staff, it’s a chance for them to demonstrate to you that they have everything under control.


KALEIGH MOORE Kaleigh Moore is the founder of Lumen, a company that helps individuals and businesses expand their reach through social media, copywriting, and design. This article originally appeared on the blog.

Let your employees prove that they can manage without you for a few days, and show them that you trust them, too.

A Note on Setting Boundaries:

While you’re away, make sure you have clear boundaries in place that allow you to actually enjoy your vacation. Let your team know what qualifies as a reason to get in touch with you, and whether or not you’ll have access to email. Establish some protocol in case of certain emergencies and you can’t be reached — and put a “second in command” in charge while you’re away. Doing this will help your team work together instead of against each other, and is an opportunity for someone to demonstrate their leadership abilities, too.

Take a Vacation from Your Business

The perks listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. The bottom line is that you need to take some time off this summer with a real vacation. Don’t let the warm weather fly by without taking a moment to enjoy it (and to enjoy the perks of your business owner title). | 11


SHELLEY NACHUM member since 2008

GLUTEN FACTS 1 in 133 Americans has celiac disease 83% of Americans with celiac are misdiagnosed There are 0 pharmaceutical treatments or cures for celiac disease source:

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Almost every week I get one or two calls from individuals who have been diagnosed with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or some other condition, such as colitis or Crohn’s, where they have been advised not to eat gluten. Celiac is rare, and only 1% of people worldwide have celiac disease. While it is not certain what exactly causes celiac, it has been determined to be a genetic disorder. Non-gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, seems to be increasing. I will explain the differences further on. While many still think eating gluten-free is a fad, it is becoming more commonplace and not because it’s a fad but for medical reasons. For some it is literally life-saving, and for others, it is the difference between just feeling sick all the time and feeling well.

So what is gluten? Gluten is a protein primarily found in wheat, barley and rye. In those affected by gluten, the body cannot break it down and it wreaks havoc on their digestive


system. Gluten also causes inflammation in the body so for those with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, the body sees gluten as an invader and starts creating antibodies to fight this invader, thus making their condition worse. Other autoimmune disorders include Hashimoto’s thyroid, lupus, multiple sclerosis; there are numerous. Individuals formally diagnosed with celiac disease cannot have ANY gluten. Oddly, they have different levels of sensitivity to gluten. While some will just have minor gastrointestinal issues if they eat gluten, others can have a serious or life-threatening reaction from just coming in contact with gluten; for example, ingesting flour or touching a breadfruit. They can even end up in the hospital. In both celiac or nongluten sensitivity, gluten causes some kind of reaction in the body. At the present time, there is no formal diagnosis for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, individuals can have a host of



symptoms from gluten such gluten-containing products as: rashes, psoriasis, migraines, with these gluten-free products headaches, joint pain, fatigue, regularly will not necessarily result depression/anxiety, brain fog, in weight loss, and these products trouble concentrating, weight are not necessarily healthier. loss/gain, gas, cramping/bloating, dental issues, Gluten has and more. A been around “SYMPTOMS FROM sensitivity is for centuries, not the same GLUTEN CAN INCLUDE yet our food RASHES, PSORIASIS, supply in this as an allergy, MIGRAINES, but the body day and age can still have HEADACHES, JOINT is different a reaction to than our PAIN, FATIGUE, the trigger. parents’ and DEPRESSION, BRAIN grandparents’ The only way FOG, GAS, CRAMPING g e n e r a t i o n . to detect if AND MORE.” gluten is the Interestingly, culprit is to years ago, do an elimination diet where one bread was made slowly by hand, eliminates gluten from their diet kneaded for a period of time for a period of time and then and let sit overnight before it reintroduces it to see if their was baked. Today, everything is symptoms come back. processed by machines which do all the work. Many individuals that have chosen to eat gluten-free only for health There is much to learn for someone reasons have seen many benefits, who is gluten-free. Individuals particularly weight loss, more who are gluten-free need to know energy, and fewer sinus issues and the difference between something allergies. However, there are many that is certified gluten-free gluten-free products that are high (made in a certified gluten-free in sugar and calories so replacing kitchen with no chance of cross-

contamination) and just being gluten-free (made with gluten-free ingredients only). This depends on their reason for being glutenfree and their level of gluten sensitivity. They must learn to read labels carefully, understand what products contain hidden sources of gluten, how to set up a glutenfree kitchen and pantry, and how to avoid cross-contamination. For personal chefs who get requests for gluten-free cooking, it is important to first ask why they are gluten-free. If it is just for health reasons, most likely their kitchen is not gluten-free and chefs will not need separate equipment. However, if there is a level of sensitivity to gluten, chefs must have a separate set of equipment to avoid cross-contamination, especially if the prospective client has celiac disease. I always discuss this with the client before deciding if I can confidently cook for them. | 13

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GLUTEN-FREE WHITE BREAD Vedam Clementi, Chef Vedam, Hiawassee, GA I am now making this bread and using it for sandwiches, grilled cheeses, morning toast, etc., and I use this to make my croutons, and bread crumbs.


2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (see recipe for flour mix) 2 tbsp. dry milk powder (instant milk) 1 pkg. of quick rise dry active yeast 1 tsp. xanthan gum 1 1/4 cups milk 2 tbsp. sugar 2 tbsp butter 3/4 tsp salt 3 large eggs (room temperature)


1. Using a 9 x 5 loaf pan, trace the bottom onto a piece of parchment paper. Cut out the trace section. Liberally grease loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray. Place cut out of parchment paper into loaf pan, and spray again.. Set aside 2. Using the bowl of an electric mixer, mix 1 cup of Gluten-Free flour mix, milk powder, yeast and xanthan gum. Stir with whisk to blend. 3. Using a small sauce pan, mix milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Heat on low heat until butter has melted. 4. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Blend well, stop and scrape CHEF VEDAM’S GLUTEN-FREE sides of bowl. Add 1 egg at a time, blend, and scrape sides of ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR BLEND bowl. Then add the next cup of flour blend, blend well, scrape sides of bowl, and then add the last 1/2 cup of flour, and scrape 4 cups White Rice Flour sides of bowl. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. 2 cups Brown Rice Flour 5. Put dough into pre-grease loaf pan. With butter greased fingers, 2 cups Tapioca Flour smooth top of dough. 1 cup Potato Starch 6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Allow dough to rise in a warm place, 1 cup Corn Starch about 25- 30 minutes or until dough has raised to the top of loaf pan. Blend all ingredients together, sifting twice to 7. Bake bread for 30 minutes until top has browned. If the top insure complete blending. begins to brown too quickly, lightly cover bread with foil until bread can be pierced with a wooden tooth pick and the pick comes out clean. | 15


Tips for C That Peo Although we are moving more and more into a paperless age, a business card is still a main staple of any business. However, almost every business card I see is lackluster and underwhelming.

DEB CANTRELL member since 2003

You probably know what I’m talking about. Do you remember the last time you were handed a business card at a networking event? It was probably a typical 3.5 x 2 rectangle business card. You might have glanced at it once or twice to write down the person’s number and then threw in the trash. I think this is a shame. Your business card is meant to be a little piece of you that people hold onto and that others will have a chance to see as well. Since business cards can be so instrumental in spreading the word about your business, I’ve always wondered why people don’t put more effort into their business cards. After all, a business card is like a first impression of your business. Don’t you want your business to come across unique, professional and instantly communicate what your business is all about? Making a good first impression is especially critical if you are trying to get a new client or establish a new partnership. If you’ve ever gotten one of my business cards, you probably noticed that there is something different about them. They have an almost cardboard-like texture to them, so when I go to hand someone my business card they are a bit surprised. Why does this matter? It matters because I created an experience around getting my business card that they will remember. Having a business card that people remember is not cheap though, it will cost you a pretty penny. I pay around $1 per card for my Moo business cards. I know, it’s definitely more than the average $0.20 per business card you would pay, but if you are serious about growing your business and creating something memorable, this investment is worth it. Want to know the extent that some companies will go to make their business cards memorable? I was reading about one company in England that has diamond-encrusted business cards that cost $1500 per card. I’m not kidding! Obviously that is a bit ridiculous and none of us could afford that, but the point is, in this digital age, you stand out by offering something tangible. It’s different than what most people are doing and so that is why people want to hold onto it longer. Now that I’ve explained the reasoning behind investing in a more expensive business card, let’s talk about the different elements that make up a business card worth keeping.

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Creating Business Cards ople Will Actually Keep Die Cut Your Card Not only does the feel or texture of your card help you stand out, but so does a unique shape. You can get your cards that are “die cut” into different shapes, like squares, circles, letters, etc. The possibilities are endless! I have even seen some culinary business cards with a bite out of them! Pretty cool.

Include an Image of You What I see a lot of business owners forget to include on their cards is an image of themselves! For me, I remember faces better than I remember names. If they can associate a name with a face, they will most likely remember you better. Of course, if your culinary business is a restaurant or cafe, you probably don’t need an image of you, but if you are a personal chef and you have more of a personal brand, then a picture of you is essential to include.

Hire a Graphic Designer Hire a graphic designer to design your cards. As chefs, most of us have no design talent which means you should really hire a professional who can make you a customized card that stands out. You won’t have to deal with the headache of creating one yourself, and you will end up being a lot happier with it because they understand design principles and what looks good. Whoever is designing your business card should also be commissioned to design your other marketing material like your letterhead, menu templates, etc. so everything looks “on brand” and consistent. Need some inspiration so you can better communicate what you want to your graphic designer? Browse business cards on Pinterest, I guarantee you will find some creative inspiration.

BOLD COLORS How many times have you seen the same old white business card? Why not have a black background, bright accents or other bold colors that are on “brand” with your business? Surely a card with a bold black background and white text is going to stand out vs. a white one with black text. I’m not saying that you should do this instead, but do what fits your brand and try to add some color where you can! It will instantly catch the eye when it’s sitting on their desk.

Keep the Information Simple There’s not much space to work with on a business card, which makes it even more critical to only put essential information on there. Name. Title. Phone Number. Email. Website. That’s it! Of course, if you have a brick and mortar, it’s probably a good idea to put your physical address on there too. If you have room, feel free to put your social media handles as well but keep in mind the more text you have on there, the less appealing it will be to your beholders. | 17


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made some favorable changes to depreciation and expensing rules for business assets. We have provided a summary of the notable provisions we feel will provide the most benefit to your business.

Bonus Depreciation

SCOTT MICHAEL Strombeck Consulting

ProfitMatters is a Strombeck Consulting CPA’s service to help you, its business owner clients, to manage, grow and enjoy your business. Be sure and call your Strombeck CPA Advisor for needs and concerns you have about your business. We’ll help you take care of it.

Under the previous tax rules, bonus depreciation allows taxpayers to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of certain assets used for their business. Also, the old rule only allows for immediate bonus depreciation deduction on new property purchased and placed into service. Under new law, bonus depreciation is amended to allow any assets purchased (new or used) after September 27, 2017 to elect 100% bonus depreciation. The new law also implements a phase out for bonus depreciation which goes as follows:

Section 179 Deduction

Section 179 allows taxpayers to immediately expense the cost of qualifying business property rather than depreciation over multiple tax years. The new tax reform increases the allowable maximum amount one can expense under section 179 from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for 2018. It also increases the total phase out to $2,500,000 for property placed in service after 2017. The phase out will then reduce the deduction dollar for dollar and this occurs when total Section 179 property placed in service during a tax year exceeds the threshold amount. Also, property allowable to expense under Section 179 expands to include property used to furnish lodging, and improvements to nonresidential real property (such as roofs, heating, and property protection systems.) If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

BEFORE 2026 • 100% for property placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017 and before Dec. 31, 2022. • 80% for property placed in service in 2023. • 60% for property placed in service in 2024. • 40% for property placed in service in 2025. • 20% for property placed in service in 2026. • 0% for property placed in service after 2026.




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18 | Personal Chef Magazine

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Chef Of the Year Lisa Givens


20 | Personal Chef Magazine

“I SEE MY CLIENTS AS PART OF MY FAMILY... ...I am genuinely concerned about them and their welfare. I pray for them and I am committed to delivering food, prepared with love and excellence... every time, as promised without exception.” The votes were in, and there was no doubt that the 2017 Chef of the Year is Chef Lisa Givens, of Gourmet Away in Aurora, CO. Chef Lisa has been a personal chef for nearly 13 years but her path there, like so many others, what not quite what she had planned. Before becoming a personal chef, her career included over 22 years in the telecommunications industry doing research and development. Her educational background prior to personal cheffing includes a BS in Mathematics from Xavier University in New Orleans and a Masters in Computer Science from Colorado State University.

Starting Out Chef Lisa became a member of USPCA in 2005 after she completed the PCA 5-day course in April of 2005. She was purposeful in her goals and originally started in January of 2005 with the home study program but when she learned that they were bringing the class to Denver at Cooks Street Culinary School in May 2005 she requested an upgrade to the in-person course and they obliged. The live experience was just what she needed! The academy program helped Chef Lisa jumpstart her business. It provided her with the foundational knowledge to get the business organized and serve her clients WWW.GOURMETAWAY.NET professionally.


»» LIVES IN AURORA, COLORADO Chef Lisa points out »» PERSONAL CHEF SINCE 2005 that having »» USPCA MEMBER SINCE 2005 a model to »» FORMER PRESIDENT OF ROCKY follow was a key to her MOUNTAIN CHAPTER But the lure of kitchen wasn’t far off as Chef Lisa early success. »» 2017 CHEF OF THE YEAR admits she always loved to cook . She was still in As a techie, loved corporate telecommunications but took a week of she having tools vacation to complete a 5-day French Country Culinary like Menu program at Colorado School of the Rockies (now known as Escoffier) in Boulder, CO. That said, for the Magic for client records, recipe storage & client menu most part she is self-taught and didn’t attend a formal plans. She used Menu Magic until last year when she transitioned to Modernmeal. Once she completed a culinary program aside from Escoffier. trial period with Modernmeal last year she quickly adopted it and paid for the Originally a native of New entire year’s membership. Orleans, preparing good food “THE BIGGEST has always been essential to BENEFIT IS BEING She notes that the association’s business my life. Her step-dad worked for months at a time as a ABLE TO NETWORK liability insurance was a big benefit as she launched her business and, with cook on a steam ship. He WITH AND SUPPORT her growth to now using a commercial was a wonderful cook and she frequently observed him work OTHER CHEFS IN MY kitchen, she now carries additional liability insurance. USPCA also provided his magic. Her mom was and CHAPTER.” forms and templates that were valuable still cooks better than anyone for getting started. According to she knows. Her mom pours Chef Lisa: “The biggest benefit that I love into her food, which is appreciate most of all is being able to network with and something that Chef Lisa strives to model. support other chefs in my chapter. I have met many As she transitioned from her corporate job, she knew it chefs through the years and have come to know them was time to try something different. Her friend, Cara, as friends.” had a personal chef and would always come into work talking about all the wonderful food she cooked. This Chef Lisa is a member of the Rocky Mountain was her first introduction to personal cheffing, and she USPCA Chapter and has been active since joining in 2005. She served as president of the chapter for four knew it was in her future. | 21

years, secretary, and currently serve as the Chapter’s also being able to connect with people. It is crucial to Webmaster. While president, she put processes in be able to let clients know how your service can benefit place for chapter referrals, worked with them without being overly professionals to create a new chapter “salesy,” while always logo and website. She participates “IT IS CRUCIAL TO BE being genuine and true regularly in chapter monthly meetings, to your values. Another special events and volunteer activities. ABLE TO LET CLIENTS key skill is the ability to Last year, she coordinated with the organized so that this KNOW HOW YOUR get organization, the Lord’s Daily Bread, for career does not take over their chapter’s participation in the food SERVICE CAN BENEFIT your whole life. One preparation and serving of 250 of the other thing, be willing THEM WITHOUT homeless community. to pay for help or other BEING OVERLY resources. Today’s Business SALESY.” Last year Chef Lisa Chef Lisa’s current personal chef signed up for Chef business is focused on custom meal deliveries for busy Deb Cantrell’s coaching program to prepare for the professionals with young families and affluent seniors. future of her business. This helped her to look at her She focuses on special diets, which include diabetes business, holistically. As a result, she hired additional friendly, heart healthy options as well as making staff, outsourced specific tasks and streamlined my comfort foods healthier. operations. She does have a few products that she still prepares to order including New Orleans Style Pralines, Rum Cakes, Sweet Potato Pecan Pie and for Mardi Gras – King Cakes. Her business operates out of a licensed commercial kitchen at her home church, FHG1 Ministries, where her pastors Tom and Anitha Jones have been super supportive of her business since its inception. In addition to nutritious home-bound meals, Chef Lisa also provides custom catering for non-profits and special personal events for 50 guests or fewer. Last year she was added to the official caterers list for Cableland, the official residence of the Mayor of Denver. She believes the key skills needed in a personal chef business are, of course, being able to prep and cook but

Life as a Personal Chef Chef Lisa started her business by spreading the word to my friends. Her “BFF” Arlene hosted her in her home and invited friends to learn about her business and taste her food. To this day she still serves some of those people. Her other “BFF” Nadine asked her to host and prepare a birthday dinner for 8. This experience was her first taste of “you’d need to get some help next time”! Her first personal chef client was her Zeta Phi Beta Soror Maya who is a CPA. She knew Chef Lisa was getting started and since it was tax season, she needed food urgently. She hadn’t completed the PCA training that was coming to Denver but had been doing the home study. Her client said okay and away she went. She did a 5x4 and that took eight long hours. It was a learning experience as Chef Lisa points out: “I said something has got to give here because I can’t do it like this. Hence the training helped me become more organized and got my time down to 4-5 hours.”. Marketing Marketing is a critical part of growing her business. Chef Lisa points out that, of course, she has a website and gets a lot of new business there. She also utilizes social media (Facebook and Twitter). She posts menus with food photos and will boost them to get to targeted populations. She has claimed

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a Google listing as well and makes sure to ask her clients for reviews. She also use Thumbtack, which provides a steady steam of leads to comb through and select which one’s she would really prefer to do. She periodically creates and sends warm letters to previous clients. She still gets a lot of referrals from these letters. It is important to touch people either through newsletters or email to let them know that you are still out there.


Even a business makeover helped her marketing. In 2010 she seized a great opportunity. She still had her homegrown website and business cards. A business makeover contest was advertised by a company called BizHaven. The prize included new branding, website, logo, business cards and other collateral, and a technology and finance review. It was suggested as part of the technology review that she move to an iPhone and Mac computer. She resisted initially, pointing out that she was still using her flip phone (techie right?) but made the move to an iPhone and Macbook Pro. It was a wonderful opportunity for her, and she has continued to maintain relationships with the people who provided her with this game-changing package. Of course not everything works. According to Chef Lisa: “I tried radio advertising, which was very

expensive and like most marketing methods you have to be consistent with it but I was cost prohibitive and not effective.”. Definition of Success In her own words, Chef Lisa describes how she sees success:

“What makes me successful is getting clarity around purpose and taking action to create goals that line up with that purpose. I am a woman of faith and I have come to realize that what God has for me is for me, but I have to posses it. I understand that rejection is part of life and when I experience it, I keep it moving. I am a caring and giving person and I give all that I have with excellence. “I am a conqueror with my eye on excellence. I recall two years into business I was catering my friend Gwenael’s company, now Signature Window’s holiday party for the second year. I went to a commissary to pick up some cheesecake on a cold December morning on the day of the event. I slipped, went up in the air and fell to the ground. My right kneecap was caved in. Some ladies inside had to drag me in as I waited for the | 23

ambulance. All I could think about was, “What am I going to do about this party?” I called my client to let him know about the situation and he of course said we would figure something else out. I was having none of that. Once in the hospital, it was clear that I was done for a while. I called my Chef friend Laurel and asked for her help. She came to my rescue along with my friends Arlene and Kathy. The party was a success. 2017 was my 11th year catering that same holiday party. Although I was out of work for six months from a shattered my patella, I persisted to build my business back. Believe in Perseverance I believe in perseverance: Early in my career, one of my former employees (Mija) asked me to cook for her friend who had lost her husband and mom within months. As I made my way there with food in tow, I received a frantic call from the daughter saying there was a water main break and we were going to need to reschedule. I was around the corner so I proceeded to the house. I

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assessed the situation and asked the daughter to get to the store and purchase several gallons of spouted water bottles. I cooked the entire meal using water from the bottles for cooking and cleaning. When I was done, they asked me to stay and enjoy the meal with them, which I had to decline. I was so exhausted and heading home was my only object. Get in the Race Chefs have to get in the race: During the time of my at home USPCA training, I would take cooking classes at the local cooking schools like the Seasoned Chef. One day I received an email about a contest with Share our Strength’s (goal to eradicate hunger) for the top home chef in Denver. I decided to give it a try and complete their essay process, as I hadn’t yet started my business. I received a call indicating that I had been chosen as 1 of 4 for a semi-final round. We competed at a Maytag showroom. My mystery bag of ingredients included as a main ingredient bone-in chicken breast. I don’t recall what I cooked...but I made it to the finals. There was a

large piece with photos of the two of us finalist on the cover of the spotlight magazine. The finals were held as part of a large fundraising event at the Colorado Convention Center. The MC of the contest was David Rosengarten from the Food Network. The mystery bag included couscous (which I had not prepared before) and giant prawns. My friends were watching and cheering me on, knowing that I was from New Orleans and they knew I had to have it. I began cooking and as I prepared the Prawns with a sauce, the taste was a little off. With 3-5 minutes left, a 2nd bag of ingredients was introduced which included blood oranges and pomegranate molasses. I tasted both and thought to myself, this is exactly what I needed. The 4 judges tied 2-2 and the MC had to break the tie. The rest is history. I walked away as Top Home Chef in Denver with $5,000 in Jenn Aire appliances (New French door refrigerator, Convection microwave and Gas cook top with grill.) The keys to success for Chef Lisa are simple and consistent. She sees her clients as part of her family. She is genuinely concerned about them and their welfare. She prays for them and she is committed to delivering food, prepared with love and excellence‌. every time, as promised, without exception.

USPCA members can use the code USPCAQ42017 to receive 25% off all orders from | 25


Scaled Servings: 4 Originally: 4


1/4 cup butter 1 1/2 cup onion 1 cup(s) celery 1/2 cup(s) green bell pepper 1 pound(s) crawfish tail 2 teaspoon(s) garlic 2 bay leaf 1/8 cup brandy 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon(s) water 2 teaspoon creole seasoning 2 tablespoon(s) parsley 3 tablespoon(s) green onion

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1. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and saute until the vegetables are wilted about 8-10 minutes. 2. Season crawfish with creole seasoning. Add the crawfish, brandy, garlic, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Dissolve the browned flour in the water. Add to the crawfish mixture. 4. Season with Creole seasoning to taste. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and green onions and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.



Scaled Servings: 4 Originally: 12

Scaled Servings: 10 Originally: 10



Chef Lisa Givens

2 large chayote squash 1 1/3 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup(s) onion diced fine 1/3 cup green bell pepper diced fine 1/3 cup(s) shrimp chopped 1/3 cup ham, diced 2/3 bread slice toasted and dampened with water and crushed 1/4 teaspoon(s) creole seasoning 1/3 pinch cayenne pepper 1/3 cup(s) bread crumbs Italian


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Boil mirlitons until soft(about 45 minutes or until tender when pierced by a sharp knife). Allow to cool. 3. Slice in half on length. Remove soft seeds in center. 4. Scoop out flesh reserving 12 shells for stuffing and lay stuffing side down on a paper towel. Mash the flesh. 5. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender. Add garlic, raw shrimp , ham and stir. Add mashed mirliton flesh , bay leaf and crushed bread and water and stir. Stir in 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs, Creole seasoning and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. 6. Remove bay leaf. 7. Fill mirliton shells with the mixture. 8. Cover with remaining bread crumbs. 9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned. This can be served as a main dish and it also freezes well.

Chef Lisa Givens

4 cup(s) kale, fresh shredded (4 oz for 10) 1 teaspoon(s) salt 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil 1 cup(s) savoy cabbage shredded 1 cup(s) cabbage purpe 2 medium carrot shredded DRESSING 3/4 cup parsley 1/3 cup(s) mayonnaise 3 tablespoon(s) sour cream 1 green onion sliced 1 tablespoon(s) white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon(s) tarragon, fresh snipped or 1/4 teas dried, crushed 1 teaspoon(s) sugar 1 garlic clove minced 1/2 cup(s) pumpkin seeds toasted


1. In an extra-large bowl combine the kale, salt, and olive oil. Using your hands, rub the kale to help soften it and brighten its color. Rinse the kale in a colander under cool running water; drain well and return to the bowl. 2. Add the savoy cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots; toss to combine. Set slaw aside. 3. For the dressing, in a food processor or blender combine the parsley, mayonnaise, sour cream, green onion, vinegar, tarragon, sugar, and garlic. 4. Cover and process or blend to combine. 5. Add the dressing to the vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle pepitas over the salad. Enjoy! | 27


CRANBERRY SAUCE FOR MINI MEATBALLS Joanne Ochej, Farm Girl City Chef - Toronto, ON

Step 1 makes a delicious homemade cranberry sauce, a perfect condiment for holiday entertaining. Step 2, Finishing the Sauce for Meatballs, makes it delightfully sweet & sour, and pairs well with any mini meatball, for a tasty & unusual holiday appetizer.

Step 1: Basic Cranberry Sauce

Step 2: Finish the Sauce for Meatballs

Put all ingredients in a medium sized non-reactive pot and bring to a boil.

Add the above ingredients to the pre-made cranberry sauce.

2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen) 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup white sugar juice of 1/2 orange (or a small clementine) 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest (optional) pinch of salt

Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until the berries pop, stirring occasionally. This can be made ahead and finished when cooking the meatballs (it does taste better if made the previous day!) * The chunky texture is excellent with the meatballs, but purĂŠe the sauce if you prefer.

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1/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce) 2 tablespoons stock (chicken or beef) 1 teaspoons Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Simmer for about 5 minutes while making your favorite mini meatballs. Keep warm, and add the meatballs when ready. Stir to coat all the meatballs with the sauce. Serve with a picks/forks on the side.


John Gifaldi, John Gifaldi Personal Chef Service – Powder Springs, GA


baguette 1 14 oz. can drained and rinsed chick peas 1-2 garlic cloves pinch red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste Juice from 1/2 lemon, save the other half 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp. chopped parsley


1. Slice the baguette into crostini, drizzle with olive oil and toast in a 400-degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and while still hot rub with garlic. Set aside. 2. In a mixing bowl add the chickpeas and using a fork mash the chickpeas against the side of the bowl. You want this mixture to be chunky. You don’t want to use a food processor it will make it too smooth. Stir in the olive oil, lemon, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. 3. Spread chickpea mixture on crostini, squeeze the other half of the lemon over the top and serve.


John Gifaldi, John Gifaldi Personal Chef Service – Powder Springs, GA


1 lb. Lg., Green Cerignola Olives*, “smash” open, using the side of your knife 4 Celery stalks (including leaves) chopped in ½” pieces 4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced ½ Red Onion, sliced ¼” thick & cut in half 1 tsp. dried Oregano 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, freshly ground Black Pepper


1. Mix thoroughly, refrigerate covered for a few hours or overnight. A fabulous addition to any antipasto platter! 2. *Cerignola Olives are a very meaty, giant green olive harvested in Cerignola, Italy. | 29



This recipe has morphed into something phenomenal. If you have a client that is looking for a warm and filling dish with a little kick. This one will do the trick. The original recipe was my grandmothers and called for a lot of smoked pork. She was able to use minimal and sometimes mediocre ingredients and turn a dish into something to be reckoned with. One day I decided to try Mexican Chorizo and Italian Sausage. What a difference a change makes. It elevated this dish to new heights. I kept to the tradition of slow cooking. I know that for a short cook date this may not work but if you have a few hours at a client’s home and you’re looking for a dish to fill the air and your clients stomach on a cold fall or winter day this is the one.

I have clients I’ve been cooking for over 5 years now, and they request beef Teriyaki for each service. After complaining that the “store brand” sauces were all too much salt and not enough “yaki”. I researched and compiled a recipe to make my own sauce. Needless to say, It is a vast improvement over any off-the-shelf sauces I tried. This sauce is great to marinate thin slices of beef or chicken, and is great as a base for Stir Fry. Enjoy.



Shericka Dyer, The Girl & The Guy’s Kitchen, Minneapolis, MN

1 lb. Mexican chorizo 1 lb. Italian sausage 1 bag of dry red kidney beans (pre-soak overnight) 1 large green pepper 2 to 3 cloves of garlic 2 cups chicken stock (I use the chicken stock that I make when I roast chicken) 5 cups water 2 tbsp. olive oil salt & pepper to taste 3 to 4 cups cooked rice to serve w/ beans


1. Add oil to hot Dutch Oven. Allow oil to heat then add Italian sausage and chorizo and cook until done. 2. Add yellow onion, green peppers and garlic to meat mixture. Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. 3. Drain beans and add beans to pot with chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to medium and allow beans to simmer for 3 ½ to 4 hours. Remember to stir on occasion. You want the beans to have the consistency of a stew and be completely tender. 4. Salt and pepper to taste (please taste before adding salt as the chorizo and sausage are salty and you may not feel the need to add any additional salt. 5. Serve with warm rice

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Matthew West, Home Chef Culinary Services, LLC, Norwalk, CT

½ cups soy sauce ¼ cups water, hot 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon rice wine 1 tablespoon sherry ¼ cup sugar, or honey ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon ginger, powdered

POTATO CROQUETTES WITH SAFFRON AIOLI Heather Zaida, Chef Zaida, Carlsbad, CA makes 12-15 croquettes


2 Idaho Potatoes Tab of Butter Splash of Milk or Heavy Cream 5 Chives, chopped 2 T Flat Leaf Parsley, minced 1 garlic clove, finely minced Sea Salt Cracked Black Pepper Paprika 1 egg 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs 1/4 cup Flour Canola Oil

DIRECTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Boil Potatoes and run through ricer Mix riced Potatoes with Butter and Milk until mashed Add Herbs and gently mix Season with Salt, Pepper and Paprika Taste and adjust seasoning as needed Whisk Egg, place in a pie pan Mix together Panko and Flour, place in a pie pan Season both Egg and Panko mixture with Salt, Pepper and Paprika Roll medium sized croquettes with the mashed Potato mixture Dip into Egg then Panko mixture, coating all sides Set on hotel pan Refrigerate minimum 30 minutes Heat Oil in stock pot, filling 1/2 of the pot with oil Gently place Croquettes in Oil, do not overcrowd pot Flip to ensure all sides become golden brown Remove and place on rack While hot, sprinkle Sea Salt on top Serve with Saffron Aioli and garnish with Chive

Saffron Aioli


4 T Mayo Squeeze of Lemon 1/2 T Saffron Threads 1 small garlic clove, finely minced Sea Salt Cracked Black Pepper


1. Mix together 2. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed

Pair Truffle Seasoning with your favorite recipes! USPCA members can use the code USPCAQ117 to receive 25% off all orders from | 31

STUFFED FLOUNDER WITH CRABMEAT Cynthia Ferich, Cynthia Cooks, Charlotte, NC

This is one of my favorites, and it even made its way to the Christmas Eve table. I enjoy making this dish for my friends who like fish. It is easily prepared ahead of time, and quite tasty! Recipe courtesy of Cynthia Ferich’s cookbook MaMa Mia Cucina


1 pound of baby flounder 1/2 pound backfin crabmeat 1 stick of butter, melted, reserving 3 Tablespoons for basting 1/4 cup chopped onions 1/4 cup chopped green pepper 1 teaspoon dry mustard 2 tablespoons Worcestershire 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup cracker crumbs 1 tablespoon parsley 1/2 cup light cream dash of ground red pepper (optional) salt & pepper to taste 1 lemon parsley and paprika for sprinkling


1. Sauté onions, green peppers, and butter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. 2. Divide stuffing evenly among each fish piece. Place the flounder skin side up, and add a mound of stuffing on each end of each piece, and fold the other end of the fish over top of the stuffing. 3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, basting with additional melted butter and paprika so that the fish does not dry out. Sprinkle the top of fish pieces with parsley, and squeeze lemon juice over fish after it has baked. 4. Note: The stuffing for the flounder is great on its own. It is my recipe for crab cakes. Simply prepare the stuffing, shape into patties and pan fry.

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Beckie Hemmerling, Eat Simple Food, Charleston, SC This earthy & buttery fava bean recipe is colorful, satisfying, and grounding. Fava beans hold a special place in my heart because you have to put in the work to get the taste and see that beautiful color. The reason you don’t see these on menus is because of the labor intensity. NOW – don’t be scared. Give it a go and eat the dish slowly to really appreciate and contemplate mother nature’s work. serves 4 as a side


1 1/2 lbs. fava beans in pod (2 cups shelled) 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil salt pepper


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a generous (2 tsp) amount of salt. 2. Shell the fava bean pods to reveal the bean. Place beans in boiling water for ~ 3 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water or shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 3. Peel the fava beans, but gently tearing into the outer layer and squeezing the bean through the protective coating. This will reveal the beautiful bright green bean. 4. You can eat this as is now raw in salads but for this recipe we’re going to cook them a little more. Bring a pan to medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil. When butter is melted, add the fava beans and cook ~ 4 minutes or until desired tenderness.


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Round Microwavable Heavyweight 16 oz black and white

For instructions on how to order, visit | 33


In today’s world, analyzing your data regularly is critical in understanding your customers digital tendencies. These tendencies can vary from consuming content times to conversion triggers. As the representative organization for Personal Chefs, we recommend reviewing and auditing your analytics for all of your digital platforms (website, social media pages, etc.) 2016 and 2017 were years where the terms mobile friendly and SEO optimized were floating around like looking for the letter ‘O’ in a bowl of Cheerios. And… what is the data showing us as the calendar pages turnover to 2018? The same exact thing. While many of you may have third parties running your digital presence for you, we still recommend auditing their efforts to make sure you are receiving the ROI. Understanding that the ROI may not be direct dollars but more making sure that you are receiving plenty of digital traffic and maintaining digital relevance in an ever changing world whose parameters are changing daily. So what are some basic metrics both the home marketer and outsourcing marketer can review (preferably no less than monthly) to make sure they are staying digitally relevant?… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Google Analytics Facebook Analytics Instagram Analytics Pinterest Analytics LinkedIn Analytics Yelp Analytics YouTube Analytics Any other digital platform where you and your business exist

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Managing these items can seem difficult with so much of your focus on providing your customers with what you do best, providing the most delicious meals to their specific order. But fear not, the intimidation factor can be dwindled down. Focus on the abilities you are the most comfortable (e.g., speaking, video, pictures, etc.) Because not only does your contact information need to remain current, so does the production of content. Once you have chosen how you want to display you and your business online you need to: 1. Verify your profile is optimized to its max. 2. Schedule time during your day to communicate to your audience (always replying to comments & messages.) 3. Treat your digital platforms as communities or neighborhoods. The golden rule applies here as it does everywhere. But, this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your authenticity. Your truth is what will make you stand apart from the rest. 4. Schedule time weekly for discovery. This is discovering new people/companies to follow and engage. Start some new conversations with people/ companies based inside of your service area. 5. Never get complacent with your business. All of these items will help you to continue to gain exposure to existing and potential clients. The best part about all of this? It is all free, except for your time. If you have any questions about how you can understand and grow your digital presence please feel free to reach out to me with questions or tactical planning at

Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show July 15-19, 2018 Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Louisiana


United States Personal Chef Association

ACF + USPCA Joining Forces Exclusive Personal Chef Track Discount, Payment Plan for USPCA Members Education & Engagement Ignite innovation to bring back to your Personal Chef business


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PERSONAL CHEF MAGAZINE provided by the United States Personal Chef Association P.O. Box 56 Gotha, FL 34734

RECIPES IN THIS ISSUE • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Buttery Fava Beans p.32 Chunky Rustic Chickpeas Crostini p.29 Cranberry Sauce for Mini Meatballs p.28 Crawfish Etoufee p.26 Gluten-Free White Bread p.15 Olive Salad p.29 Potato Croquettes with Saffron Aioli p.31 Red Beans & Rice p.30 Stuffed Flounder with Crabmeat p.32 Stuffed Mirlitons (Chayote Squash) p.27 Teriyaki Sauce p.30 Unstuffed Cabbage Meatballs p.8 Winter Slaw with Kale and Cabbage p.27

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Personal Chef Magazine - Winter 2018  

A Leap of Faith Meatballs in Stuffed Cabbage Rocky Mountain Chapter Rocks Getting Started as a Personal Chef 4 Reasons to Take a...

Personal Chef Magazine - Winter 2018  

A Leap of Faith Meatballs in Stuffed Cabbage Rocky Mountain Chapter Rocks Getting Started as a Personal Chef 4 Reasons to Take a...