Back on August 10, I drove down to Baltimore to attend the American Personal & Private Chef Association’s annual Summit. I haven’t been able to attend one for a few years and the last one I was at was in Las Vegas. I was very excited to spend time with my Chef-friends and of course with Chef Candy and Dennis Wallace. Candy being the Executive Director and founder of APPCA and Dennis is the technology guru of the organization. Any time spent with them is always good for the soul, they are just two of the sincerest people you’ll ever meet.
The Summit started Thursday night with the Welcoming Cocktail Party that occurred at Stratford University in Little Italy Baltimore, MD. The culinary school students prepared the Hors d’oeuvres for the evening as a final exam for their Garde Manger course. The food was delicious, the wine enjoyable but the company was the best part. Catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones made it a great party.
After awhile, 8 of us jaunted over a few blocks in Little Italy to Sabatino’s , a multi-roomed restaurant that appeared to be busy and we weren’t sure they could take a party of 8 without reservations. They were quite happy to see us and seated us almost immediately in a small room with maybe three other tables of 4. We were somewhat overwhelming but the other parties didn’t seem to mind and engaged with us to find out just who we were! We shared lots of stories, more wine and enjoyed our meal.
On Friday we began bright and early with the opening ceremonies conducted by Chef Candy. The theme of the summit was CONNECT, RECHARGE, REFRESH. The day’s presentations included: The Four P’s of Success: Passion, Personal, Proficiency and Profit by Chef Bernard Henry a member of APPCA; How to Grow Your Business with Technology By Escoffier Online representatives; What You and Your Clients Need to Know about Produce and Pesticides by Environmental Working Group and Etiquette, A Form of Function by a Chief Petty Officer, USN.
During Lunch there was an awards ceremony. Chefs of the Year went to my friends Christine Robinson & Dennis Nosko of A Fresh Endeavor Personal Chef Service serving the Greater Boston Area. Big hugs and congrats to this dynamic duo, my personal special diet gurus who service an amazingly diversified special diet clientele! We’ve been Facebook friends for years, yet this was our first Facetime!
Javier Fuertes, of The Dinnermaker Personal Chef Service, serving Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, was presented with an award for Culinary Career/Lifestyle. Javier is also a successful fitness instructor along with being an incredibly talented Personal Chef, he has blended his passions into two very successful arenas. I’m often in awe of his accomplishments in both of these arenas.
The third award was presented to yours truly, as Best Marketer of the Year. Some would say it was because I tell the best stories especially my Stupid Chef Tricks series! But I am very proud to say that a lot of my efforts in communicating my passion for cooking and helping others has taken me far in this business. And now with the help of Social Media I continue to expand my reach via the wide world web of cyberspace.
Friday night was CRABFEST! We headed to Captain James Crabhouse on Boston Street. We dined, happily on Beer and/or Wine, Hushpuppies, Corn on the Cob, and the famous Maryland Blue Crabs! Nothing like a bunch of chefs chowing down on crabs! We had lots of laughs and great food. The Crabs were outstanding!
On Saturday our last general session was conducted by Dr. Fred Mayo and was entitled “Hello, Habits, Happiness and Healing”. This was a very interesting session and I can tell you that the concepts presented were easily adopted into my personal thinking process. To sum it up briefly, it teaches you to stop wasting time on the negative energy and seek the positives of your life.
After this session the breakout sessions started, my choices were: “Cook Like a Star Chef In Your Clients’ Kitchens” by Chef Bernard Henry; “From Snapshots to Great Shots: Styling and Photographing Your Culinary Creations” by Chef Carol Borchardt; and “What’s New In Nutrition: A Guide to Cooking Based on the Latest and Greatest Nutrition Recommendations” by Chery Frazier-Trusty an instructor @Stratford University.
During Saturday’s Lunch the award winners were invited to speak about each of our businesses and to answer questions from the group. It was an honor to be a member of this panel with my esteemed colleagues.
It was a great Summit, for me it accomplished what it promised: I RECONNCTED, RECHARGED and REFRESHED! Spending time amongst my fellow Chefs always inspires me to take my food up a notch, drive my business and enjoy the fruits of my labors.
I look forward to the next Summit as I believe it will continue to benefit my persona, my clients and my business!
The framed award is now on the wall above my desk, so I can admire it often!
Eat Well….Be Well!