PCI: Goals, Visions and the Future!

PCI: Goals, Visions and the Future!

I often get asked why we wanted to start the Personal Chef Institute (PCI) and the reasons are varied.

Initially, we saw a need in the marketplace. We had seen too many of our fellow personal chefs not succeed in their dreams, not because they did not have the passion but because they did not possess the foundational business skills needed to succeed. I knew that we could change that. My past in the business world in accounting, project/program management, and process improvement coupled with Norbert’s years of experience running engineering companies we were in a perfect position to help. The 5 years we have spent building our personal chef business has laid the ground work for an even deeper understanding of what personal chefs need to make their careers a success.

As the years have gone by I have grown to love this industry and the people in it. I do not just want individual personal chefs to succeed, I want the industry to succeed. I see the personal chef industry very much like the project management industry when I first started. People knew it was a good idea but people did it on the side, as a hobby or additional task to their “real” jobs. The Project Management Institute came along and through education and promotion, project management is now respected as a career in its own right.  I want PCI, in conjunction with the USPCA, to do for the Personal Chef Industry what PMI did for project management.

Along with the elevation of the industry, the additional goal is to provide education to the education institutes themselves so that students who would traditionally would be forced to choose between a restaurant career or leaving the food world completely. Currently most culinary education establishments are not recognizing Personal Chefs as a career path to be taught at their schools. We are working on reaching out to vocational schools who teach culinary skills as well as traditional culinary schools to get the word out about the Personal Chef industry.

A lot of thought has gone into what we teach here at PCI and we are excited to be building  a new future for you and for our industry.

Remember, the first step is the most important!



Beware the Pork chop

Beware the Pork chop

A fellow personal chef wrote this fabulous article for the USPCA magazine that was so in-line with the steps of success that we teach that I had to share it with you. Thank you Angela for your words of wisdom!

“Visualize Your Success (Not the Porkchop)”

By Angela Whitford-Downing

from Personal Chef Magazine


Athletes are taught to picture winning the game, getting a birdy or beating their best time. “Be the ball” as they say in Caddyshack. This is probably the funniest movie line referring to the practice of visualization. You may have heard of it before and it is a common practice in sports. I’m not suggesting to be the pork chop or to visualize yourself making a béchamel sauce but visualization can be used to set business goals and to set you on the path to success as defined by you.


Am I a “seasoned” chef? Not yet and I had the pleasure of learning from many seasoned chefs at the USPCA conference. My business has been going for 4 years and along with a training and sales background, I found myself giving feedback to some of the brand new chefs at the conference.


I talked to a few new chefs about visualization. It’s a trick I learned from a certified wellness coach, who happens to be my sister. In my first year of business I had trouble setting a financial goal. It seemed too abstract. I also had trouble deciding how busy I wanted to be. Would I have time for my daughter? Should I be cooking for clients every day? Two clients a day?


She suggested I picture what I want my week to look like in 6 months… then in 12 months. I had to visualize myself cooking in clients’ homes, grocery shopping and picking up my daughter from school. She asked me what my uniform looked like, what my client’s kitchen looked like and if I had an assistant chef. It was a fantastic way to set goals for Lovin’ the Oven.


Now it’s your turn. Ask yourself the following questions and do yourself a favor and right down the answers! Picture yourself in the car, grocery store or in the client’s house. Be as detailed as you can. It doesn’t have to take long to do this exercise. The time you take for this visualization practice is time invested into the future of your company.


  • How many clients do you have in a week (in 6 or 12 months)?
  • What are you doing on Mondays? 
    • How far away is your client? Picture yourself in your car ready for your day.
    • What size family are you cooking for? Picture the perfect Monday client. This is also good for narrowing down your target market.
    • Do you have a second client that day? How far away are they? How many meals? Picture yourself planning that day including the grocery shopping.
    • What time do you get home? This is the best part… picture coming home a little tired but happy with the dinners you made!

 Go through the rest of the week… Yes, each day and write it down! Consider the following questions when planning your week. 

  • Did you include a day to do paperwork?
  • When are you planning meals/menus for the next week?
  • Do you have a catered event, cooking class or dinner party?  Do you want one a week or two? Which do you enjoy the most?

 By writing it down and taking the time to picture yourself in these situations, you’re defining your target market and started to set goals for long-term success. I did this exercise and fine-tuned my week to what I wanted it to be. Then I mapped out how much revenue would come from that week. Then I could make financial goals! Now if I could visualize more money in my tax return… 

An added benefit of this exercise is it helps you consider a work life balance. Chefs, in particular, like to be busy but we seem to all have trouble making time for ourselves! When you go back a look at the week you just planned, did you leave time for you and your family? When are you making your dinner? When are you going to the gym? When are you connecting with friends? 

Take the time and write it down. I still use visualization when planning where my company will grow next. It’s hard not to after all of the great information I learned at the conference! If you believe in the law of attraction then this is exercise becomes an even more powerful tool. 

Be the ball… not the pork chop and cheers to your success!

The Launch

Personal Chef Institute
Personal Chef Institute

We are excited to announce the launch of the Personal Chef Institute (PCI) in affiliation with the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA), a new immersive, in-person learning experience for Personal Chefs who want to learn how to succeed in running a profitable business and acquiring new clients. Personal Chef Institute was created by members of the USPCA and is the quickest and most comprehensive program to learn how to make your business become a success.

Based in Rhode Island, this brand new course was developed by Personal Chefs with experience in both the corporate world and the Personal Chef world and is tailored to the unique Personal Chef market.

This program will provide you with the tools you will need to successfully run your Personal Chef Business including:

  • Marketing plans
  • Finances
  • Pricing
  • Attaining Clients (and how to keep them)
  • Kitchen processes

and much much more…

If you are new to the Personal Chef Business, or you have been one for a while and are struggling to understand everything you need to know running a small business, then this program is for you. The first step is the most important. Invest in yourself today.

You can learn more about the program and upcoming classes here.