Major: Culinary Arts
Job Title: Owner, AngelFood Personal Chef Service
Location: New Jersey
Shameless self-promotion, lots of organization, nerves of steel, and the ability to diversify are the keys to success as a personal chef, according to Jewels, owner of AngelFood Personal Chef Service.
From her perspective, the hardest part of being a personal chef is the need to seek “re-employment” every day. And even though she has been in business for 12 years, she continues to market herself ceaselessly—participating in Chamber of Commerce events, serving on the committees of philanthropic organizations in the area, and making public appearances at conferences. She writes a food column for the Express Times in Easton, PA that keeps her name out there, because “you never know where the next job is coming from,” she explains.
Jewels believes that with her CIA training and years of kitchen experience, menu development and food preparation is the easy part of her job.
She loves the fact that her culinary landscape changes every day and enjoys the connections she makes with people. Her clients’ needs vary and she relishes working closely with each to determine and accommodate their preferences around such things as texture, seasoning, and health issues. In fact, she feels they become almost like family to her. That’s why she’s always on call. She realizes that if a client is preparing the food at 7 p.m. and they have a question, she needs to be available to answer it then and there.
Two years ago, Jewels built a fully licensed commercial kitchen on the first floor of her home, allowing her yet more flexibility. She no longer has to bring all the food and paraphernalia to her clients’ kitchens to do the cooking. Now she can prepare the food and simply deliver. Despite the many challenges of her work, anyone who talks to Jewels knows she is having the time of her life, making food personal.