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How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 29. März 2007

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What is the difference between a personal chef and a caterer? All you need to become a successful personal chef is to be a confident home cook, and have some simple but essential business know-how. "How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business" tries to answer all the questions that readers may have about launching a profitable personal chef business - from writing a business plan and effective financial planning, through marketing your business and making the most of the internet, training, and certification. This comprehensive and informative volume is a must-have for anyone interested in turning a passion for food and cookery into a viable and profitable business enterprise.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Denise Vivaldo is an experienced personal chef and caterer. She is also a successful cooking instructor.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 26 Rezensionen
77 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Realistic Guide to All Aspects of PC Business. Buy It. 21. Februar 2007
Von B. Marold - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
`How to Start a home-based Personal Chef Business' by caterer / writer, Denise Vivaldo is her second book on a culinary self-employment career, her first being a book on running a home-based catering business. One irony I must point out quickly is that the `home-based' part of the title is just a tad misleading, as the laws of many municipalities prohibit one from cooking food for sale in one's own home without some pretty elaborate licenses and special permits. Some other municipalities require that if you are cooking for a family, this be done in THEIR own kitchen, not yours. Of course, I learn all this from reading Ms. Vivaldo's book, which is one of the things that make it so valuable.

I am very happy to see that the lion's share of the book is dedicated to the details of the Personal Chef (PC) business and not the culinary aspects (recipes and cooking skills) of the job. And, while the author does give us 29 pages of menus and recipes, they are primarily case studies in how to do one of the classic 5 X 4 meals a personal chef commonly does. This 5 X 4 schema is one of my biggest surprises in reading this book. I always imagined a personal chef worked exclusively for one or maybe two families and cooked each meal on the day it was to be eaten. In fact, the most common scenario is to prepare five meals of four servings each, one for that day and four for the fridge or freezer. This way, one PC can realistically have up to seven clients, if they are willing to work seven days a week or double up by doing two families' 5 X 4 setup a day.

The conditions imposed by having to cook in the client family's own kitchen adds a major subject; how do you maintain a traveling kitchen and how must you maintain stocks in each clients home, if at all.

I've occasionally toyed with the idea of taking on the part-time job of PC; however, I believe Ms. Vivaldo has talked me out of this notion. Her book begins with an excellent questionnaire on those things that qualify or disqualify one from being a good PC, and what is the sense of getting into something like this if you will not both enjoy it and do a good job. After all my readings of culinary memoirs, one aspect of PC qualifications is no surprise. To succeed, you really need to be able to work quickly and efficiently, almost, but maybe not quite as rigorously as you need to do in a commercial kitchen (after all, there are some benefits of flexibility in being your own boss and working alone.) It is not NECESSARY that you graduate from a culinary school or work in a professional kitchen to obtain this skill, but both are far better than trying to obtain these skills by yourself. The author did both, and I suspect her success as both a PC and as a caterer testify to this fact.

This book also reveals that there are a lot of relatively unpleasant things one must do in order to succeed, not to mention staying legal in your business. The two least tasteful are probably writing a business plan and accurate pricing of your services. Fortunately, Ms. Vivaldo gives ample advice on how to do these things, including sample forms from successful PC businesses. She also provides contacts to many of these successful PCs if you want to mine some advice from them yourself. I don't recall seeing her suggesting that one route to success is in apprenticing to a successful PC; however, she does give lots of contacts in the business, so that is bound to come up as an option.

As I said, the hard culinary advice is minimal, but what there is I found well directed at a lot of special dietary needs, such as vegetarian, diabetic, infant, elderly, and dietetic needs. The book also contains worthy references to where to find help on these matters. It also contains some excellent culinary Internet sites for recipes and nutritional information. I was surprised that it did not include a reference to [...], which has a recipe library which probably rivals any of the other suggestions. I'm also surprised that there is no central bibliography, which could at the very least list such excellent references as the CIA textbook, `The Culinary Professional', Madeleine Kamman's `The New Making of a Chef', and Deborah Madison's `Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone', three excellent basic cooking textbooks.

This is the third `how to succeed in a personal business' book I've reviewed, and it is easily the best.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fantastic Resource! 7. November 2007
Von Ruth Bray - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Before getting this book, I read through previous reviews. I was very confused by one that talked about her trying to sell from a "web site." I have no idea what they were talking about, since Denise has nothing like that. Perhaps they were confusing her with Candy Wallace, who offers a program (video and in person) for Personal Catering.

Instead, the book is a terrific source of valuable information in numerous areas of the personal chef business, from legal, personality, business forms, cooking, serving, marketing, recipes, pricing, and then even offers links to other invaluable sites.

I have done personal chef work and am now focusing more on the catering end of the business, but I certainly wish I had found this book when I first started. It would have saved me both money and time. I especially needed help with pricing and with how to present it to the client. I also would have benefited from her list of "kitchen and pantry" necessities. It took me months of trial and error to figure out that I needed all of the items she lists in her book. I also really like her suggestion of using the client's own equipment when possible, because the "lugging" of kitchen pans and tools was one of the hardest parts of the job.

Denise is an expert in the field and gives practical, easy-to-follow advice. She is honest and does not just try to "sell" the personal chef business. I look forward to any other material she might publish in the future.
11 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Great Introduction 27. Mai 2007
Von P. Brent Evans - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Denise Vivaldo was a guest speaker at our recent Personal Chefs Network Annual Convention. She is not only a dynamic speaker, she is a clear and precise writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering this great profession. It contains lists and tips and charts and examples that will help you throughout your career. It is not a substitute for professional affiliation, but it is a wonderful starting place.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great Help!!! 12. März 2007
Von Lisa M. Sargert - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is really a great starting point for someone interested in a career in the personal chef industry.

Another excellant wealth of information out there is a new book titled "the Professional Personal Chef". You might want to check it out if you are really serious about moving forward with this as your career!
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Completely on the up and up 13. Dezember 2009
Von Douglas T. Page - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
As a current culinary school student, I find this as an excellent addition to my studies on the ins and outs of the PC business. I always wondered if the people mentioned in books were real, because often they're random professionals. Chef Mo from the Art Institute of Atlanta is mentioned in this book, and that was very cool for me. Many of the sanitation and basic techniques are on dot with our curriculum. I am planning on now taking the PC course taught at AiA because of this book.

If anyone picks up this book and takes one piece of advice, and that is to get certified! The USPCA, ACF, ect... are great starts to develop skills, network, and do business with vendors!
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