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**WE ARE STILL UPDATING THIS PAGE.  A FULL LIST OF ARTICLES WILL BE ADDED SOON.**


2016


ADJUSTING TO MARKETPLACE CHANGES

​For over 10 years, The Chef Alliance worked with a variety of retail vendors, online vendors, marketing companies and businesses to promote Personal Chef services for member chefs.  This helped hundreds of Personal Chefs build their businesses by introducing them to guaranteed clients.

It seems that every business sector is undergoing dramatic changes these days - from Uber and the taxi industry, to AirBnB and the hotel industry. 

The Personal Chef and restaurant industry are no different.  In recent months, we have seen a growing trend in 'home-cooks' trying their hand at selling dinner-time spots at their kitchen table, offering home cooked meals in their own home.  This is the opposite of what a Personal or Private Chef would do by cooking a customised meal in a client's home.

These home-cooks, in most cases,  have not had their kitchens inspected by the health department, putting the health and safety of their customers at risk.  

Few home-cooks have had any training in food safety practices or in professional cooking.  They simply enjoy cooking and want to make money for doing something that they would have to do anyway - cook dinner.  The only difference is that they just cook a few extra portions, and get paid to do so.

Since they have few real overheads, they can offer meals at a much lower price-point than restaurants and Personal Chefs.  

To an uninformed consumer, this could look like an attractive alternative.

The most concerning fact is that the majority of these home-cooks have no liability insurance, which professional Private and Personal Chefs should have (and all members of The Chef Alliance have as part of their membership fees) in order to protect their clients, themselves and their families.  Many consumers still don't understand the importance of checking that these home-based or pop-up 'restaurants' have the proper insurance until it is too late.  If there was an accident on the premises or there was a case of food poisoning, for example,  in the absence of liability insurance, the cook would likely not have the funds to deal with any claim for compensation.  Even their home insurance would likely not cover claims arising from a business run out of their home.

Until tighter controls are implemented by government to address these marketplace changes and the sale of prepared foods , Personal Chefs and the industry will have to adapt.

To address this emerging competition, for the benefit of our members and the growth of their businesses, we are now encouraging members to market themselves directly to consumers with companies such as Life Experiences and Samba Days*, as opposed to booking jobs through The Chef Alliance.  This will allow members to create unique packages to showcase each individual Chef's talents directly to consumers on well-established platforms.  Chefs can set their own catchment area, their own terms and conditions, and have control of their own price-point.  


Changes will be coming to our online Chef profile websites (such as Top Chefs 4 Hire) in the coming months to improve the marketing of professional Personal Chefs.  Our focus will be on helping Chefs reduce their business costs and mentoring and guiding our members, rather than acting as a booking agency.

Please feel free to contact your Success Manager by email should you have any questions. 

*Life Experiences and Samba Days will require their companies to be added to your insurance coverage as a 'named insured.'  It's simple to do and costs nothing more - for further details on how to do this, please contact us.



2015


RELAUNCH OF CPCALLIANCE.COM

The Chef Alliance has relaunched one of it's websites, geared to Canadian Personal Chefs - www.cpcalliance.com.


The Chef Alliance has been working with Personal Chefs in Canada to grow their businesses since 2001.  They provide Personal Chefs with marketing support, peer mentoring, training, clients support, chef jobs.

They have also been working to add professionalism to this unregulated sector of the foodservice industry, by ensuring that their members have liability insurance* to protect the Chefs and their families, their clients and the Chefs' businesses.


Read more information on our Chef Insurance!



2014


MEMBER HONOURED FOR FRENCH-CARIBBEAN CUISINE

Ajeen Beckford was recently in Madrid, Spain to accept the prestigious International Hotel & Restaurant European Quality Award for Gastronomy.
 
“I came home from work and there was a letter there that said I’ve been selected,” said Beckford. “I was stunned. I was shocked, I didn’t expect it.”
 
Beckford, who lives in Scarborough’s McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue area, has hosted various cooking shows around the GTA including appearing on the Food Network stage at Good Foods Canada, and the French Regional Gastronomy Festival in Guadeloupe.
 
He was honoured in Spain for his culinary skills in creating French-Caribbean fusion cuisine such as ackee soufflé.
 
This cooking combination has grown in popularity in the culinary world, according to Beckford.
 
“I was trained in classical French cuisine like every chef, really, for basic cooking. And coming to Canada sort of provided a notion that it would be very competitive cooking only French food because there are many trained chefs here,” said Beckford.
 
“So my approach to it was fusing Caribbean with the French (cuisine) and do it aggressively.”
 
Originally from Jamaica, Beckford got his start in the kitchen at a young age. He’s been submerged in the culinary world since he was 15 years old when he accidentally got a job in the kitchen at the Morgan’s Harbour Hotel in Port Royal, Jamaica while sneaking around the pool area one summer.
 
“A guy sitting around the bar called me over and asked me what I was doing there. And I said I was looking for a summer job,” recalled Beckford.
 
“He laughed and told me to go in the kitchen and see what I can do and maybe he’ll take me on for the summer. I went in and saw a person doing flambé, with fire coming out the pot and people cutting with knives so fast and I was like ‘whoa!’”
 
He started working in the mornings and as the years went by he was already working the evening shifts as well.
 
Beckford worked in the kitchen there for four years until he decided to work as a chef on a cruise ship for six months. An experience he credits for his foray into fusion cuisine.
 
“When I was there I saw Thai cuisine, French cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine and different variations of cooking and even cooking in bulk” said Beckford.
 
“It reshaped me and allowed me to shape the way I cook, now. (Working on a cruise ship) It’s no joke, really. It’s a lot of work.”
 
All that dedication and hard work has paid off, not only has he become a successful chef in his home country of Jamaica, becoming the personal chef for boxing legend Lennox Lewis from 2006-2008. Beckford said he had applied to work at the Tryall Club in Montego Bay, and was called in for an interview, or cooking demo.
 
“And right on the spot I was told, ‘You nailed it’ and I was hired,” said Beckford.
 
He was there seven days a week for Lewis who had one challenging request. He had no desire to eat the exact same dish twice.
 
He wanted Beckford to be creative with his meals and do variations.
 
“He’s spontaneous. It was challenging at first, but it has helped me to be more creative and master my craft. So it kept me on the edge to keep creating dishes as I go,” said Beckford. “Garlic filet mignon with a cream sauce was his favourite dish.”
 
Since then, Beckford has created his own catering business entitled Professional Caterers that focuses on French Caribbean fusion cuisine.
 
He said he plans to work on a GTA tour this summer, giving people a chance to get a taste of French-Caribbean cuisine through classes and shows.

Scarborough chef honoured for his French-Caribbean fusion cuisine  
Scarborough Mirror By HILARY CATON, 
Posted on insidetoronto.com, Feb 4th 2014



2012


MEMBER HONOURED IN GUADALOUPE

The 4th Regional Festival of Culinary Arts in Guadeloupe: Honouring Cuisine from the Caribbean
 
With the participation of Guadeloupe Chef, Claude Strazel of "Table of Lena,", and the presence of two big names in the gastronomy of the Caribbean: Ajeen Beckford*, Jamaican talented young chef and Jose Enrique, Puerto Rican leader known, the Regional Festival of Culinary Arts and Gastronomy intends to register strongly in the quality and refinement this year .
The festival will also be honoured with the Guadeloupean finalist in the second season of the show "Master Chef" of TF1,  Jeff Antus.
 
This very popular event will be particularly rich in entertainment and culinary arts. Indeed, everything will be implemented to the delight of many visitors who, like previous editions, will rush to the gates of the festival. 


Avec la participation du chef guadeloupéen, Claude Strazel de « la Table de Léna », parrain de cette édition, et la présence de deux grands noms de la gastronomie de la Caraïbe : Ajeen Beckford, jeune chef jamaïcain de talent et Jose Enrique, chef portoricain réputé, le Festival régional desArts culinaires et de la Gastronomie entend, cette année,s’inscrire résolument dans la qualité et le raffinement.
 
Le festival aura également l’honneur de recevoir le Guadeloupéen Jeff Antus, finaliste de la 2e saison de l’émission « Master Chef » de TF1.
 
Cette manifestation très prisée sera particulièrement riche en animations culinaires et artistiques. En effet, tout sera mis en oeuvre pour le bonheur des nombreux visiteurs qui, à l’instar des éditions précédentes, se bousculeront aux portes du festival.


2010


COOKING UP A STORM AT BASS PRO SHOPS

The Chef Alliance has been booked for 3 events in 2010 at Bass Pro Shops, located in Vaughan, ON at the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre.

Bass Pro Shops is a specialty store geared towards the outdoors, selling products such as boats, hunting, fishing, camping items and much more.  Their Vaughan location is one of only two locations in Canada.

On May 15th 2010, The Chef Alliance will be demonstrating a pig-roast & BBQ seminar.  August 6th, 7th, 21st & 22nd 2010 is the first & last weekends of their Fall Hunting Classic, and will showcase The Chef Alliance holding a corn roast, featuring their 'secret seasoning!'  Come on out & join in the fun!

The outdoor events at Bass Pro Shops showcases the diversity of The Chef Alliance's services.  Renowned for their in-home events, The Chef Alliance is becoming known for their unique & unforgettable outdoor events & products - perfect for backyard parties to corporate events.

As part of the events, The Chef Alliance will be giving away the Grand Prize of In-home BBQ Chef Experience for 10 people, as well as thousands of e-vouchures which may be used towards the purchase of a Chef Experience.  


2008


NEW WAYS TO PURCHASE CHEF EXPERIENCES

Gift Experience Boutique, a range of gift cards now available in stores across Canada, including WalMart Canada, will prominently feature The Chef Alliance on their ‘Dining’ Card.

The range of certificates also includes those for Indulgence, Family Fun & Entertainment and Inns, Resorts & BBQs.  The Giftex Prepay Report indicated that “Experiential gift cards are becoming more desirable than retail goods, especially when the experience can be shared with the giver”.

Angelica Knowles, who purchased ‘An Intimate Dinner for 2’ Chef Experience wrote “Chef Kevin made our 10th anniversary dinner one of the most magical nights ever!  Why we ever celebrated at a restaurant is beyond me!  This was just perfect.  We will do it again and again... Thank  you, Chef Alliance!”



AFFORDABLE CHEF INSURANCE AT LAST

The Chef Alliance is proud to announce the launch of their website www.chefinsurance.com, which will allow chefs across Canada to purchase liability insurance at affordable rates.

Liability insurance is an essential part of running any business, but is vital in the foodservice industry, where chefs are working with food which could affect the health & wellbeing of their clients.  Failures to invest in liability insurance could mean financial ruin for a chef should something go wrong while working.

Sharon recently joined The Chef Alliance. "I got quotes from a few different insurance companies. The quotes that I was getting were around $1000. I then went online to see what other options I had, and came across The Chef Alliance. I now have insurance and the benefits of membership, and still have a few hundred dollars left for other things. What more could you ask for?"

For more details on the cost of liability insurance and policy coverage for Personal Chefs, Private Chefs and Caterers, please visit our website or contact us.  

Read more information on our Chef Insurance!



2007


THE CHEF ALLIANCE DEMOS AT THE CNE
NOTE: The Chefs mentioned in this article are no longer members of The Chef Alliance; we do not vouch for their services nor do we have any knowledge that they have liability insurance to protect their clients.

​This year, The Canadian National Exhibition, with an expected attendance in excess of 1.25 million people, will take place from August 17th to September 3rd 2007. We are proud to announce that 2 of our Chef Alliance members will be conducting demos on the Cooking Stage. 

Chef Jono McDonough will be on stage on August 22nd, making a Wheatberry Salad. Chef Shawn Rocchi will be demonstrating a Sweet Crab & Shrimp Cake with a Pear & Cabbage Coleslaw and a Sweetcorn Puree. He will be on stage on August 30th 2007.

"The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is an 18-day fair taking place every August concluding on Labour Day. Over its 128 year history, the CNE has grown to be the largest annual fair in Canada and the fifth largest in North America attracting approximately 1.3 million visitors each year. 

The programs and exhibits of the CNE encompass the 192 acres of Exhibition Place in Toronto including eight buildings and structures designated as historical sites under the Ontario Heritage Act."


THE HOT AND SPICY FOOD FESTIVAL

Chef Sonia, President of The Canadian Personal Chef Alliance, will be one of the judges at the upcoming IRON CHEF competition at the 10th annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival.

Chef Sonia started out in the Personal Chef industry with her company Sonia's Spicy Secrets.  Chef Sonia, who was born in Northern Ireland, specialises in Indian-fusion cuisine, blending her Indian background with her love of European cuisine.

"The Hot & Spicy Food Festival is just one example of the wonderful events in the city that glorify food and the diversity of cultures that make it a great place to be," commented Chef Sonia.

"I am proud to support the Iron Chef event once again. Last year, our Personal Chef representative, Chef Sean, came a very close 2nd in the competition. The fact that a Personal Chef can compete against some of the city's top restaurant chefs highlights the level of excellence that our Personal Chefs strive to maintain. 

Most of our Chefs have come from the restaurant industry, and now offer more specialised in-home catering services or customised meal services, cooking classes and recipe consultation/ menu planning services."

The Festival, which runs from August 10th -12th 2007, at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre (Brigantine Room), will hold its 4th Iron Chef event on Saturday at 1.30pm and 3.30pm, with the finale on Sunday at 3.30pm.

The competitors are as follows:
1.30pm, Saturday
Phil, The Rhyming Chef
Vicky Cheng, Auberge du Pommier
3.30 pm, Saturday
Federico Lopez, visiting from Mexico
Duff Lampard, Westin Harbour Castle Hotel

The winner of each round will proceed to the final on Sunday.


Woodbridge Wine Competition

Check out the next couple of issues of Canadian Living Magazine for a competition run by "Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi."

The winner will receive a dinner party conducted by the Canadian Personal Chef Alliance, as well as a selection of Waterford Crystal glasses. 

Good luck to all who enter! We look forward to serving you!

This highlights the growing trend within the wine industry and beyond, to use Personal Chef Experience packages for prizes. This competition follows those conducted by Naked Grape Wines, Santa Isabella wine, Toasted Head wine, and Sawmill Creek wine.

The Canadian Personal Chef Alliance, which is Canada's premier personal Chef organisation, has also conducted Chef Services which were provided as prizes for Sobeys & Scott Paper and TELUS.

"The interest in our Chef Experience packages by the corporate sector has increased dramatically over the past 12 months," commented Chef Sonia, President of the Alliance. "It is a very exciting time for our chefs and the industry as a whole. 

"People are starting to realise that hiring a Personal Chef is not just for the rich and famous, but is akin to hiring a cleaning service or a gardener; Personal Chefs save their clients time, energy and money!"

Yes, believe it or not, Personal Chefs can save their clients money!! There is no longer a frantic rush to decide what to eat for dinner, so people are less likely to purchase fast foods, processed 'meals' or dine out at a restaurant. Instead, they can stay in the comfort of their home, and enjoy a meal that has been lovingly prepared just for them!

For dinner parties, Personal Chefs cook right in the client's kitchen. "We had a wonderful time watching Chef Cheryl prepare our dinner," said Diana, a client in Calgary. "We are a group of Foodies, but even we learned a thing or two!" 

Updated: These experiences are no longer available.



2006


Chef Alliance Supports Cancer Research

NOTE: Joanna Smith is no longer a Member of The Chef Alliance and we cannot vouch for her services or if she has liability insurance coverage to protect her clients.


The Canadian Home & Country Show (Toronto) will be launching their 2006 Show with an ‘exclusive shopping event and auction’ in support of the Canadian Cancer Society & Breast Cancer Research on October 26th 2006 from 6.30 to 10.00 pm. The Canadian Personal Chef Alliance has provided their full support to this worthwhile cause, by promoting it to chefs and clients. 

Alliance member, Joanna Smith of ‘Simply Good Food,’ has generously donated her time and delectable dishes in support of the event. Stop by Joanna’s table and try some of her mouth-watering samples. 

Simply Good Food offers several food experiences and personal chef services: from stocking your home with personally tailored meals, to "living life, loving food" experiences which include Spa at home parties, special occasion dinner parties, cooking demonstrations and much more. All of these great food experiences help the client's of Simply Good Food take back their precious free time and live life to the fullest. A Personal Chef is for everyone, it's a much deserved and affordable service: you will wonder how you ever lived without.




2005

PERSONAL CHEFS HELP CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY FORST PARENTS

(An open letter to members)
Thank you to [The Chef Alliance] members who have agreed to donate their services to Toronto's Foster Parents.

The week of October 16th is National Foster Family Week. To honour our foster parents who work tirelessly to provide a safe and nurturing environment to children who come into care, our agency is hosting a Foster Parent Tea in Toronto on October 18th.

Our foster parents rarely have the resources to engage in any pampering activity, and I know they would be thrilled to have the opportunity to have a Personal Chef provide their services to them. Several Personal Chefs from [The Chef Alliance] as well as catering businesses, grocers, and bakeries are supporting us in our effort as a community to acknowledge people who make an incredible difference in the lives of children, and we would welcome others to join them by offering dinner packages or personal chef services as door prizes. Our Foundation will gladly issue a tax receipt for a gift in kind donation to those that help.

Thank you once again,

Dawna Cramer
Foster Parent Recruitment Coordinator



2004


MEMBERS DO COOKING DEMOS IN STORES

Note: Sam's Club is no longer operating in Canada.

Canadian Personal Chef Alliance Chefs to demonstrate in food stores across Canada starting the end of May

Alliance members will demonstrate in food stores across Canada.
We are working with a media company based in Kitchener/Waterloo that represent four food companies promoting tomatoes, asparagus and pears, and one company promoting fish.

These demonstrations will take place starting at Sam’s Clubs at the end of May and continue in a variety of stores across Canada throughout the year.



PARTNERSHIP WITH SHOPPERS DRUG MART

"The Canadian Personal Chef Alliance and Shoppers Drug Mart are to partner in the "Life experiences" gift certificate campaign," Terry Henderson tells us today.

"We are extremely proud of this partnership, it is the result of much work and meetings with Shoppers to accomplish this for our members, but we feel with the demand for our services, and the appeal of Shoppers to its clients, that this is a natural match" 

"We are extremely proud to announce our partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart and Life Experiences says Henderson.

"We have been working with Shoppers to introduce the Alliance into the program, this will start in the GTA and move across Ontario over the next couple of months". The program will move to BC in the fall, and the rest of Canada in the winter, with over 250 stores in the GTA, 900 stores in Ontario and 2500 stores across Canada, Shoppers and the Alliance are very excited to be working together.

Here is how it works, the customer buys the gift certificate at his/her local shoppers, gives it to the lucky recipient. The recipient calls shoppers and activates the card, then calls our toll free number.

They give us their location and we find them a chef, at the same time we verify the card. We send the leads to our members who in turn meet with the client and set up the date!!! A wonderful experience that is sure to please!!!

Convenience, service and wonderful food all in one place!!! 



THE TIMELIEST GIFT

By GAYLE MacDONALD, Globe and Mail

There is no other time of year that is so joyously jumbled.

Take Sunday. I wake at 6 -- ruing the wine and boisterous carol-singing of the night before -- to ferry three little boys to hockey practice. Back home for a quick shower and change into Sunday clothes. One of the hockey guys has to be on deck for the church pageant at 10 a.m. After watching him chortle his way through Away in a Manger along with Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men, it's back home for a quick lunch, then off to the dry cleaners, the drugstore and the local gift shop for a hostess gift for the friend who is throwing her annual holiday drop-in. I make it to the party by 5:30, visit for an hour, and then hit another arena. Son No. 2 has a game at 6:30.

What else? Oh yes, I have friends coming for dinner at 8.

Normally, I'd be in a cold sweat by now, screaming orders -- "Light the candles! Put Norah Jones on the stereo! Get the dog out of the cheese tray!" -- but not this time.

An angel named Sonia Thapar has appeared on my doorstep. And with her comes holiday salvation, namely a sumptuous, I-didn't-have-to-lift-a-bloody-finger meal.

Thapar's catering company, Sonia's Spicy Secrets (her specialty is Indian fusion cuisine), is one of several businesses in Toronto and Vancouver that have teamed up with Shoppers Drug Mart to offer harried consumers a rather existential gift: the gift of time. Called Life Experiences, they come in the form of buy-them-at-the-cash credit-card-sized certificates that are the ultimate in last-minute shopping.

"They're designed so you can catch your breath and enjoy a personal indulgence," says Murray Milthorpe, brand champion for Shoppers Life Experiences.

Milthorpe, who believes that the program is an ideal fit for the 150 million customers (the lion's share women) who go through Shoppers' doors annually, now offers 47 different "experiences" in Ontario and more than 20 in British Columbia, sold through 480 stores. Shoppers is planning to expand the program into Quebec early next year. There are four categories -- Romance, Pamper, Family Fun and Adventures.

They include a three-hour Merry Maid sweep of your house ($199), a trip to Algonquin's Eco-Lodge to howl with the wolves ($199), a home spa service ($129), a customized love song ($199), and dinner and a tour through a Niagara winery ($199).

"The most popular are the pampering and romance sections," Milthorpe says.  "But these are gifts that keep on giving because you give them, but you also get to experience them.  They are different and unique.  And they say to the people you give them to, 'I cherish you, and the time I get to spend with you.'"

Milthorpe is on to something, according to Canadian style maven Lynda Reeves, publisher of Canadian House & Home and Gardening Life. 

"We simply don't have a lot of quality time any more to spend on ourselves, give to our friends or share with our husbands or kids," Reeves says. "A gift like this forces you to stop and unplug from the technologies that keep us running full-tilt."

Shoppers is not alone in offering ready-made escapism. A three-year-old Toronto company called Big Day Out also packages adventures or pampering excursions. Ranging in price from $99 (fly a Cessna) to $149 (behind the scenes at Stratford) to $499 (herd cattle and camp under the stars), Big Day Out also offers another quality prized among the target boomer audience: a sense of exclusivity.

How exclusive? Well, if you've got $15-million to spend, the company says it can send you into space with a Russian cosmonaut (no takers, so far).

Josh Dawson, director of Big Day Out, says his company offers 150 "unforgettable" experiences, designed for clients who are sick of "getting their wife or husband earrings or a watch. In this time-pressed age, it's better for the soul to give someone an experience that makes them feel invigorated or special."

Like Shoppers, Dawson declined to say how many packages he has sold, but said sales have doubled from last year.

Reeves believes that women in her age demographic, 45 and older, are the most powerful consumer group, with great spending power. These types of gifts, she adds, will have great appeal.

"When a woman reaches her middle years, she wants to be made to feel special," she says. "To feel like a VIP, that she's appreciated, still sexy, that she's relevant. There's room for men to treat women that age as if they're newly discovered. Nothing could be better than to take her on some sort of adventure, to try something unusual and wonderful."

Of course, for women of the hectic generation, the unusual and wonderful can be as seemingly simple as having someone cook dinner.

Thapar pulls up in front of our house in her van at 6:15, unloads three coolers, and gets to work. When I pull into the driveway at 7:45, the house smells sumptuous. Our friends knock 15 minutes later, and Thapar is ready with a tray of crab and brie phyllos and Indian fusion canapés. 

That's followed by a mixed green salad with fennel and nigella seed vinaigrette, a main course of filet mignon on a bed of cumin-scented basmati rice, and seasoned okra. Dessert includes Sonia's Secret Kisses (bite-sized ice creams coated with milk chocolate).

My school friend says she loves the food, but especially appreciates the fact that I get to sit and really visit with her the entire night, instead of jumping up every five minutes to grab something out of the oven, or whisk away dirty plates.

"It was a treat to be able to share an uninterrupted evening, where no one was rushed or stressed about the food prep and cleanup," she says later. That's right: no cleanup.

In terms of gifts most appreciated in my lifetime, this ranks right up there with my Easy Bake Oven (circa 1972) and last year's handmade Christmas card from my youngest son, who wrote, "I love you as much as I hate mashed potatoes."

It's a lovely ending to what had been an absurdly harried day.

"I find that most people are just so busy they don't have time to cook and enjoy meals any longer," Thapar says. "They're busy at work, their kids are in so many programs. This is an investment in a simple pleasure. And you're telling someone you love that they have your undivided attention."

It's also a more intimate setting than a restaurant.

"We give them a bit of extra time so they can actually sit down and eat together, talk. We give them that extra two or three hours of pure peace," says Thapar, a 32-year-old mother of two young kids.

Reeves says the "experiences" programs are about giving yourself permission to spoil yourself, and others. "Boomers -- as a collective demographic group -- are more affluent than any previous generation in history. So we're looking for meaning in other areas, not just by being consumers. The only way we're going to get it is if we connect to other people through experiences."

At the other end of the spectrum from the intimate dinner is what may be termed the adventure experience. One of Big Day Out's most popular attractions, for example, is the so-called Covert Operations, where big boys get to pretend they're James Bond. 

Big Day Out flies you to Tucson, Ariz., where you are selected by an ultra-secret paramilitary unit for a covert mission in hostile territory. "A secret agent picks you up and flies you to the middle of the desert, where a base of ex-Navy Seals and special forces people take you through training to rescue a hostage in a real life type of setting," the 29-year-old Dawson explains.

Shoppers also offers several "boys-and-toys" experiences, such as tandem skydiving ($269) and fly fishing ($189). But even the boys are time-crunched, as I discover when I sign up for a few personal training sessions ($299) with 1992 Olympic gold hurdler Mark McKoy.

"People's lifestyles have changed dramatically in the last 10 to 20 years," McKoy says. While many want personal training sessions like his (he works you out, and then shows you how to do a similar regime at home), they don't have the two hours to get to a gym.

"They want to be healthy, but they're often too busy to take care of themselves. They take care of the almighty dollar, but if you don't have your health when you retire, then what's the point?"


2003


FOCUS ON EDUCATION

The Foodservice Industry reaches 1 million employees... 

The CRFA (Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association) reported recently that the hospitality industry has reached a record number of employees making it one of Canada’s largest employment sectors. Human Resources Development Canada continues to fear a shortage of skilled labour; they recently held their annual Skills Canada competition in Kitchener, ON. These headlines have a common theme: A Growing Demand for Chefs!

When you consider becoming a Chef, consider the following career opportunities:
· Personal Chef (canadianpersonalchefalliance.com)
· Food Stylist
· Caterer
· Recipe Development/Test Kitchen
· Food Promotions and Demonstrations
· Special Events Chef

The culinary industry has never been this exciting.

At their recent convention, the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks voted to change their name to the Canadian Culinary Federation in keeping with the growing list of culinary careers and diversity in the industry. Although the traditional careers continue to grow, these new and exciting possibilities in culinary arts open countless doors to new graduates.

The newest face in the culinary scene is the Personal Chef. Terry Henderson (President of the Canadian Personal Chef Alliance) is breaking new ground in Canada. Having “cheffed” for such celebrities as Denzel Washington & Brittany Murphy, Henderson sees a huge opportunity in this field. Personal Chefs are a staple in Europe and the U.S., but are just making their entrance into the Canadian culinary world. Recent articles in Canadian Business and Flare (among others) have increased awareness of the Personal Chef.

What does it take to foray into this dynamic career path?
A Personal Chef must be a great cook and an astute businessperson.
Along with a solid culinary background, Henderson is committed to increasing the professional level of his member Chefs. Henderson has, in partnership with Liaison College, developed Canada’s first and only Personal Chef Diploma Program. The program is designed to enhance a Chef’s culinary skills by giving them the additional skills they will need to succeed in the Personal Chef business. Included in these skills are marketing and promotion, in-home safety and food handling, food packaging and presentation, effective menu planning, proposal writing and much more. In addition to culinary training, the Personal Chef Diploma Program will enable the graduate to confidently enter into their new career as a Personal Chef.

For more information about becoming a Personal Chef, contact us.


With The Chef Alliance, a rewarding culinary career is within your grasp!