January 30, 2006

Welcome Stephanie!

Another important development in the arena of entrepreneurship and business management is that today I've hired my first regular (albeit part time) administrative assistant. Let me take this opportunity to publicly welcome S.L. to my company! It's a big step for me professionally, and I'm excited about it! (I wasn't even this giddy when I got my corporate credit card with the five-digit line of credit!)

I think she's going to do a great job. She's very professional and detail oriented. That's such a big deal for me, since there are so many details to what I do.

I hired her so that I can have a little more free time, but I think that's overly optimistic. I think having her on board is going to be more about stress-relief, since she'll alleviate the monkey-on-my-back stress I feel when looking at the stack of papers that's constantly staring at me, waiting to be processed.

Being a perfectionist, that sometimes means I won't do something that I can't do perfectly well. I'm also a procrastinator. Having SL here will help me to get past those things, since I can't put off what I need to do in order to make her be productive. This is going to be good.

I'm not sure if I can let go of answering the phone, though. I'll have to see how that part works out!

Last thing I ate or drank: Fuji apple. My favorite!

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January 29, 2006

Good things come in 3s

I just interviewed with a new client who wants a Personal Chef. Not to give away any secrets, but she's #65 in the Top 100 ____ of Los Angeles. And she's really, really nice. I'm going to like cooking for her, and for her family.

But yikes -- That makes three new Personal Chef clients this weekend.

This weekend alone!

< happy dance! > THREE! < /happy dance! >

Last thing I ate or drank: a diet pepsi, in the car. a guilty habit.

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January 27, 2006

Advertising a small business

This whole entrepreneur thing is quite the wild ride.

I've reached the point where I'm starting to get anxious about whether I'm going to piss off my current Personal Chef clients because my availability has been so dramatically reduced. In fact, I've got two meetings to meet potential clients this weekend.

Long gone are the days when people could phone me up and get a booking in the same week. Now it's more like two weeks out. Which is GREAT, for me, don't get me wrong, but I can't get around the bad feeling I get when someone calls and I tell them I'm not available to cook for them.

While I'm thrilled to be in demand, I'm just about as busy as I can manage by myself. I can do the cooking, and handle the parties and Personal Chef clients, it's the office work, the paperwork, that boggs me down.

I've stopped actively advertising. I am no longer paying for google ads, I've stopped pimping myself through flyers and business cards, and hee hee, I'm a hair's breadth away from covering up the phone number on my truck. Referrals from my current clients are fantastic. I also get several requests for business cards when I cater parties. My website is high in the list of resutls and gets a lot of hits that lead my target market to me. Things are going great.

Now, to add fuel to the fire, my Food TV show comes out on 2/8/06, and the reality show comes out after that. I know, people would kill for two TV shows focusing on their business, but right now I'm wondering if it's not so good in the realm of timing. What good is it to generate publicity if you can't handle the leads? If you can't actually work for the people who want to hire you?

**sigh** I feel like a jerk for complaining about that, because I'd be so sad if it was the other way around.

...and thanks, everyone, for all the sweet get-well wishes. I've abandoned the crutches and can limp along on both feet faster than if I were to use them. (Man, I hated having to go so slowly!)

Last thing I ate or drank: latte and home-made banana/sweetpotato bread.

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January 24, 2006

Poor planning! Bad, BAD planners!

The Academy Awards and the Super Bowl are scheduled for the exact same day? Are you serious? I'm thinking that there are going to be some FIGHTS over the teevee on a certain Sunday in March.

WHOOPS!     I'm a month off! I got stuck on seeing that they were both on the 5th, but neglected to see that the superbowl is scheduled for February 5th and the Oscars are scheduled for March 5th.

So I'll offer my apologies to the planners, whoever they are, if they felt dissed for a couple of hours there. So sorry!

And I'm still not booked for either of them yet, so who knows, I might be able to go to a party! (I love throwing themed parties, I get all Martha Stewart, I just can't help it!)

Last thing I ate or drank: nothing since I woke up...

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January 23, 2006

My company's first Employee Appreciation party!

On Saturday night, I held my first company party. I invited my whole roster of current employees to my home for a little drinkin' and eatin' and fun-makin'. It was a blast.

First off, I'm simply astounded that I have enough regular workers to throw a party for my staff. I made a little speech over the champagne toast, saying how there wouldn't be any Chef JoAnna, Inc. without them, and how much I appreciated all their work and support over the last year. Then I toasted their significant others. Then I toasted my husband for all the work he's done since the beginning of this endeavor. I'm not a religious person, but there's no way to explain my feelings except to say that I've been blessed to have such wonderful people around me.

Then, people took turns doing a "roast" of me. First they went around and gave "Chef JoAnna Quotes that should never appear on the website." Then we all talked about the wide variety of clients, the amazing and the horrible kitchens we've worked in, the biggest tips and the biggest jerks, the narrowly averted disasters, and the amazing success despite the adversity facing us on a given job.

It's been a great year.

I'm already looking forward to next year's party! If I can make a wish, it will be that so many of my staff will show up that I can't host it in my own home!

Last thing I ate or drank: breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast, with jam, and a glass of juice, served to me in bed by my wonderful husband. Still recovering from my ouchy, and I have a hard time getting around on my gimpy foot.

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January 20, 2006

January 19, 2006

another 15 minutes, gone to the dogs

I'd like to announce another installment of my 15 minutes of fame:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my name is going to be attached to two recipes on Food Network. The show that taped in October is going to be on a tv screen near you (well, provided you have cable) very soon.

My episode of "BBQ with Bobby Flay" will be showing on Food TV on February 8th. I'm quite psyched. It's going to be cool!

Oh... and no, Bobby Flay is not actually on the show, asking me for cooking tips or anything... AFAIK, he just tapes the segues and introductions, if any, and the show is just me, my staff, the grills and a bunch of dogs.

Yes, you might say my career has gone to the dogs. Don't know what I'm talking about? Tune in, sugar, you'll see!

but WOOOOO HOOOOO I'm going to be on FOOD TV!

Last thing I ate or drank: toooooooo much wine and some awesome pork tenderloin at a wine tasting dinner tonight.

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January 16, 2006

Gimpy the Chef

Where have I been? Well, I hurt myself at a hotel coming home from MacWorld. I stayed in Paso Robles, at a place with mineral spring jacuzzi tubs, and while getting out of it, I scraped my leg on some cracked tiles. It was pretty bad. Like, call the paramedics bad. On Friday the 13th. Nice, huh?!

Long story short, I've been spending most of my time trying to get around, hobbling to and fro. I can't stand for long periods of time, and oh my gawd Kelly has been cooking for me because I can't make food for myself!

Sheesh! It took me 90 minutes to take a shower this morning. Silly crap like that has made me very depressed and cranky. Want to go downstairs where the tv is and watch a movie? spend 5 minutes going down the stairs, on crutches. Oops, forgot my slippers! Spend another 10 trying to go back up, then another 5 to go back down.

Oh, and the good news -- I've got a 15-guest multi-course tapas party tomorrow night!

In a brief conversation with an attorney, I was told that if a family member helps me with anything, whether personal or for business, it's not recompensable, but if I have to outsource work to a hired third party, I should pay them with a check (not cash) and keep track of those payments; they will ultimately be reimbursed through the hotel's insurance. I include this here in case it happens to anyone else. I wouldn't have known that except for the attorney's consultation.

So I'll be hiring one of my workers to help me load my truck and get all the equipment ready for tomrrow. Then, I'm hiring a sous-chef through a staffing company for tomorrow night. I'm going to supervise. From a chair. This is going to suck.

Last thing I ate or drank: Breakfast in bed, served by my wonderful husband. And the best part? Today's my birthday.

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January 11, 2006

Anyone got a sharpie?

chef JoAnna at macworld in San Francisco 2006

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Do you use an RSS to read ChefBlog?

Would you please just post a quick YES in the comments if you can access ChefBlog via RSS? It seems to be working fine for me, but others have told me it doesn't work for them, so I'd like to do a quick "show of hands" to see if anyone else can get it to work. Thanks!

January 08, 2006

Proof Positive?


If Yahoo says it, it must be true!

hee hee hee

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January 06, 2006

The article in the L.A. Times has people up in arms...

Click here to read the article that all the Los Angeles food bloggers are whining about.

when you google "Los Angeles food blog", my blog is consistently in the top five entries, and my blog isn't mentioned in the article. and I've been blogging about food and cooking since 2002! I don't care whether I'm mentioned, as I don 't advertise on my blog, nor do I sell anything, but it sure does say a lot for that reporter's lack of research skills!

...and there's a handful of people out there who like my blog!

Last thing I ate or drank: a latte and home made banana walnut bread

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Could I be the Geekiest Chef in Los Angeles?

so, remember how I did that whole thing last december for Microsoft, with the photos and the interview? No? ok, then click here to refresh your memory.

Microsoft approached me again, and this time they're taking me with them to MacWorld in San Francisco! They came to Los Angeles, did an even bigger photo shoot (They hired someone do my makeup this time, instead of fixing my photos in photoshop - It's the photo that I use in the right margin over there) and they did a video shoot at the farmers market in Santa Monica. They promised to send me some photos after things settle down, but they did get my approval on the main photos:
Macworld 2006 photo shoot - Chef JoAnna - Microsoft Excel     Macworld 2006 photo shoot - Chef JoAnna - Microsoft Virtual PC
(click to open larger image in it's own window)

This is what I look like with professionally done make up and hair, and a lighting crew, and expert photography and retouching. Where are these people, and why can't they do this for me every day of my life? ;-) Oh, and it's "fake" cooking, that's why I'm not wearing anything on my head. LOL....

I'll have to make sure that I get a picture of myself in front of the giant poster of myself! And I haven't seen the movie they shot yet, but I'm sure it's going to be surreal. This whole thing is surreal!! People kept coming up to the cameraman and asking him who I was, and what this was all for. The people working the booths were very funny, hamming it up for the camera. You know what's damn near impossible? Avoiding looking directly at the camera lens. Also, keeping the fits of giggles inside was pretty tough. Luckily, they didn't do too many takes of the shots, so I didn't have to keep doing/saying the same things over and over and over. It's funny, anything that they had me rehearse or practice, I screwed up, but anything spontaneous they kept. They were really great, and very patient with me, so it was cool.

Anyway, as long as Bill Gates is paying for my travel, I've decided to drive instead of fly, thereby stretching this out into a little mini-vacation. I'm driving up the coast, staying in Pismo on the way up, and Paso Robles on the way down.

It's going to be like Thelma and Louise, but only one girl, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to end the same way. So not at all like Thelma and Louise. Nevermind.

Last thing I ate or drank: a piece of not-very-good hard candy. I should have just spit it out, but it didn't last all that long.

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January 05, 2006

Finally something worth blogging about

I got my leaky sink replaced today, and now I've got a sprayer. We had one at our old place, and it's surprising how much I'd missed it. At some point in between when the plumber put it in and when he finished, I saw that there was a sprayer on the new faucet and I danced around for a minute. woo hoo!

If I got that excited about a silly little plastic sink sprayer imagine how psyched I'd be if I could computerize my entire kitchen!

I kid you not: I was just telling my dear Kelly that I wanted a barcode scanner for my kitchen! That would be sooooo cooooool!!

Click here to see even more oddball cooking toys. That I don't need. Much.

A ha! <rubs hands like a mad scientist > I will get him the mashed potato machine and he'll get me the barcode scanner. That seems like a fair trade!

Last thing I ate or drank: decaf earl gray with a bit of milk. niceness.

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