This week's guest is Philadelphia chef Kiki Aranita. You might know her from her Poi Dog food truck and subsequent restaurant of the same name. Unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic, she had to shut down her restaurant. But Poi Dog has returned in the form of a line of bottled condiments including guava katsu sauce and chili peppah water. We talk about the evolution of her business, deciding to close the restaurant, and what it was like to start a consumer packaged goods product line
Kiki was raised in both Hong Kong and Hawaii, so I really wanted to talk to her about her food experiences growing up, and why she chose to cook professionally. She also does a lot of food writing and recipe development for commercial brands. We discussed tips for those looking to work with brands. We also talked about her hobby of working with yarn, which has evolved from making dog sweaters to pieces that represent packaged foods such as Pocky and Takis. An exhibition of that work can concurrently be found at the Philadelphia International Airport until June 22'.
Sponsor- The United States Personal Chef Association
The Covid pandemic has clearly redefined the world of dining. Despite over 110,000 restaurants closing around the country, people still want the ambiance and social connectivity that is so critical to the dining experience. Over the past 27 years, the world of the personal chef has grown in importance to fulfill those dining needs. While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it provided an Avenue for personal chefs to close that dining gap.
Central to all of that is the United States Personal Chef Association. Representing nearly 1,000 chefs around the US and Canada, USPCA provides a strategic backbone for those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification, and more.
One of the big upcoming events for USPCA is their annual conference scheduled July 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, FL. Featuring a host of speakers and classes, the conference is a way for chefs to hone their skills and network with like-minded businesspeople. For those who supply the industry, it’s a chance to reach not just decision-makers but the actual buyers of products.
CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS
Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites