Dietetic Career Spotlight on Chef Allison Stevens, MS, RD, LD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Meet personal chef and registered dietitian, Allison Stevens, who provides her clients with gluten-free meals and meal plans. She also trains others to learn the art of being a personal chef! – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I’ve always had a passion for food, cooking & nutrition. I started cooking in high school and always enjoyed it. I’ve always believed that if you’re going to take time and effort to cook, the food should taste good and also be healthy.
Your Job Title and Company you are with now?
Owner of Prep Dish (a make-ahead, gluten-free meal planning website) & Prep Dish Personal Chefs (personal chef company cooking for private families in Austin, TX & a personal chef training program providing others the tools to launch a successful personal chef company)
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +: @PrepDish
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
I don’t have a typical work day! On days that I cook for personal chef clients, I wake up early review my priorities for the day and respond to emails for the day. I stay close to my phone as my interns buy groceries starting at 7a and often have questions. I cook in my client’s homes beginning at around 9am and go from 1-4pm depending on the day. But this is only Monday & Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday). Later in the week is never typical. I’m always up early getting important tasks done, everything from recipe testing to accounting to coaching other personal chefs to menu creation to social media. I often take a break mid-way through the day for yoga or a hike. I’ve found this time allows me to think through big ideas and not get too bogged down with minor details. I also dedicate time each week to going over long-term goals (either with my business coach or mastermind group).
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I created it.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born an entrepreneur. I remember selling friendship bracelets and developing lemonade stands in grade school, in high school I started a catering company and supplied my dad’s business with cookies for their board meetings. This continued to evolve through businesses in college into what I have today.
I went to school for nutrition & culinary arts. While cooking is something that requires natural talent, I agree with Malcolm Gladwell, you don’t become an “expert” in something until you have put in at least 10,000 hours. You only have an edge once you’ve put in your hours (for example, Bill Gates, he put in his hours, just at an early age). So while I love cooking, enjoy it and it seems to come naturally to me- I’ve put in my hours for sure!
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Always follow your passion. I wake up each morning motivated to work and do what I love. I’m the only one pushing myself but I enjoy it. My reward is helping people to eat healthier, better tasting food and as a result feel better and live better. The benefit I receive is more than a monetary pay off.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
I really do love what I do. I also love to travel, so if I could get paid to do that (without “working”), sure, that would be nice. For now, my work allows for me to travel so it works out nicely.