When I first met with Sasha Shemirani and Chris Sabat from HDK Media Group to talk about doing the new video for the Personal Chef Approach™, I was floored by how well they understood the PCA and how it works. I guess I’m a sexist, because I often forget the Personal Chef Approach™ is as equally useful to single men, as it is to women with families. I knew I’d found the the perfect production company instantly – they came to the table armed with the right questions, insight, and creative ideas to clarify the technique.

Back in the day

Camera ready back in the day

Their enthusiasm pushed me beyond any camera shyness – along with Jess Berrios’ infectiously positive energy on the morning of the shoot.  Trust me, the magic of her professional hair and make-up goes a long way towards calming nerves and building confidence. I’d forgotten how great it feels to be pampered and transformed into a camera ready Goddess, thank you Jess!

Jess Berrios working her magicMeanwhile, PCA member and TV host Aja Dang (check out the beauty in the mirror below – you’ll be watching her host her own television show on FX come September) filled in as assistant production supervisor. It was such an honor to have someone as experienced in front of the camera as she is behind it – to help ensure everything looked great and ran smoothly!

Assistant production supervisor Aja Dang

Assistant production supervisor Aja Dang

While I was busy being beautified, the guys shot some b-roll of a well stocked PCA fridge. I do practice what I preach, because the last thing I want to do is cook again when I come home from a long day of cooking for clients. The up side to being single? I usually only have to cook once or twice a month since I freeze the extra servings of each meal for future dinners. Larger households can use the PCA recipe scaler to easily double or triple recipes, so they stretch their cook dates too.

Sasha & Chris from HDK Media Group

Sasha & Chris in action

Of course Daisy got involved too. She never took her big brown eyes off of food stylist Cindy Pangalos whizzing back and forth – waiting for her chance to abscond with some treats, but Cindy was too wise for that old trick.

Cindy Pangalos - food stylist

To be a great food stylist, you have to have a very steady hand and the patience of a saint. I lack both attributes, so it was a relief to know Cindy would be there! She made sure the set and plated food looked great, so I could concentrate on cooking (and trying to remember everything I wanted to say to you).

Jewels taking direction from Sasha Shemirani

Jewels taking direction from Sasha Shemirani

Once I was ready for my close up, we did a quick run through of the script, and the cameras were ready to roll. Cooking on camera means having at least two sets of ingredients for each recipe ready to go, as well as the occasional swap out (finished product waiting in the wings when the actual cook time

... annnnnd cook!

… annnnnd cook!

would be too long).  Even though it was our first shoot together, the whole team worked like a well oiled machine, and we got almost all the food in one take! Complete with seductive cheese pulls on the Chicken Parmesan, and mouthwateringly juicy slices of steak.


As you know, I normally do all my own food photos, so it was especially exciting for me to watch my food shot by pros. Don’t worry, I was taking notes on plenty of lighting and other tips, so you can expect future recipe photos to be more enticing than ever.

Photographing the results

Photographing the results

I showed my gratitude by sending the crew home with plenty of food for the coming week, and Daisy very happily got in on that action too. She certainly knows how to convey the message, perhaps she should star in the next video?

Daisy's verdict?

Daisy’s verdict? Yum!

While I ran away on holiday for a few weeks, Sasha and Chis deftly edited what we shot into an end product I am very proud to share with all of you!



Is it clear how the Personal Chef Approach™ can turn your dinner impossible into dinner accomplished now? Feel free to ask any questions you might have, let me know what you think in the comment section below, and please DO be social – share it with all of your friends! Not only do I hope we’ve cured your kitchen phobia, if we’ve done our job well – you should be hungry too, so I’ll leave you to enjoy my Chicken Parmesan recipe below…

PS. A HUGE thank you shout out to HDK Media Group, and everyone else involved. You made work masquerade as fun, and certainly delivered the goods!

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Savory, aromatic tomato sauce and lusciously gooey melted mozzarella cheese coat each tender yet crispy flavor-packed bite. This classic Italian dish is traditionally made with chicken, veal, or even eggplant for the vegetarians in your life, but I like to switch it up a bit with turkey cutlets occasionally too.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


Chicken Parmesan

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided, plus more for spaghetti if desired
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounce canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped or torn, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley chopped, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano chopped, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3/4 cups Panko
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 chicken cutlets (4-6 ounces each)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 cups spaghetti optional, cooked to package directions


Chicken Parmesan

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and wine, simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs. Season to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flour and granulated garlic on a plate; and the panko, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, dried basil, and dried oregano in a small bowl. Whisk together the eggs and milk in another small bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Dredge the chicken cutlets, one at a time, first in the flour (shaking off any excess) then dip in the egg, and into the panko to coat evenly all over. Carefully slide into the heated oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until browned and chicken is just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, turning once or twice.
  4. In another saucepan, cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil; set aside.
  5. Pour the tomato sauce in with the chicken cutlets, sprinkle mozzarella over the top, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover for 2-3 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot with remaining Parmesan sprinkled on top. Serve with spaghetti or spaghetti squash and garlic roasted broccoli (or vegetable of choice).

Heat To Eat

Vent lid of container and heat in microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes, or until just heated through.


Try with veal or turkey cutlets instead of chicken.


You can lighten this dish up by skipping the egg and bread crumbs, and just dredging the chicken lightly in seasoned flour; or substituting my oven fried Chicken Parmesan Tenders recipe.

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  • July 31, 2013
    9:06 am

    I love “behind the scence” stuff. Thank you for sharing.