Personal Chef Services

Cook-A-Doodle-Doo Is In The News

2008 Personal Chef of the Year: Allison Coia

July 1, 2008- From the CEO and President of Personal Chefs Network

Brent and I are excited to reveal the winners of the 2008 Golden Whisk Awards!!!!! Please help us congratulate the following member of Personal Chefs Network. Each of them represent industry movers and shakers and we are proud to have y'all in our midst. Without delay, congratulations!

Best New Marketing Idea 2004 - Personal Chefs Network

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: Last-Minute Holiday Cookies

By Emily Ryan, For 21st Century Media

Read Emily Ryan's article on last minute holiday cookies, including a recipe from Allison

First Year, Fourth Issue - March 2005

Leave the Cooking to Coia

When Allison J. Coia lost her job in the travel industry after Sept. 11, 2001, she decided to follow in her family's footsteps. "I grew up with a family who was always cooking," says Coia, whose parents owned Coia's Delicatessen in Norwood.. "It was a natural [Career] for me."

In October 2001, Coia started Cook-A-Doodle-Doo, a Personal Chef Service. More than 3 years later, the business is something to crow about. "It's a great service for people who don't have time to cook, who don't like to cook, who can't physically cook, or who just want to be pampered," she says.

There are about 6,000 Personal Chef businesses in the United State, according to the United States Personal Chef Association. More than 60,000 clients spend about $200 million each year on Personal Chefs.

Coia's clients choose from her menu offerings, or they trust her to choose the dishes for them. She arrives at the client's kitchen with everything from spices to trash cans. "It's a kitchen on wheels."

The visit lasts from three to five hours, and she leaves the kitchen spotless. Generally, each visit produces 20 servings - 10 meals for a couple --which can be frozen and heated. She's cooked individual meals for as many as five family members.

Coia has clients in Chester, Montgomery and Delaware Counties, as well as Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. For more information, call 610-331-6231 or visit,

March/April 2003 - Philly Style Magazine


Step Four: Eat Like A King

HIRE A PERSONAL CHEF If you're more of a homebody (yes rock stars do stay in occasionally), you must have your own personal chef. Tap Allison Coia of Cook-A-Doodle-Doo to do the job. For just $350, she'll cook up two weeks' worth of dinners: things like brie and caramelized onion-stuffed chicken breasts, mushroom stuffed pork tenderloin, flank steak teriyaki and lemongrass beef. The price includes food planning and grocery shopping, and she'll even leave you with your own personalized menu. For an extra $35 an hour, she'll also clean and organize your pantry, cabinets and fridge. And for $125, plus the cost of groceries, she'll whip you up a gourmet breakfast of freshfruit, fresh squeezed orange juice, Belgian waffles, assorted pastries and eggs cooked to order, while you hang around the manse in your Burberry pajamas and kick back with the paper.

Aston Chef With MS Walks 50 Miles to End The Disease.

March 27th, 2007 | Category: Medical
CONTACT: Linda Smith or Kevin Wheeler

Local Resident Treks 50 Miles To End MS

August, 2003 — No one dare tell Allison Coia that she is sick. This determined 39-year old Aston resident, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago. This October 10-12, she will trek 50 miles over three days in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Challenge Walk. She plans to raise more than $3000 to help end MS.

In February 2002, I had my first big attack, says Coia. It was a very stressful time for me work wise. Thirty minutes after I got an upsetting phone call my hands weren’t working right and by the end of the night I didn’t have any use of my left hand at all. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic unpredictable neurological disease affecting more than 400,000 Americans. The symptoms, which can range from fatigue and blurred vision, to paralysis and blindness, can come and go without warning. For a person with MS,even putting one foot in front of the other can be a challenge. I’ve experienced vertigo, numbness and tingling on my left side, Says Coia. But I also feel very fortunate as far as my physical abilities go.

Coia is not the kind of person to let MS stand in the way of accomplishing anything. Since being diagnosed, she traded in her desk job in information technology to start her own personal chef business. Now, rather than sitting in a cubicle, she cooks gourmet meals for clients who don’t have the time or physical ability to cook for themselves.

I totally went in the opposite direction of what I was doing and I love it, says Coia. That kind of will power runs in the family. Allison Coia’s older sister Kathy also struggles with MS. Together, the sisters have completed two walks for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Last year, Allison also rode her bike 150 miles in the 2-day MS 150.

The MS Challenge Walk will begin October 10 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. More than 600 people, most of whom have been touched by MS, will walk from historic Philadelphia through the rural Montgomery County and back. Their motivations may vary, but they all will raise awareness of MS and mony needed to advance scientific research and fund support services. I'm confident that I'll make it,says Coia. I always have numbness and tingling in my left-hand and left foot. I'm more concerned with blisters and tendonitis. That kind ofcommitment is one of the reasons Coia recently received the MS Leadership Award, which honors Philadelphia area professionals who'vemade an outstanding contribution to the business, civic and cultural betterment of our community.

The biggest challenge is never knowing what tomorrow brings. Mentally it’s kind of tough on you, says Coia. But I think that things happen for a reason. Somebody up there knows that I will get out there, bring awareness, and raise money. And so, why sit back when I am physically able to participate and do events like this??

Five-alarm firehouse chili fires up appetites

Chef Allison Coia dons a firefighter's helmet to sample her five-alarm firehouse chili.


Personal chef Allison Coia of Aston, Pa., helps busy families and single people in parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey organize their meals though the Cook-A-Doodle personal chef service. The service is available in New Castle County in Delaware; Delaware, Chester, lower Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Gloucester and Salem counties in New Jersey.

One of her clients loved this chili recipe, which can be enjoyed throughout the week as leftovers.


  • 2 pounds top round or chuck steak - cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 cup coffee (brewed strong)
  • 1 1/2 cans crushed tomatoes in purée (28-ounce can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/3 chipolte pepper, packed in adobe sauce (found in specialty stores)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cans red kidney beans (19-ounce can), drained
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons flour (see note)
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons cornmeal (see note)
  • 2/3 cup water (see note)

Season meat with salt and pepper and brown in the olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add onion and pepper and cook until the onion becomes transparent. Add water and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Add all but the last three ingredients and simmer uncovered until the flavors are married and the meat is very tender, about 30 minutes.

If the chili is to your desired thickness, omit last three ingredients. Remove bay leaf and adjust seasonings.

Note: If you like a thicker chili, you can blend flour, cornmeal and water together and whisk into simmering chili, stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes or less

Philadelphia Daily News Article dated 4/3/02

Posted on Wed, Apr. 03, 2002
Dish it like a pro
By April Adamson
[email protected]

THEY AREN'T caterers or housekeepers, they're personal chefs, pros who arrive at your house with food, cook a week's worth of meals, clean the kitchen and then leave, taking all the trash as they go.

Personal chefs are becoming all the rage, their services requested not just by the wealthy but by seniors, working professionals and busy families with kids. A service offering full grocery shopping and two weeks of prepared dinners averages $300. For a week of dinners, it's even less.

"The need for personal chefs is growing," said Cook-A-Doodle-Do's Alison Coia, who cooks in the Philadelphia area. "There are more of us now, and people are seeing personal chefs and what they do."

But many home cooks would still love to be able to do it themselves, organizing a week's worth of healthy dinners in just a few hours. So the Daily News roped in a half-dozen personal chefs and persuaded them to share their deepest kitchen secrets.

Gourmet on Wednesday? No problem. Chilled, then grilled? No problem. Dinner for four in 15 minutes? No problem. It's all possible with this advice from the personal chefs.

Get going!

So you want to spend a Sunday organizing the week's worth of dinners but don't know where to start? Coia, of Philly's Cook-A-Doodle-Doo, shares some techniques to improve your kitchen savvy.

Pay attention to smell, taste and appearance when cooking. A digital thermometer helps to ensure doneness.

_ Have fun and be patient. "No one is perfect, and mistakes will happen, but don't let them get in the way," said Coia.

_ Stay organized. When you're done with an ingredient, spice, utensil or pot, wash it and put it back. And keep your countersclean. "All I leave out on my work area are salt, pepper and olive oil."

_ Fill your kitchen with versatile ingredients. Coia suggests keeping these in stock:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Grains and canned beans
  • Flour
  • Sugar and Baking Soda
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard and Chutney
  • Broths and Stocks
  • Canned meats or seafood
  • Vinegars
  • Oils
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Canned Veggies and Fruits
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salsa and other ethnic products
  • Breads

Make a list before grocery shopping, "but don't be afraid to substitute an ingredient." And use the store salad bar when a recipe calls for a small amount of one ingredient, instead of buying too much.

As for that chillin' and grillin', marinate meats, poultry and some seafood in freezer bags and stow in the freezer immediately. Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator, then pop on the grill.

Delaware County Sunday Times dated 6/23/02

28 Delaware County Daily Times
Sunday, June 23, 2002

Meals are a snap with personal chef

By Terry Peters
Times Correspondent

Aston cook/owner of Cook-A-Doodle-Doo will put delicious meals on your table

Aston- Who hasn’t dreamed of arriving home from a hard day’s work and finding the kitchen alive with mouth-watering aromas and a complete meal, ready to eat. That dream can now be a reality thanks to Allison Coia, a self-described “personal chef.” Coia is the owner/operator of Cook-A-Doodle-Doo, a personal chef service that will design your menu, purchase the ingredients, arrive with all cookware and cutlery needed, create the dinner, package the leftovers, and clean up the kitchen afterward.

“Our service begins with a free culinary consultation to evaluate the client’s tastes and needs,” Coia said. “During the interview, we get to know the client’s eating preferences, favorite foods, food dislikes and any dietary requirements, which assists us when making a client’s menu selections.” During the interview, Coia will learn the kitchen’s layout, meet your family pets and determine the client’s expectations. “Many of my clients hire Cook-A-Doodle-Doo to make enough food for two weeks, or 10 dinners,” she said. “Many of these clients are too busy to cook.”A two-week meal plan costs $350, which includes everything for two people.In this situation, Coia spends a day in the client’s kitchen, creating the 10 meals, which are then labeled and refrigerated or frozen.

Coia’s flexibility also extends to the number of meals she will prepare – from one dinner or dinner party, up to a monthly meal plan. When Coia leaves, the client’s kitchen is spotless. Coia even brings her own trash can and removes all cooking-related trash. “The only way you know I was there is by the great smell when you walk in the front door,” she said.

Cook-A-Doodle-Doo’s menu choices are extensive, ranging from vegetarian dishes to specifically prepared, heart-healthy menus. “If you don’t see your favorite dish on my menu, I will be happy to discuss this during our interview,” Coia said. “We aim to please and make every meal the best you ever tasted.”

When Coia shops for food, she purchases fresh vegetables and herbs, top quality meats and the freshest fish available, she said. Coia comes from a cooking family, she said. Her late mother, Madalyn taught her “the tricks of the trade.” The family owned a delicatessen in Norwood, where Coia learned much about foods. “A lot of people don’t know that we are out there,” she said.

I travel to Chester, Lower Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, as well as to New Jersey and Delaware.” Cook-A-Doodle-Doo is perfect for busy families on the go, new parents, singles, convalescents, people with special dietary needs, and for friends who have “everything.”

Gift Certificates are available.

To learn more about Cook-A-Doodle-Doo, call 610-331-6231 or visit Coia’s Website at Prices for individual meals, dinner parties, and various other plans are listed on the Website.


For information and a FREE consultation, please call 610-331-6231 or fill out the form below.

Serving the Following Areas

Delaware County, PA - Aldan, Aston, Boothwyn, Brookhaven, Broomall, Bryn Mawr, Chadds Ford, Chester Twp, Chester Heights, Chesterbrook, Cheyney, Clifton Heights, Collingdale, Concordville, Crum Lynne, Darby, Drexel Hill, East Lansdowne, Eddystone, Edgemont, Elwyn, Essington, Folcroft, Folsom, Garnet Valley, Glen Mills, Glen Riddle, Glen Riddle Lima, Glenolden, Gradyville, Havertown, Holmes, Lansdowne, Lenni, Lester, Lima,Linwood, Manoa, Marcus Hook, Media, Morton, Moylan, Newtown Square, Norwood, Primos, Prospect Park,Radnor, Ridley Park, Rose Valley, Rutledge, Secane, Sharon Hill, Springfield, Swarthmore, Thornton, Upper Darby, Villanova, Wallingford, Wayne.

Chester County, PA - Avondale, Berwyn, Chadds Ford, Chester Springs, Coatesville,Cochranville, Devon, Downingtown, East Fallowfield Township, Exton, Frazer, Glenmoore, Immaculata, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Lionville, Main Line, Malvern, Menndenhall, Norristown, Paoli, Pocopson, Thorndale, Tredyffrin, Unionville, Uwchland, West Chester, West Grove, Westtown

Montgomery County, PA - Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Blue Bell, Bryn Mawr, Conshohocken, Gladwyne, Haverford, King of Prussia, Main Line, Merion Station, Plymouth Meeting, West Conshohocken, Wyndwood

New Castle County, DE - Wilmington, Greenville, Centerville. Hockessin

Gloucester County, NJ - Mullica Hill

Salem County, NJ

Camden County, NJ - Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, Cherry Hill

Philadelphia, PA

If you do not see your area listed, call or email to see if I'm available in that area.

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