Dinner parties. They’re where friendships are sealed and the holidays are celebrated. But not all dinner parties are created equal. With the holidays upon us, we wondered which cities know how to host the best dinner parties by bringing in a professional chef for the food.
Every month, thousands of people come to Thumbtack to request personal chefs for a one-time event like a dinner party. To find out which cities throw the best dinner parties, our data scientists looked at all personal chef requests across the country and assigned 70 cities with a healthy supply of personal chefs a “Dinner Party Index” score, based on their level of supply to demand (since higher supply leads to more options for consumers), average personal chef prices, and ratings of the personal chefs in the area.
The city that really knows how to throw a great dinner party? Poughkeepsie, New York! It has lots of highly rated personal chefs in the area at competitive prices – the average cost was $597.00 per party. It was followed by Bridgeport, Connecticut and Boulder, Colorado. Also high on the list was Durham, North Carolina which had very highly rated chefs and one of the lowest average prices for a party at $343.06. The most expensive place to throw a party with a personal chef is New Haven, with an average cost of $819.11. Overall in the U.S., the average cost to throw a dinner party with a personal chef is $460.63.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most commonly requested cuisine type for dinner parties is standard American fare, with over half of requests indicating that they’re interested in chefs that are able to prepare that type of food (note: requests can indicate a preference for more than one cuisine type). Italian was a close second; almost 40 percent of dinner party hosts and hostesses said they’d love to serve pasta and pizza. Chefs with a background in Mediterranean and French foods were also in high demand as over a quarter of requests asked for those particular specialities. Still, these are far from the only types of cuisine requested: many people use Thumbtack to serve BBQ, Chinese, or even Caribbean food at their dinner parties. (Mouse over the interactive chart bars to see percentages by cuisine.)
The worst cities to throw a dinner party with the help of a personal chef? Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. All three had very few personal chefs offering their services despite reasonable demand from consumers (aspiring chefs, take note).
You can explore how different cities in the entire U.S. rate for personal chefs and the average cost in those areas on the interactive map below. The darker the green circle, the higher an area rates on the Dinner Party Index; the bigger the circle the more personal chefs are in the area.