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Berkeley Chefs

Browse these chefs with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Berkeley.

Chef Pete Coleman
4.9
from 152 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 271 hires on Thumbtack
Dalila S.
Verified review

We were looking for catering services for our small and intimate wedding during December 2015. Food was a big part of the event, but we also had a limited budget, so we shopped around to find someone that would fit our needs. Pete understood our menu concept right away and was able to work with our budget. He didn't fuzz about small details that we wanted to incorporate and went above and beyond to make them happen. He even provided ideas on how to improve the overall experience, not just the food. We interviewed lots of chefs and catering companies and we couldn't be happier about working with Pete. Our foodie friends and family members praised the food, the presentation was extraordinary and the service was very professional. Pete also provided support for the drinks, bringing with him a great mixologist that crafted creative drinks for the crowd. Finally, the next morning Pete prepared brunch for guests that spent the night at the venue (and ourselves) and even tho some things did not go as planned for him (the professional oven broke down!), he was able to have everything ready flawlessly by the time we woke up. Thank you Pete for taking care of such important part of our event! We are looking forward to working with you again.

  • 12 years in business
  • 165 hires on Thumbtack
Patrick L.
Verified review

Chef Sat did a spectacular job for my girlfriend's birthday party! I had two previous chefs flake out on me, the first being completely unresponsive, and the second not answering a request for a quote and then going completely over budget. Sat stepped in with only a few days to organize, and was more professional and invested in the event than I could have hoped for. Sat listened carefully as I rambled about which ingredients I was hoping to include on the menu, and provided great feedback about what would be in season, what we would be able to find with good quality, and how we could break from a traditional menu in order to squeeze in as much variety as possible. He patiently revised his menu 4-5 times for me to address every detail I could throw at him - and, remember, this was all with under a week to plan the event. Sat also helped me rent dishware, and was very transparent about what would be needed, and what things would cost - this was a huge time saver. At the party, Sat was charismatic and charming. He thoroughly cleaned the entire kitchen and packaged all our leftovers while we ate. He fielded our questions about his background, cooking techniques, sourcing tools and ingredients. The Bottom line, I would hire Sat again in a heartbeat. Thanks for the wonderful evening!

A Plus Catering
4.4
from 101 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 168 hires on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

A-Plus staff (chef/server and bartender) arrived early and went right to work as we had 175 guests. Bartender quickly organized the bar and made pitchers of signature drinks to get ahead of the coming rush of guests. Hot appetizers were prepared and served to hungry arriving guests. Great service by the A-Plus team. We will use again!

Top Pro
Made With Love
4.9
from 80 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 100 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Alex M.
Verified review

We had a wonderful experience. Debbie was warm, professional, and an excellent chef. Ask for the chicken parm!

Top Pro
Kitchenina.com
4.9
from 79 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 116 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jennifer D.
Verified review

Kitchenina was a great solution for our school. We were looking for a vendor who provided great food and price given that we're a non profit. The service and responsiveness was fantastic; the food delicious. We were happy to have the food delivered hot, the cold food delivered cold, and our team worked to display it along with Kitchenina staff beautifully. I would highly recommend Kitchenina.

Top Pro
Bouquet Catering
5.0
from 73 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 102 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Dana M.
Verified review

I have worked with many chefs in the past and Stephanie stood out as exceptional not only for the wonderful food she made, but also for her easy going nature and ability to accommodate our many additions requests. She truly went above and beyond and our event was a great success due to her hard work. I am looking forward to working with her in the future and I hughkg recommend her.

Quiche and Carry
4.6
from 66 reviews
  • 100 hires on Thumbtack
James H.
Verified review

The food was amazing. The chef sent to my house (Chef Matthew) took care of all my guests and made us all feeling special and amazing. The food was top notch and I have enjoyed the extra that was left over all week. I will definitely use you again because it was all exactly what I hoped for.

Top Pro
Celebrations by Chet Chase
5.0
from 55 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 76 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Mary R.
Verified review

Having worked with a few different chefs, with varying results, I can enthusiastically recommend Chet Chase! From start to finish, working with him was a pleasure. Prior to my event, Chet proactively responded to my requests, suggesting options, working with my budget and numbers - and adjusting the menu when my numbers changed. During my event, Chet and his assistants were thorough, on-time, organized, adding an item on the fly, and provided a seamless experience. And something I have not seen from other chefs - clean, stocked with their own cleaning supplies, and left the kitchen as clean as it ever was. I will definitely be using Chet Chase for my next event!

Top Pro
Graceful Kitchen
4.8
from 54 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 62 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Derald A.
Verified review

Chef Grace prepared two tasty meals for us; Friday dinner and a Sunday brunch. The breakfast casserole is amazing! I highly, highly recommend her.

Personal Chef Sean
5.0
from 47 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 55 hires on Thumbtack
Bob N.
Verified review

Chef Sean was engaging, fun, and very personable. Food was unique great quality and tasting. I've hired a few chefs, and Sean was the best. You will not be disappointed!

Top Pro
Dani Bensimon Catering
4.8
from 46 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 81 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Chasity D.
Verified review

Daniellas food is hands down the most amazing I've ever had v the pleasure of tasting. From her breath taking presentation to the exquisite taste.... absolutely delicious! I wouldn't just refer her i would recommend her to any and all! Simply devine!

  • 13 years in business
  • 57 hires on Thumbtack
Bobby S.
Verified review

The best chef EVER!

Rose Johnson Catering
4.9
from 34 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
Patricia H.
Verified review

Rose Johnson Catering was my party partner for our son’s engagement celebration last weekend in Orinda. The party was a huge success, and Rose and her team deserve much credit for the success. Rose responded to my Thumbtack inquiry with a prompt, thorough, and reasonable bid. However, after viewing her beautiful website, I replied to Rose that while I personally thought her menus were perfection, my son had specified that he did not want the food for his party to be “too fancy.” I told Rose the party would be a casual afternoon affair on our deck and I feared her culinary talents would be wasted on my son and my husband. Rose persevered, pointing out in her reply that she could do a barbecue with a southwestern flavor. The food need not be "fancy," she observed, but it should be tasty. And she sent me a custom menu that my son, his fiancée, my sisters, my husband and I all proclaimed perfect, including seared medium rare tri-tip of beef with chimichurri sauce, grilled cilantro chicken with tortillas, chipotle laced potato salad, and Mexican rice, bean, and corn salad. But Rose did not stop with sending me the menu; she said she would use my kitchen and grill on my deck, ensuring the food would be fresh as well as tasty. And after I hired her, she came to my home to check out my kitchen, my deck, and my grill and advised me on renting and setting up dining rounds and serving tables, as well as how to ensure good traffic flow for 50 guests. Rose is a real party expert, and I am not, so her advice was very much appreciated. The day of the party, Rose, Floricel and Esteban arrived a full two hours early and took charge. I hired Rose Johnson Catering for the food, which they delivered beautifully. As it turned out, they helped with the entire party, going above and beyond in many instances and showing poise and flexibility in the face of surprises, like my son’s decision to give a speech and set off a round of champagne toasts before dessert. Rose poured the champagne herself. Several guests asked me during the party: Who catered this? Who is your caterer? I happily provided several referrals to Rose Johnson Catering. Guest comments about the food were very positive: Mike: “The tri-tip was great.” Helen: “The grilled chicken was fabulous.” Kay: “I loved the potato salad. And the guacamole was wonderful.” Liz: “So nice to have so many dishes gluten-free.” Cindy: “The brownies were amazing. I told them so.” Bill: “Those parfaits were a big hit.” Matt: “Great food! Great service!” There was plenty of food for 50 guests, even with 1/3 of them being hungry 20-something friends of my son’s from high school and college. We even had leftovers, which Rose packed up and left in my refrigerator, along with leaving my kitchen cleaner than she found it. My husband, son, future daughter-in-law and I made a brunch of the leftovers the next day, sharing the delicious food and happy memories of a wonderful party. Best of all, this was the first party I’ve ever hosted where I had a great time myself. I don’t think I’ll have another big party again without booking Rose Johnson Catering!

Top Pro
LL Services
5.0
from 27 reviews
  • 29 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jim U.
Verified review

Absolutely the best ever food service and presentation. I have hosted over A dozen dinner parties in the last two years with three different chefs. I will only use Lucas going foreward!!

Rainbow Chefs Bay Area
4.7
from 29 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 64 hires on Thumbtack
Christien T.
Verified review

An associate recommended Rainbow Chefs to provide the food for an event I was planning for a family gathering. I decided to go through with their services. There were kids and adults participating so I was a little nervous about how it would go, but everyone had a great time! It was so fun and interactive for the kids. The food was delicious! Would definitely recommend Rainbow Chefs!

Top Pro
Phiesty Food Catering
4.9
from 23 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 18 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Tenneh F.
Verified review

Cheri has provided catering twice for my family and friends. The food was delicious and excellent servings. She is a professional chef and is very serious about her work and talent. I would highly recommend her. Not only is she good at cooking and preparation, but also good at negotiating financially to fit a budget for the needed menu. Have you tried her lemon pound cake? Desserts, etc... Those tender barbeque beef ribs. I cannot wait for more - hopefully soon... Thank you Cheri. Tenneh, Oakland, CA

Top Pro
PCJames
4.8
from 22 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 40 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Nilufar K.
Verified review

We had a wonderful time with Chef James. He was so professional and made our dinner experience so memorable. We asked Chef James to let his creative juices flow and surprise us with his recipe (all we asked was that the meals were seasonal and refreshing). He came back with a luau themed meal including: ceviche, apple cabbage salad with ginger sauce, tomato and chard salad, AMAZING tamales, and much, much more. He also brought his own cookware! Thank you for a fun night, chef!

Chef Auri's Suga Dotz
4.9
from 19 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 23 hires on Thumbtack
Alice C.
Verified review

We used chef Auri for my son's birthday cake and she did a fantastic job. She's very responsive and came up with some great suggestions for the cake design. On the day she arrived early. The cake looked amazing and tasted great - my son and his friends were very happy. Thank you!

Top Pro
Mise En Place
5.0
from 17 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 12 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Elaine Y.
Verified review

So glad we hired Dan from Mise En Place for our most recent dinner party! After discussing options with him, we went with the Kokkari-inspired menu on his website. It tasted exactly like the dishes we've had there so many times. Amazing. We've already booked him for another party in a few weeks. So happy we found Mise En Place on Thumbtack — Dan's now our go-to home chef!

  • 9 years in business
  • 13 hires on Thumbtack
Landia S.
Verified review

If I could give Avocado & Company a hundred starts I absolutely would. From the service to the food to everything in between, they will take care of you like no other. The team came into our wedding venue and each and every person hit the ground running, they work with the flawless execution of a well-oiled machine. Chef Aaron is a master and everything was very tasty (and honestly, on top of that really just the nicest guy). I love asian food so our menu had a bit of asian fusion mixed in, and he nailed it. Guests raved about the appetizers and entrees (duck confit was life-changing for more than a couple guests, one even asked later if it was from a restaurant because he had to have more of it) Everyone was impressed at the attentiveness, consideration, and friendliness of the servers. We had a bubble tea bar setup at our reception, something that Avocado and Company’s bartender had never worked with prior, but she learned on the fly and was an absolute PRO. I cannot recommend Avocado & Company enough, they are a literal catering-dream-come-true. If you're on the fence between another caterer and these guys, HIRE THESE GUYS!!

Chef Sacha Kupelian
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 11 hires on Thumbtack
Patrick I.
Verified review

I've had the pleasure of working with Chef Sacha for countless dinners over the last several years. He's my go-to for creating a fine dining experience at my home or at a friends. He's cooked for as small as a few people to almost twenty. He's always ready to explain each of his dishes (and also provides a multitude of options prior to the day of), and the guests all love of having Chef Sacha over.

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.

How much should catering cost for a wedding?

The cost of wedding catering will reflect the level of service, the menu you choose, the luxury you desire and the number of guests you invite. Where you live also plays a major role in your wedding catering costs. The regional cost to do business and local cost of food will affect your catering bill. There is no set price for wedding catering, because each wedding and each menu is different. This is why many caterers provide a per-person price. This allows you to break down what it costs to feed each person based on the menu you want. Working with your caterer, you can adjust menu items, service level and more to accommodate your budget and guest count. Keep in mind that wedding catering costs are not just for the food. The bill reflects all the components that go into commercial food catering: a commercial kitchen, ingredients, staff, insurance, marketing and more. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Three-course plated meal, moderately upscale, for 125 in Los Angeles: $14,000. Because of staffing costs, a true plated meal costs about twice as much as a staff-assisted buffet.
  • Buffet meal, standard menu, for 100 in Los Angeles: $5,000.
  • Per-person cost for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages: $24–$37, depending on menu selection, in Southern California.
  • Drop off prepared food for 50: $1,000 in North Carolina. Price does not include any service, setup or breakdown.

How do you serve food at a wedding?

Food service at your wedding will affect your catering costs and influence the atmosphere of the reception. Buffet style is more informal; plated meals are a bit fancier; family style encourages sharing. Read about the different food service styles to select your preferred wedding catering choice.

  • Buffet: Caterers can drop off prepared foods for a DIY and budget-friendly buffet option where you set everything up and food is entirely self-service. For a fuller-service buffet, the caterers set up food, oversee the buffet throughout the event, and clean up afterwards. For food only, prices per person might average $16-$18, while a service buffet may start around $20-$22 per person. Adding food stations can increase per-person costs by at least $3-$5.
  • Family style: Servers bring large platters of food to guest tables in courses. It’s less formal (and less expensive) than a plated meal, but more formal and higher-cost than a buffet. You’ll need large tables to accommodate the platters, so plan accordingly when renting furniture for the event.
  • Plated: A plated event is a formal dining experience; waitstaff serve your seated guests for each course, fill their drinks, and attend to them throughout the dinner. A plated dinner is typically the most expensive option for both food and service.
  • Food trucks: Similar to buffets, with food trucks your guests get their own food and bring it to their table. A food truck gives a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception.
  • Cocktail reception: If you don’t want a formal seated dinner, you can opt for a wide assortment of passed appetizers at an extended cocktail hour reception.
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