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Costa Mesa Chefs

Browse these chefs with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Costa Mesa.

Top Pro
Chef Marcel Catering
4.9
from 120 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 131 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Marie K.
Verified review

We gave a big 40th birthday party for our son and wanted everything to be fantastic for him, our family, and all of our friends. We didn't know what a perfect choice we made when we hired Chef Marcel! We cannot say enough good things about Chef Marcel, his staff, and his wonderful food! The dishes were delicious - inventive and perfectly prepared! To add an extra challenge, Chef Marcel and his top notch sous chefs needed to cook in our kitchen and take food to our community room where we were holding the event. Every single step of the process was flawless and at the end of the evening I would have never known anyone had been in my kitchen! I had a recipe for the bartender I wanted to serve. She tweaked it and made it even tastier! Our guests wrote us the next day and raved about the appetizers, the meal, the yummy desserts, and the service, which was impeccable. The staff was friendly, kind, fun, and terrific at what they do. As most people know who give parties, the personalities of those who provide the service is critical. Every single person who took care of us was absolutely lovely. Chef Marcel was there the whole time. He was constantly vigilant making sure everything was running smoothly. He went out of his way to accommodate some hungry late arrivals. He was definitely in charge, respectful of his staff, gracious, flexible, and devoted to us having a great time! Our experience with Chef Marcel exceeded any expectations we could have possibly had. A million thank yous to him and to his stellar staff!

  • 18 years in business
  • 143 hires on Thumbtack
Golden Crown Concerts P.
Verified review

I first heard of Gourmet Your Way during a tasting in wine country Temecula. We were looking for catering chef (yes chef, there is a difference) to serve our VIP guest at our annual Summer Concert Series. I had to find a chef that could serve 500+ VIP's at the same time? Tricky & challenging to say the least. Chef Michael nailed it! serving hot well thought out complementary dishes to a massive hungry crowd. Gourmet Your Way is at the top of our list for all of our winery dinner shows. I was so pleased with Chef Michael, time & time again, that I refer him whenever given the opportunity....I have since chosen Gourmet Your Way to cater my private events for family weddings and our family reunion. You deserve "5" stars chef Michael. I look forward to having you & your wonderful staff at future events. Great Food, Great Chef, Great Staff! I highly recommend.

Top Pro
  • 8 years in business
  • 120 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Nancy A.
Verified review

Carolina was wonderful to work with and plan our event food. She really worked with the budget and then Chef Boris delivered delicious and pleasantly prepared food. It was a great experience working with Gourmet Lovers and the food was perfect.

Top Pro
Mr. WorldWide Catering
4.9
from 91 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 152 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Nelson Q.
Verified review

Jose is a phenomenal chef and caterer. He's the first person I got to for any of my event needs. He catered my birthday surprise party and my wife's birthday party. Jose is incredibly resourceful, full of ideas and always finds a way to go above and beyond. Food is always great, very competitive on pricing and always very flexible and service oriented for your needs. He's definitely my go to guy for any culinary needs I have.

Madkins Catering
4.6
from 81 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 205 hires on Thumbtack
Jennifer B.
Verified review

They catered our wedding reception, the food was outstanding. The overall pricing was fair and slightly below market rates. The staff arrived on time ready to work. Servers, chef,dj all worth the money. Thank you again!

Top Pro
Chef Marc's Meal Prep
5.0
from 60 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 109 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Andrea K.
Verified review

Thank goodness for chefs like Mark who cook the way you want, and need, to eat when the last thing you want to do is cook for yourself when you're ill. I'm so greatful to have been introduced to him when I needed it the most. Mark is a great guy who cares about your healing. He's prepared the most healthy and delicious dishes. He'll work with you so that every dish delivered is what you like. And his selection is so broad that you won't eat the same thing again and again. Though some times you'll wish you did!

Top Pro
Best Mobile Chef
5.0
from 56 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 87 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Michael B.
Verified review

We have had personal chefs in the past and all were good experiences, but Shawna was a cut above. The experience that she provided was exemplary in every facet. Shawna was personable, prepared, and her food was exquisite. She will be called upon in the future to cater any event we may have. We give her our highest recommendation.

Jordan R.
Verified review

Had a great experience with Executive Chef Mark Kearney and Team. To set expectations before the review, I like to consider myself a food lover...not a critic, just a food lover. I love great dining experiences and am equally critical or disappointed when they fall short. My family and I were hosting Christmas Dinner for a total of 10 family members. I found Chef Mark on Thumbtack based on his previous reviews. Roy (part of Mark's team) promptly reached out with thought-starters for the meal and breakout of pricing. Over the next few weeks Roy, Mark and I worked closely crafting the perfect menu for my traditional Christmas dinner, while staying within my budget parameters. To note, Chef Mark is priced higher than some of the other chefs I was in contact with, but I'm glad we went with Mark based on the outcome. The menu consisted of 4 gourmet hors d oeuvres passed around while we opened presents. A fan favorite was the roasted fig with gorgonzola and prosciutto. Then time for dinner. We sat at the dining table and were served Butternut Ravioli as an appetizer, Lobster Bisque soup (a bit on the spicy side - only critique I have with the food all night) and an organic baby butterleaf salad with incredible apricot balsamic vinaigrette. The main course was both a grilled beef tenderloin (prepared to your liking) and pan roasted turkey breast. Sides that accompanied the main course were brocollini, green beans and bacon/garlic mashed potatoes. Everything (except the soup) was beyond 5 stars in terms of presentation, taste and expectations. Lastly we were served two very decadent and delicious deserts - a molten lava cake and traditional bread pudding. Two things to mention. My wife was forced (by her OBGYN) into a new diet two days prior to the Christmas dinner consisting of no dairy and no soy. When Chef Mark arrived we asked him what had dairy and soy ingredients and he quickly and thoughtfully mentioned that he could make my wife's servings without either dairy or soy. Talk about going above and beyond. This was much appreciated and set the tone for the entire dinner! I would potentially ask for two servers for the evening on future events. One to solely serve as sous chef, helping Mark prepare the food in the kitchen and the other server to help set the table, serve food, wine, etc.. throughout the evening. The 5 hours that Mark and Team allocate for the evening can go quickly. This might alleviate that. Either way, a great experience and thank you Mark and Team!

Chef Mumsie LLC
4.6
from 54 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 97 hires on Thumbtack
William C.
Verified review

Food delivery was a little late, but the Chefs stayed and helped with set-up and service even though they were not contracted too. They carved the turkey on location and stayed for the whole event. They also supplied plates and utensils even though we did not ask for them. They were great from start to finish with food left over after feeding 130.

Top Pro
  • 15 years in business
  • 58 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Mary M.
Verified review

I hired Rich for a small event at my house yesterday. Before the party, Rich was always answering my phone calls and texts with any question or concerns I had. The day of the party he did an EXCELLENT job bartending and walking around to make sure everyones glasses we full! He even went to the extent to help entertain my 2 year old during dinner time and helped the chef move empty dishes! He was truly amazing and a great price and i will definitely use him again!

Top Pro
Aioli
4.9
from 35 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 36 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Angela G.
Verified review

Five stars for all for categories. The chicken piccata and trip tip were tender and delicious, and the side dishes were fresh and tasty as well. Aioli dropped off on time in nice dishes. My compliments to the chef!

Top Pro
SEGARS Culinary
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 24 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Dan P.
Verified review

Chef Steven and his team made us a fantastic meal, got the oohs and aahs from my parents (it was a 45th anniversary dinner for them) as well as younger crowd at the meal. In fact, we're still talking about the tomato tartare dish he came up with. The chef and his team handled passed appetizers, absolutely inventive and delicious cocktails, setup and cleanup all for a completely reasonable fee per person. They used our dishes/silverware/glassware but cleaned everything up and left the kitchen spotless. Multiple people from the dinner have asked for their contact info so they can book Chef Steven in the future. We wouldn't hesitate to book them for our next party.

  • 3 years in business
  • 63 hires on Thumbtack
Dolores G.
Verified review

I am beyond grateful to Thumbtack for connecting me to Chef Keith Prante and his team at Hautè Productions Events and Catering to cater my mom's 80th birthday celebration. They are absolutely A-MAZING! Chef Prante was one of two chefs who responded to my request via Thumbtack, and I also received a personal referral. Neither of the other caterers offered ANYWHERE NEAR the quality, selections, variety and value that Hautè offered at my price point. We had our tasting today, and it absolutely sealed the deal! Everything was delicious and the presentation was outstanding. I highly recommend Hautè Productions to any potential customer who appreciates excellence, accommodation and genuine customer service.

  • 3 years in business
  • 39 hires on Thumbtack
Lauren T.
Verified review

We used Chantel & Bella for both our florals and wedding cake/ desserts and we are SOO happy we did! Chantel created our 21 table runners on-site (eucalyptus, white and ivory roses) working with our wedding coordinators to ensure the tables looked clean, simple and elegant. She decorated our Chuppah with white drapery, eucalyptus and white flowers (are you sensing a theme here? :)) and made sure all our bouquets and boutonnieres were perfect before photos. In addition to having her do our flowers, Chantel made us our simple two tier lemon cake with flowers, mini-cupcakes, regular cupcakes and her amazing rose flower cookies. Everyone LOVED dessert; the mini cupcakes came in 4 flavors which allowed guests to get a little bit of each flavor. The larger cupcakes were big enough to share or enjoy on your own and the cookies were perfect for all our little guests in attendance to run around eating. Every item was delicious, beautiful, and displayed so nicely for our evening wedding and reception. Additionally, Chantel helped me surprise my husband by having little kobe bryant legs and a basketball hide on the back of my cake. My husband LOVED this little personal touch and Chantel put a ton of effort and time into making my vision come true. I highly recommend you do a tasting to discover for yourself how wonderful her desserts are and view her floral designs from her previous events. Even though florals are newer to her, her great eye and sense of design in baking crosses right over and we would use her again in a heartbeat! Thanks again Chantel for making our day WONDERFUL! XOXO, Lauren & Callen G.

  • 18 years in business
  • 29 hires on Thumbtack
Micheline C.
Verified review

We loved the level of service and the food was amazing! Our guests loved every course. The chef used fresh ingredients and each dish was deliciously prepared and well presented. The entire staff created a wonderful experience for us and our guests. They were professional, courteous, friendly, very accommodating, and completely self-sufficient. We didn't have to lift a finger. Even the planning stage was made easy. Bill was extremely responsive, very professional, and reliable. They were reasonabley priced, as well. I would highly recommend them.

Top Pro
Living Veg
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Malia F.
Verified review

Shelly not only makes vegan cooking simple and delicious, she provides the tools and tricks you need to prepare meals for your family! She teaches with love and passion and educates the public about plant-based nutrition and provides the info you need to make the switch from omnivore to vegan or enhance your current vegan lifestyle. I have been vegetarian for 20+ years and vegan for 9 years and I learned so much from Shelly just from one class! I can’t wait to learn more, as she has so much to offer and an entire cook book worth of recipes in her head to impress any chef!

Your Kitchen Jeanne
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Jay B.
Verified review

Jeanne is an excellent chef! We love her food!!

Chef LaTay Its Made Devine
4.9
from 11 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Bretta B.
Verified review

Chef Latte, is a very personable chef. Food is delicious, always beautifully presented, never disappointed. Fresh home cooked preparations, the best mac and cheese I've had the pleasure of tasting.

Wendell Hooper
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 21 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
John C.
Verified review

Wendell catered a private event, for a group of all vegan / plant based guests. The food was phenomenal and some of the best plant based food I've had. There was a large variety of flavors and dishes - greens, tempeh, tofu, seitan, tons of veggies, quinoa and more. The variety of food was so good, I am looking to bring him as a private chef for a series of wellness retreats.

Chef Nikki Martin
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Kyle H.
Verified review

Nikki is not only an incredible chef, but really capable of creating once in a lifetime experiences! We've worked with Nikki on a number of occasions, but most notably for my wedding rehearsal dinner. With a limited budget Nikki was able to prepare a fantastic Coq Au Vin for THIRTY people, and dress the space like a stunning provençal dream. We would recommend her for any theme, idea or palate that you're trying to blow out.

  • 9 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

We hired Unique Luxury Catering to prepare a family dinner for 8 for my wife's birthday on our patio at the Villa we were staying in at Pelican Hill.Chef Brad prepared a spectacular meal and the carrot cake was over the top.The red wine reduction with vanilla bean was a very special treat for everything to be plated in.The cucumber with lobster & quac & apricot / almond appetizers were perfect starters.Great evening ,Great setting ,fabulous meal ! Thanks !

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.

Do you tip a wedding caterer?

Tipping 15 percent to 20 percent on a $3,000 catering bill can feel daunting — especially in light of all the other costs of throwing a wedding — but tipping your wedding caterer is standard practice. Be sure to ask your caterer about their specific policies. Many catering companies include gratuity as a line item on their bill. If tipping is not automatically included in your total, a good approach is to tip all the people involved the day of the event rather than paying one lump sum to the catering company. For each server and bartender, you can tip $20-$50, depending on how long they were onsite and whether they did exceptional work. You can also tip the chef; experts suggest $50. It’s also a good idea to tip the catering manager, the point-of-contact person who keeps the catering service running smoothly the day of your wedding, ensures all the food looks beautiful and is plentiful, and resolves any mishaps. Industry pros recommend tipping the catering manager $100-$200. If gratuity is not included and you’re tipping individuals, set aside $200-$500 in cash to be safe.

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.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

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.
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