Find a private chef near Palm Springs, CA

Find a private chef near Palm Springs, CA

26 near you

Find a private chef near Palm Springs, CA

26 near you

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Top 10 Private Chefs near Palm Springs, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does a personal chef cost?

Hiring a personal chef usually costs anywhere from $40-$100 or more per person. Request free cost estimates from personal chefs in your area so you’ll know exactly how much it will cost to hire one for your needs. For an accurate quote, be sure to let the chefs know the number of people they’ll need to feed, what you’d like on the menu and other relevant details. 

To learn more about the factors that impact the cost to hire a personal or private home chef, read our cost guide.

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 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.

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 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.

How much should catering cost per person?

Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:

  • Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
  • Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
  • Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
  • Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
  • Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.
Reviews for Palm Springs private chefs
Daivon D.
Absolutely one of the best experiences I’ve had with a private chef. Ramona was very responsive and able to pivot to our needs last minute
Ramona ZamoraRamona Zamora
Thumbtack Customer
There was a group of 8 of us that rented a large house in Palm Springs and wanted a private chef to come and make us an outstanding dinner....and with Chef Tye we were not disappointed. He and his mother, Denise, made us an exceptional meal. From start to finish, the meal was superb. They are both so friendly and professional. I would highly recommend Chef Tye to anyone wanting to make a special occasion even more special.
Main CourseMain Course
John M.
I was looking for a great chef who could help make my Palm Springs getaway birthday party amazing and Gabe did it! He’s great to work with, responsive, flexible, makes delicious food and all around cool guy. I definitely would ask him to do the whole thing over again and wholeheartedly recommend Gabe to anyone looking for a private chef.
mercenary chef, gzmercenary chef, gz
Hayley N.
Chef Owen was very delightful to work with. He was very responsive and helpful during the inquiry process, and he made the experience overall pretty stress free. He catered our private dinner for 15 people with and was very professional by coming early to scope out the venue and setting up without any help. He was punctual, and the food was very good. Not to mention, the portion sizes were very generous. I would definitely recommend Chef Owen for your next event.
Cartwright & Co. CaterersCartwright & Co. Caterers
Robyn C.
Oh my gosh....I want to travel to Palm Springs again as soon as possible just to have the opportunity to eat Chef William's food again! It's always nerve-wracking trying to plan an event and not be able to taste test the food beforehand. If you're in the same boat, you won't be disappointed with Chef William! We had a private dinner for 10 adults and 2 small children at our vacation rental and my family can't stop raving about the food, the professionalism or just the overall awesomeness of Chef William and his staff. And we're still dreaming about his potatoes! I could go on and on about how amazing this dinner was, but I'll just say....if you're lucky enough to be able to get on Chef William's schedule, you'll be the toast of all of your guests for years to come!!
Chef William Bloomhuff/Private ChefChef William Bloomhuff/Private Chef
Thumbtack Customer
Everything was fresh, flavorful and delicious. Great value, great experience. Chef William came prepared and did not expect anything from us. He figured out his way around the kitchen and catered to our every need. He designed a brunch that was pleasing to the eye as well as to everyone's varied palate. Very professional and prepared. Will definitely book again in the future to try his Spanish style dinner menu. Thank you for making our Bachelorette's dream of having a private chef cook for her come true, and even exceeding expectations.
Chef William Bloomhuff/Private ChefChef William Bloomhuff/Private Chef
Shannon C.
We had Chef Stacy (one of Ramona's employees/partners) cook a private meal for 11 guests at a Bachelorette Party and she was PHENOMENAL! She was on-time, brought extra food just in case, and the meal was extremely delicious. All of the girls were saying it was their favorite part of our weekend. Chef Stacy prepped and cooked everything in our kitchen, and did plated style for everyone (served each course individually). The presentation of the food was lovely and it tasted very fresh. She also cleaned up afterwards and the kitchen looked like no one had even touched it! She was kind and professional - I would 10/10 hire again. Thank you, Chef Stacy!
Ramona ZamoraRamona Zamora
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Sarena was an incredible private chef. My wife and I have very particular requirements (Gluten Free and Paleo). Sarena prepared a comprehensive menu for our weekend vacation in Palm Springs. She was organized, took time to understand our likes and dislikes and most importantly her food was delicious. Sarena also kept our rental home spotless after preparing each meal and was a pleasure to be around. I would highly recommend Sarena and plan to utilize her services again any time we visit Palm Springs!
Chef Sarena- Personal/Private Chef ServicesChef Sarena- Personal/Private Chef Services
Stacy B.
Honestly, I’ve been avoiding writing a review in the interest of kindness but as Thumbtack keeps emailing me asking for a review, I’ve decided to comply. We were extremely disappointed with Steven’s food and his attitude. Communication about expectations and pricing were oddly confusing and we were, frankly, stunned by the lack of professionalism and the level and quality of the food. Without going into too much detail, we were very surprised that he arrived to our rental house with a pre packaged bag of lettuce, a bag of croutons and a store bought bottle of Caesar salad dressing— something we could easily have done ourselves and not at all in keeping with what is reasonably expected from a private chef. Similarly, fruit brought for brunch looked days old, was discolored and inedible and not even properly proportioned for 4 guests. Our expression of disappointment was dismissed by him —-unapologetically— and instead met with excuses and his own complaints about driving distance, having to drop off (instead of cooking in house) because of Covid and more; though all of those things were agreed to in advance and a clearly stated part of the job that he accepted. Judging from some of these other reviews, I’d like to think he was having an “off” week but truly, I cannot in good conscience recommend him to anyone.
The Trendy Chef CateringThe Trendy Chef Catering
Claire W.
Celebrated a friend's 30th in Palm Springs and had Chris prepare her birthday dinner with six friends. Chris was so responsive from the beginning, professional, and providing details regarding food, pricing, menu options, etc. It was a great experience regarding logistics, which is always nice. Working with him never felt stressful or like something was going to fall through. Additionally, Chris provided great value for the type of evening and food/quality/ingredients we received. The dinner itself was spectacular. Chris brought plating options and prepared food to then cook and assemble at the house. He was very prepared, clean, personable, and arrived promptly. Great chef to have at the house that made the experience fun and comfortable! We had three great appetizers outside by the pool and he served them to us and explained every dish. The dinner was plated amazing and tasted great. We started with a salad, moved onto udon noodles with shrimp, and finished with short ribs. The dessert was incredible, a bread pudding (which none of the guests are dessert people and it may have been the favorite dish of the night!). It was an interesting dinner and not a boring menu, always nice to have exciting dishes being brought to the table one by one. Kept the kitchen clean from start to finish! Would recommend Chris for any type of catering or private dining party as he checked off all the boxes of a great and relaxing experience! Thank you Chris for helping us celebrate! Will definitely reach out if in the Palm Springs area again!
Chris Brugler CateringChris Brugler Catering
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