Palo Alto, CA577 Chefs near you

Where do you need the chef?

Answer a few questions

Tell us what you need so we can bring you the right pros.

Get quotes

Receive quotes from pros who meet your needs.

Hire the right pro

Compare quotes, message pros, and hire when ready.

Palo Alto Chefs

Browse these chefs with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Palo Alto.

Chef Pete Coleman
4.9
from 141 reviews
  • 29 years in business
  • 249 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.

Chef Rocco Cartia
4.7
from 119 reviews
  • 15 years in business
  • 178 hires on Thumbtack
Stephen S.
Verified review

Chef Rocco was great. He communicated well, was charming and produced amazing food. I highly recommend him for anyone that is looking for a private chef in the area.

Top Pro
Cazadores Catering
4.9
from 109 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 181 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jenessa L.
Verified review

Great food and great experience. The two chefs working our holiday party couldn't have been kinder or more patient. Everyone loved the food, and the boss told me after they left that she would like to bring them back again next year. Thank you for a lovely experience!

  • 12 years in business
  • 158 hires on Thumbtack
Kaz U.
Verified review

Chef Sat came to our home and prepared an incredible dinner for our end of the year office party. We thought a private executive chef would be something very fun to try for our thirty guests. Chef Sat worked with me in advance on the personalized menu and delivered on an amazing dinner experience. Chef Sat was great and the food was divine. All of the guests raved how delicious all of the courses were. Sat made the first event hosted in our new home truly memorable. Thank you very much Chef Sat and Chefs Tyler and Ian. You guys are awesome.

A Plus Catering
4.3
from 91 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 156 hires on Thumbtack
Tobie G.
Verified review

Using A Plus for catering assistance was the best holiday gift I’ve ever given myself. I needed help for a self-catered holiday gathering. I was looking for a flexible professional willing to do whatever - food prep, serving, cleaning. They sent Brenda - a proper chef. Wow! She was amazing - friendly, calm, extremely capable, flexible, and an absolute delight to work with. She figured out how to use my rotisserie oven, made a dynamite roast chicken, fried potato pancakes like a pro, left my kitchen clean, and allowed me to spend a wonderful, stress-free evening with my guests. By the end of the evening, my guests were hugging her as they said their goodbyes. Will definitely use A Plus & Brenda again.

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.

Top Pro
Kitchenina.com
4.9
from 69 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 92 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Mofeda D.
Verified review

I can't speak enough about how great my experience was with Kitchenina. I came across their website while searching for a caterer online for an upcoming holiday party. Aliki was not only very easy to talk to, but also very helpful in offering suggestions on how to make the party and menu better. She is truly invested in all her customers. She works well with all budget sizes (mine was on the low end) and delivers the best quality. She threw in additional items free of charge and was very flexible in what she can provide. Her husband, who is the head chef, is ready to customize any of their menus. We were so impressed that we asked them to cater our daily lunches, which my team loved. Their food is healthy and delicious. The chef personally delivered the food and asked how everything is going, which speaks volumes about their dedication to customer satisfaction. I spoke to my family about Kitchenina and now we will ask them to also cater our family parties! A big thank you to Kitchenina for providing such amazing food and service!

Quiche and Carry
4.6
from 65 reviews
  • 98 hires on Thumbtack
Shamus T.
Verified review

Quiche & Carry (Chef Deborah Moss and her assistants) prepared a tasty feast for my guests. The items were extraordinary! I took a bite of a spring roll to be pleasantly surprised with a flavorful curry marinade on the tofu. The salad and dressing were flavored with mint. The miniature quiches and stuffed mushrooms were especially delicious. There were bite sized fruit tarts, pecan pie, and a gorgeous fruit platter. And so much more! Many of my guests told me that the food was, "Amazing!" Thank you Quiche & Carry for making my event one that I and my guests will never forget.

Rainbow Chefs
4.7
from 28 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 59 hires on Thumbtack
Cathy S.
Verified review

My friend recently celebrated her 50th birthday. Her wish? To have a catered dinner at home where she could relax and enjoy a wonderful evening of food, vino and friends. My decision to go with Rainbow Chefs was the BEST CHOICE! They worked with me to create the menu which the chef cooked to PERFECTION! It was a joy to see the guests "ooohh" and "aahhh" as each dish was brought out...Having Rainbow Chefs prepare, serve and clean up allowed the hostesses (me and my friend) to enjoy the event too! It was truly a magical night...I highly recommend them!

Top Pro
LL Services
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 25 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!!

Top Pro
Phiesty Food Catering
4.8
from 23 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jenn M.
Verified review

Cheri is a Jack of All Trades. She has all of the connections to help you with EVERYTHING. Provided an amazing beverage company as well as the furniture and food for my wedding. The staff was AWESOME and her clam chowder was to die for. Just saying. She is a great teammate. Thank you Cheri!!!

Top Pro
PCJames
4.8
from 21 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 39 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!

Top Pro
Mise En Place
5.0
from 16 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 10 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Marco Z.
Verified review

Chef Dan was great! He was very communicative, arrived on time, and made us a delicious meal that everyone raved about. Would absolutely hire him again.

Chef Auri's Suga Dotz
5.0
from 16 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 21 hires on Thumbtack
Maily K.
Verified review

Auri was a pleasure to work with. Cake was delicious! And beautiful. She went out of her way to make sure it I was perfect for our celebration.

Top Pro
east bay chef
4.9
from 14 reviews
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Alex R.
Verified review

I had a great experience hiring Jon for my New Year's party. He arrived on time and quickly prepared a round of every dish while the guests were coming, so that it was ready at the time that everyone was there. As the food was eaten, he and Amanda presented more, so no dish was ever empty. I found his work of excellent quality, and he was very personable and friendly. My New Year's party was a success because of Chef Jon Avalos. Highly recommended!

Top Pro
  • 19 years in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Raquel T.
Verified review

Karla is the kind of professional you want to work with. She’s not only dedicated to her craft, she’s dedicated to exceed your expectations. She is up beat, knowledgeable, creative and an excellent professional. Her commitment will deliver the best results! I definitely recommend her!

  • 8 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Modie K.
Verified review

I have now taken two Indian cooking classes from Meenu Bhasin. In the first cooking class she made chicken korma, lentils and a yogurt side dish. These dishes were about a medium level of difficulty to prepare. Meenu was very thorough in explaining and showing each step of the cooking process. She also included a list of all the ingredients and spices, and where to purchase them. In the second class we made chicken tikka masala, saag paneer and rice with vegetables. Meenu is very good at teaching the preparation and cooking process of each dish. She goes over the ingredients and the entire process very carefully. She also leaves plenty of time for questions and discussion. I really enjoyed taking her classes and learned a lot about Indian cooking. I strongly recommend her as a cooking teacher/chef.

Beach Bum Sweets
4.8
from 13 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
Darby S.
Verified review

Gaby was great! I put in an order for a wedding cake for tomorrow because Thumbtack didn't have a birthday cake option, and didn't have same day option, but I clearly stated "need a birthday cake TODAY." (previously set up deal fell through). She came through with flying colors! She did it for a great price and drove to the party and delivered the cake herself, without charging a delivery fee. I tipped her extra for that and you will want to do the same. Annoying that Thumbtack doesn't allow for picture upload on reviews. Click here to see the actual cake Gaby made for my son: http://goo.gl/WX69sa Gaby was super sweet, the cake looked and tasted awesome. I'll order from her again.

Top Pro
Affordable Chef Services
4.6
from 9 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 21 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jadyn P.
Verified review

GREAT SERVICE We got married yesterday and had to post a review immediately because Affordable Chef was so great! Chef Mark was punctual in replying to my questions before the big day, which, as an out-of-town bride, was very reassuring! At the last minute, Chef Mark was unable to attend the reception, but his on-site chef made delicious food, and the staff were phenomenal! There was one staff member in particular who took an interest in my Husband and I. She told us that we were her "celebrities for the day," made sure we ate appetizers before we walked in, escorted us to the buffet first, and was constantly checking on our drinks. She also took an interest in our families, leading many people to tell us how amazing she was! The bartender Chef Mark sent was also lovely, knew her stuff, and made our signature cocktails perfectly! All in all, a great experience and a company we would trust our next big event to!

Olive Cater
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Sheila R.
Verified review

Olive Cater team are simply the best! They catered for me an office party and my parents 40th anniversary. Even though the menus were totally different both events were a success! Arkadi is a talented and creative young chef. His food is beautifully presented and it tastes amazing! I got many compliments on those events and I look forward to having Arkadi and Elinor cater my next event.

Rainbow Chefs San Francisco
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Tracy F.
Verified review

It what can only be described as a limited and challenging environment, Rainbow Chefs provided a gourmet dinner for my executives that was truly exquisite. Everything about the process was handled well with great communication from Lana. I chose Rainbow Chefs after initial conversations with more than 20 caterers because I was convinced that she was really listening to me. Chef Nicholas created a masterpiece of a dinner that was enjoyed by everybody. It was the highlight of a long day.

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.
Hire skilled professionals for absolutely everything.