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Pleasanton Chefs

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

Chef Pete Coleman
4.9
from 144 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 256 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.

Top Pro
Cazadores Catering
4.9
from 111 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 185 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
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
4.3
from 95 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 159 hires on Thumbtack
Margarita C.
Verified review

Jennine was great! She knew what I was looking for and put a great quote together for me!

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 74 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 101 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Bethany A.
Verified review

Where has Kitchenina been my whole life?! Delicious paleo friendly food in a flash with great service to boot! I’m so happy I found them and will definitely not be the last time. They were such a pleasure to work with too. Thank you!

DNL Catering
4.6
from 72 reviews
  • 29 years in business
  • 131 hires on Thumbtack
Ron M.
Verified review

Steve of DNL did an Outstanding job at our Wedding. From the on-set Chef Steve was very open to talking with us and taking the time to review what we were looking for and the timeline in which we wanted the Hor Dour eve's to be passed, to when dinner and the cake was to be served. The quality and quantity of food was superb! We had a sit down (plated dinner) and the food came out to our guest timely and most importantly the food was not cold..it was perfect! Overall, I would not hesitate to hire or recommend DNL Catering..They are a 5 Star business! Thank you again Chef Steve - from Ron and Coby

Quiche and Carry
4.6
from 65 reviews
  • 98 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
Graceful Kitchen
4.8
from 52 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 58 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jamie W.
Verified review

We decided last minute to hire a chef for a family dinner for some out of town relatives. Grace was very responsive and easy to work with. Within a few convos on Thumbtack we finalized the menu. I have a relatively small kitchen so I asked if Grace could do most of the prep offsite and come here to cook, which she did. She arrived early and was fully prepared. She served appetizers first and then prepared the main courses while we nibbled. She was very professional, friendly and cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. As for the food ... delicious - we really enjoyed our meal! The pork shoulder was a very unique dish; I've never had anything like it before and the sauce that went with it was equally amazing. This was definitely the most popular dish of the evening. The steak was also delicious - very tender, perfectly cooked to medium rare and the sauce was great. The parsnip-apple mash was also a very unique dish and very tasty. A little sweet but not overpowering. The roasted cauliflower was delicious. Our starters were the spring rolls & the beet and endive salad. We didn't know the spring rolls were vegetarian (and we're big meat eaters) so this was not our favorite. The peanut sauce was amazing though! The beet and endive salad was also good. Overall I'm really glad I found Grace. She was really easy to work with, the food was great!! She also has a chinese food menu and we can't wait to try that. We will definitely be hiring Grace again!!

Top Pro
Dani Bensimon Catering
4.8
from 46 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 80 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Sarah C.
Verified review

Chef Daniella was wonderful, from the planning stage through execution. She was communicative and enthusiastic, and our dinner party was a beautiful experience with absolutely delicious food. Highly recommended.

  • 13 years in business
  • 57 hires on Thumbtack
Sue D.
Verified review

We hired Chef Graham last-minute to help with a fun event for a 19th birthday, where the birthday girl wanted her friends and family to participate in the cooking process. I just made the booking and wasn't personally in attendance for the event, but I heard from all who where that Chef Graham was incredibly skilled and charming and an all-around great find. Highly recommended and thanks again!

Custom Creations
5.0
from 39 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 50 hires on Thumbtack
Mary H.
Verified review

i cannot recommend Chef Laura enough. I just hired Laura for a small dinner party for my mother-in-law's birthday and she was phenomenal and her dishes were delicious. This was my first time using a personal chef and Laura made the experience easy and enjoyable from start to finish. I looked at quite a few local chefs when I started thinking about a personal chef option and Laura was hands down the most responsive, helpful and offered the most menu options too. Not only did she prepare 3 amazing courses and a lovely cheese/meat platter, she printed off personalized menus, presented and served each lovely course, filled water and wine glasses throughout the night, cut and served the birthday cake (not to mention lit candles and helped my toddler bring it in to the bday girl) and left my kitchen looking spotless with dishes done and all. Oh and everything she made - including the pasta - was gluten free. Dealing with our party's dietary restrictions was no problem for Laura. It was the most stress-free dinner party I've ever hosted and my guests raved about the food. The portions were also large - such a good value. Having Laura in our kitchen was a joy - she is very nice, easy-going and personable. We will definitely be using Laura again in the future! Our guests were even asking for her contact info. Thank you, chef Laura!

Top Pro
  • 4 years in business
  • 39 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
John G.
Verified review

On December 23, 2015 approximately 40 Earlimart Seniors participated in its annual Christmas Dinner. Chef Albert and his sous chef prepared a delicious and nutricious meal. The seniors were very pleased with the meal as many "mmm's" and "this is gooood" were heard from the people seated at the tables. Chef Albert prepared a very tender roastbeef, so tender it melted in your mouth.He also introduced our seniors to eating kale. Rounding out the meal was a crisp green salad with cranberries and walnuts, mashed potatoes and dessert. The chefs were very gracious with the seniors - talking and mingling with them and even taking pictures. Everyone left with a smile on their face and a delicious meal in their tummy! We are looking forward to our next meal with Chef Albert- who is innovative and still provides a very satisfying meal. Kudos Chef !

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!

Rainbow Chefs
4.7
from 28 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 62 hires on Thumbtack
Lianne M.
Verified review

I had Rainbow chef cater a baby shower. Lana was very helpful in the planning and menu selection and offered some great suggestions. The mother to be was on some food restrictions so Lana worked around that too. They prepared a nice mid day Mediterranean inspired meal with chicken lettuce cups, roasted vegetables with tahini sauce, a wonderful bruschetta, fruit salad and cupcakes in assorted flavors. The feedback on the food was amazing. Jenny showed up with the food and prepared it on my serving trays. She was on time and left my kitchen counter clean. I would highly recommend Rainbow chefs and will use them for future parties.

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
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 18 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
Kelly L.
Verified review

Chef Auri made an incredible cake for my friend's 30th birthday party. I had multiple people tell me that, while they typically don't like birthday cake, this was different - the cake was fabulous. Those same people wanted Auri's contact information for their next party.

Top Pro
Mise En Place
5.0
from 16 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 10 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!

Top Pro
  • 19 years in business
  • 19 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Cleo O.
Verified review

Karla was great! Easy to work with, on time, and the food was great and appreciated by all. Thanks Karla!

What's Cookin?
4.6
from 13 reviews
  • 16 years in business
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
Jenett T.
Verified review

Chef Eileen was the greatest! This was a first time experience for us, hiring a personal chef for a small group of 8. It was a bachelorette party and the best touch to start an otherwise amazing weekend. Chef Eileen was professional, extremely sweet and most of all our 4 course dinner was delicious! The entire group was happy!! We will certainly do business again in the future and I believe she even gained new clients from our experience. Thank you Chef Eileen!!! All the best, Jenett

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.

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 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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