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San Jose Private Chefs

Browse these private chefs with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in San Jose.

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
Janet G.
Verified review

I hired Chef Rocco to give my 17 and 18 year old nieces a cooking lesson. He was informative, fun and interactive. The dishes we made were delicious and easy. He showed us proper knife skills and good kitchen organization. I would definitely recommend Chef Rocco for cooking lessons or as a private chef for your next party!

Top Pro
Cazadores Catering
4.9
from 110 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
Carmen C.
Verified review

Sat was a wonderful chef for our private dinner party. He made incredibly food that the entire dinner party very much enjoyed and was very accommodating to our requests. Sat was professional and we were extremely comfortable having conversations. He was personable and accommodating.

A Plus Catering
4.3
from 92 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 156 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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

I used Rainbow chefs as a personal chef and the food was fresh and cooked to perfection I will definitely be using them again.

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LL Services
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Joy C.
Verified review

Chef Lovelace is everything you would hope for in a private chef - incredibly talented, professional, good natured, and easy to work with. The food was delicious - so much depth and texture as well as beautiful plated. His kitchen setup was efficient and left the kitchen spotless. And his menu creations are thoughtful, refined, and well-balanced. Chef Lovelace was gracious enough to customize our meal based on preferences and diet and even suggested wine pairings for each course. Our group of women could not have asked for a better fine-dining experience in the comfort our own home. A much preferred experience than dining in a 5-star restaurant. We highly recommend Chef Lovelace and look forward to using him at our next occasion!

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

I went on a girls' trip to Napa Valley. I wanted to hire Chef Cheri for our first night dinner so we could relax. She told me upfront she would be out of town but she would be happy to assist us. She informed me that she had a vast network. Over the next 2 weeks she connected me with a chef and a photographer. She followed up and was very timely. We were so pleased when we arrived at the home and she had 3 bottles of wine waiting on us. She also had baked us custom red velvet cupcakes with elephant decorations (DST)...they were amazing. The chefs she connected us with were on time. In fact, they beat us to the home. They were so professional and made a delicious dinner for us and provided table service. The photographer she connected us with was punctual and took the most fabulous photos. He was very easy to work with. So I would call Chef Cheri anytime I needed any service in the Bay area. She is top notch and provides world class service. I felt like her family by the time we finished.

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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!

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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!

Chef Auri's Suga Dotz
5.0
from 16 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 21 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
  • 19 years in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
David B.
Verified review

We hired Karla for a long weekend of cooking breakfast and dinner for 10-16 people at each meal at our home in Santa Cruz. We didn't know what to expect entirely, but Karla was more than we hoped for. Super nice, very punctual, very honest, gives a good value for the money and most of all Karla is a truly wonderful chef. She can cook anything you can imagine and she does it all well. Our dinners included perfectly cooked New York steaks, lasagna, vegetables, lots of items for carb-conscious folks, etc. Her menus were fantastic and we have a ton of great food. Best of all Karla cleans up. I would give Karla 10 stars on a 5 star chart. Some of the others took pictures of the "spread" Karla created so I don't have those handy to post. Karla is a gem in Santa Cruz and we will be using her in the future. Dave & Lynn and Cindy & John Santa Cruz, CA

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

Jon has a great personality and added so much to our executive dinner party! The food was amazing and he left my bosses kitchen cleaner than when he started. I would highly recommend Chef Jon for future corporate and private dinner parties

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

This is my first time working with Gaby. I was taking a risk as the cake I ordered was for a dinner party for 12 adult, half of whom are amazing home chefs and two are professionally trained chefs. A friend got a job at Google and so, to surprise him, I ordered this cake (pics) for the party. Gaby was easy AND pleasant to communicate with. She made me a coconut pineapple flavored cake with rainbow layered inside to match the google colors. The crowd, 12 adults and 11 kids went crazy with how beautiful the cake was. Lots and lots of photos later, we finally got to taste it and suddenly the room got quiet. everyone kept shaking their heads with their eyes closed. The cake was so delicious, there was no sound for like 30 seconds. Gaby, I will be hiring you again and again. My friends asked for your contact info. Thank you for such an amazing cake that more than pleased my chef friends and the kids!

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
Inbal F.
Verified review

I have had the pleasure of experiencing Oliver Cater services and would recommend it to anyone. Arkadi, the chef, creates spectacularly good food that is unfussy, deeply flavorful, satisfying and plentiful. Their team are top notch professional, and Im looking forward to working with them again in the future.

Ona
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Russell S.
Verified review

Ona Paek is a professional chef who prepared for our family an exquisite meal. The meal represented the regional fare of Korea and opened with an excellent kimchi seafood pancake. This was followed by a fresh salmon in a special orange sauce that really enhanced the flavor of the fish. Her talent of fresh healthy cooking and professional presentation made for a delightful home cooked meal. Additionally she is happy to share her passion and experience of food prepared to exacting standards.

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 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.
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