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San Rafael Chefs

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

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.

  • 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 91 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 155 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
Made With Love
4.9
from 78 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 95 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Alex M.
Verified review

We had a wonderful experience. Debbie was warm, professional, and an excellent chef. Ask for the chicken parm!

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
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.

Passionate Plates
4.8
from 60 reviews
  • 78 hires on Thumbtack
Gina C.
Verified review

Alisa was amazing. She proposed an amazing menu, and then helped us adapt it to met our budget. She was communicative and professional. She was sensitive to our desire to be ecologically sound, and served our beautiful buffet lunch off of real platters and decanted beverages. She did everything we asked for and more, and charged a totally fair price. We gladly give our highest recommendation.

Top Pro
Graceful Kitchen
4.8
from 48 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 56 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Sasha S.
Verified review

Grace cooked outstanding food (salmon, prosciutto/melon, eggplant, citrus salad) and provided an all-around amazing experience - customizing the menu to fit our tastes! Thank you so much Grace! I will recommend you to everyone looking for a personal chef/catering!

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

I lovvvvvvv Daniella's food. Always delicious, fresh, and elegant. Thinking about a meal from her makes me wish she was still in Oakland.

  • 13 years in business
  • 57 hires on Thumbtack
Monica S.
Verified review

Great food! Chef Graham did a superb job and is so personable. We would definitely hire him for our next party!

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

We had a small dinner party (10 people) at our home and hired Rainbow Chefs to make the appetizer, dinner and dessert. It was amazing! We'll definitely recommend to all our friends and can't wait for our next event. Highly recommended!

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!!

  • 11 years in business
  • 46 hires on Thumbtack
Percy M.
Verified review

Chef Elyse and her staff cooked for my wife's 50th birthday party. The food was amazing and the service was outstanding!. We had a great night and a great time.

Top Pro
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.

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
Jks Catering
4.9
from 19 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Tracy G.
Verified review

Jose was a hit! New Years Eve guests at my vacation rental requested some references for a chef to prepare a special and meaningful dinner at the beach house. I spoke with a few chefs first and settled on 2 for my guest to contact directly. My guest later told me that she had hired Jose at JKS Catering. I asked her to let me know how everything went and whether she would recommend that I refer JKS Catering to future guests. She had nothing but great things to say about Jose , his service, and, most importantly, his delicious food! They settled on a together prior to the dinner. Jose was on time and delivered everything he promised he would. Jose just followed up with me and sent me a copy of the menu from the dinner, which I’ve posted below. Thanks again, Jose!

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!

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

Chef Auri is fabulous can not wait to meet her person in September at our event! A dream to work with

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!

Olive Cater
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Ravit B.
Verified review

Arkadi is an excellent chef! The food is outstandingly delicious, the staff are so kind and nice, and the experience was great!

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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