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Santa Ana Chefs

Browse these chefs with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Santa Ana.

Top Pro
Chef Marcel Catering
4.9
from 120 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 131 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Marie K.
Verified review

We gave a big 40th birthday party for our son and wanted everything to be fantastic for him, our family, and all of our friends. We didn't know what a perfect choice we made when we hired Chef Marcel! We cannot say enough good things about Chef Marcel, his staff, and his wonderful food! The dishes were delicious - inventive and perfectly prepared! To add an extra challenge, Chef Marcel and his top notch sous chefs needed to cook in our kitchen and take food to our community room where we were holding the event. Every single step of the process was flawless and at the end of the evening I would have never known anyone had been in my kitchen! I had a recipe for the bartender I wanted to serve. She tweaked it and made it even tastier! Our guests wrote us the next day and raved about the appetizers, the meal, the yummy desserts, and the service, which was impeccable. The staff was friendly, kind, fun, and terrific at what they do. As most people know who give parties, the personalities of those who provide the service is critical. Every single person who took care of us was absolutely lovely. Chef Marcel was there the whole time. He was constantly vigilant making sure everything was running smoothly. He went out of his way to accommodate some hungry late arrivals. He was definitely in charge, respectful of his staff, gracious, flexible, and devoted to us having a great time! Our experience with Chef Marcel exceeded any expectations we could have possibly had. A million thank yous to him and to his stellar staff!

  • 18 years in business
  • 143 hires on Thumbtack
Roxanne M.
Verified review

Chef Mike catered a 50th birthday party for 40 people in our home. He did the appetizers, entree, and the cake. The food was awesome. I was very impressed with Chef Mike and his staff. They did the set up and left my kitchen spotless. Thanks to Chef Mike I was able to enjoy the party and our quest raved about the food. 😊

Top Pro
  • 8 years in business
  • 120 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Robin L.
Verified review

Wow, Gourmet Lovers Catering and Cakes was a big hit! We had an amazing Long Beach Ribbon Cutting Luncheon for over 100 guest. The food, desserts and display were fantastic! We have heard compliment after compliment of the wonderful lunch. Carolina was such a pleasure to work with, organized and accommodating. She really made sure that we created a fantastic menu and I felt comfortable every step through this process. Chef Boris did such a fantastic job. They both worked so hard to make sure our experience was wonderful, and it was! Chef's lunch was delicious and beautifully displayed. We are so happy with everything and will definitely use Gourmet Lovers Catering again. We hope that they get a lot of business from others that were there as well. We highly recommend them. Check out our pictures. Thank you!

Top Pro
Mr. WorldWide Catering
4.9
from 91 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 152 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
JERILEE F.
Verified review

My husband and I highly recommend MR. WORLDWIDE CATERING! Jose, the Owner and Chef, was incredible every step of the way, we were looking for a caterer for our wedding only a couple months out after another caterer fell through and Jose stepped and truly outdid himself! I wish I had found him in the beginning. He went above and beyond all our expectations. Mr. Worlwide Catering's food is absolutely delicious! The variety of food options and Jose's willingness to work with our tastes was phenomenal. Literally, every wedding guest told us they LOVED Jose's food and were very impressed with the varietes and flavors. Sadly, often wedding food is bland and uninspired, luck for us Jose is passionate about his food and ensured it was absolutely mouth watering! Jose's incredible food is only outdone by his work ethic, reliability and impeccable professionalism! He truly cared about us and our special day, ensuring our needs were met, even personally serving us our plates to ensure we sat and ate knowing weddings get hectic for the bride and groom. My husband and I are so grateful Jose was our caterer and have 100% confidence that he is THE caterer to trust for every event!

Madkins Catering
4.6
from 81 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 205 hires on Thumbtack
Jennifer B.
Verified review

They catered our wedding reception, the food was outstanding. The overall pricing was fair and slightly below market rates. The staff arrived on time ready to work. Servers, chef,dj all worth the money. Thank you again!

Top Pro
Chef Marc's Meal Prep
5.0
from 60 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 109 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Andrea K.
Verified review

Thank goodness for chefs like Mark who cook the way you want, and need, to eat when the last thing you want to do is cook for yourself when you're ill. I'm so greatful to have been introduced to him when I needed it the most. Mark is a great guy who cares about your healing. He's prepared the most healthy and delicious dishes. He'll work with you so that every dish delivered is what you like. And his selection is so broad that you won't eat the same thing again and again. Though some times you'll wish you did!

Top Pro
Best Mobile Chef
5.0
from 56 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 87 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Michael B.
Verified review

We have had personal chefs in the past and all were good experiences, but Shawna was a cut above. The experience that she provided was exemplary in every facet. Shawna was personable, prepared, and her food was exquisite. She will be called upon in the future to cater any event we may have. We give her our highest recommendation.

Jordan R.
Verified review

Had a great experience with Executive Chef Mark Kearney and Team. To set expectations before the review, I like to consider myself a food lover...not a critic, just a food lover. I love great dining experiences and am equally critical or disappointed when they fall short. My family and I were hosting Christmas Dinner for a total of 10 family members. I found Chef Mark on Thumbtack based on his previous reviews. Roy (part of Mark's team) promptly reached out with thought-starters for the meal and breakout of pricing. Over the next few weeks Roy, Mark and I worked closely crafting the perfect menu for my traditional Christmas dinner, while staying within my budget parameters. To note, Chef Mark is priced higher than some of the other chefs I was in contact with, but I'm glad we went with Mark based on the outcome. The menu consisted of 4 gourmet hors d oeuvres passed around while we opened presents. A fan favorite was the roasted fig with gorgonzola and prosciutto. Then time for dinner. We sat at the dining table and were served Butternut Ravioli as an appetizer, Lobster Bisque soup (a bit on the spicy side - only critique I have with the food all night) and an organic baby butterleaf salad with incredible apricot balsamic vinaigrette. The main course was both a grilled beef tenderloin (prepared to your liking) and pan roasted turkey breast. Sides that accompanied the main course were brocollini, green beans and bacon/garlic mashed potatoes. Everything (except the soup) was beyond 5 stars in terms of presentation, taste and expectations. Lastly we were served two very decadent and delicious deserts - a molten lava cake and traditional bread pudding. Two things to mention. My wife was forced (by her OBGYN) into a new diet two days prior to the Christmas dinner consisting of no dairy and no soy. When Chef Mark arrived we asked him what had dairy and soy ingredients and he quickly and thoughtfully mentioned that he could make my wife's servings without either dairy or soy. Talk about going above and beyond. This was much appreciated and set the tone for the entire dinner! I would potentially ask for two servers for the evening on future events. One to solely serve as sous chef, helping Mark prepare the food in the kitchen and the other server to help set the table, serve food, wine, etc.. throughout the evening. The 5 hours that Mark and Team allocate for the evening can go quickly. This might alleviate that. Either way, a great experience and thank you Mark and Team!

Chef Mumsie LLC
4.6
from 54 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 97 hires on Thumbtack
William C.
Verified review

Food delivery was a little late, but the Chefs stayed and helped with set-up and service even though they were not contracted too. They carved the turkey on location and stayed for the whole event. They also supplied plates and utensils even though we did not ask for them. They were great from start to finish with food left over after feeding 130.

Top Pro
  • 15 years in business
  • 58 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Mary M.
Verified review

I hired Rich for a small event at my house yesterday. Before the party, Rich was always answering my phone calls and texts with any question or concerns I had. The day of the party he did an EXCELLENT job bartending and walking around to make sure everyones glasses we full! He even went to the extent to help entertain my 2 year old during dinner time and helped the chef move empty dishes! He was truly amazing and a great price and i will definitely use him again!

Top Pro
Aioli
4.9
from 35 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 36 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Bobby B.
Verified review

Jordan is an excellent chef and caterer. He produces food that is way beyond the standard catering services. If you want cookie cutter catering go with someone else. If you want really great food at a great price stop on by or use his catering.

Top Pro
SEGARS Culinary
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
ALEX R.
Verified review

Seagars culinary is fantastic. They’re extremely professional. Food quality is exquisite and original. My guests and I were extremely impressed. Already booking next event. Thank you, Steve!!!

  • 3 years in business
  • 63 hires on Thumbtack
Dolores G.
Verified review

I am beyond grateful to Thumbtack for connecting me to Chef Keith Prante and his team at Hautè Productions Events and Catering to cater my mom's 80th birthday celebration. They are absolutely A-MAZING! Chef Prante was one of two chefs who responded to my request via Thumbtack, and I also received a personal referral. Neither of the other caterers offered ANYWHERE NEAR the quality, selections, variety and value that Hautè offered at my price point. We had our tasting today, and it absolutely sealed the deal! Everything was delicious and the presentation was outstanding. I highly recommend Hautè Productions to any potential customer who appreciates excellence, accommodation and genuine customer service.

  • 3 years in business
  • 39 hires on Thumbtack
Tracy L.
Verified review

Highly recommend!! I had Chantel do desserts for my sister's baby shower and she did an incredible job. Not only were the cookies, cake cops and cupcakes beautiful they also tasted amazing. She delivered the treats to my door giving me one less thing to think about on the day of the party. Will use again. Thanks Chantel and Bella :)

  • 18 years in business
  • 29 hires on Thumbtack
Micheline C.
Verified review

We loved the level of service and the food was amazing! Our guests loved every course. The chef used fresh ingredients and each dish was deliciously prepared and well presented. The entire staff created a wonderful experience for us and our guests. They were professional, courteous, friendly, very accommodating, and completely self-sufficient. We didn't have to lift a finger. Even the planning stage was made easy. Bill was extremely responsive, very professional, and reliable. They were reasonabley priced, as well. I would highly recommend them.

Top Chef
4.4
from 16 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
Carol G.
Verified review

I have enjoyed Diane's cooking very much. All of her meals have been very delicious. I especially liked the French dish she cooked, "Filet Mignon with Bernaise Sauce". I felt like I was eating at a 5 star restaurant. She is one of the best chef's I've had the pleasure of meeting.

Your Kitchen Jeanne
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Jay B.
Verified review

Jeanne is an excellent chef! We love her food!!

Chef LaTay Its Made Devine
4.9
from 11 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Megan H.
Verified review

Chef Carolyn Devine did and DIVINE job with her execution for my parents. I asked her to deliver something special for their birthdays + anniversary and special she did deliver! She went above and beyond with champagne, fruit and cheese platter, amazing spread, and dessert. And she stayed and visited with them and made them feel so special. Thank you to the moon and back Chef Devine. This is the first but not last time we'll be working with you!

Chef Nikki Martin
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Andrew F.
Verified review

Amazing surprise dinner for my wife. I wanted to do something special and have never hired a private chef before. Nikki was great! She helped me plan the entire evening. The menu was perfect and she even helped me set the mood by creating the most romantic setting ever. I could never have done this by myself and wife absolutely loved it!

PLANT BASED CHEF AVAILABLE!
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 6 years in business
Ron J.
Verified review

She's obviously worked very hard on her own version of awesome plant based recipes! I was impressed with everything!

  • 9 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Manny S.
Verified review

We hired Unique Luxury Catering to prepare a family dinner for 8 for my wife's birthday on our patio at Pelican Hill.Chef Brad prepared a fabulous meal topped off by a scratch made carrot cake that was divine.The reduction sauce with vanilla bean added was incredible to plate everything in. This was a great meal,for a great celebration in a great setting. Unique will deliver a great experience for whatever need your occasion requires.Thanks Steve for providing a great experience !

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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