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Santa Monica Chefs

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

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

Marcel was amazing! It was a five star experience from the service he offered, to the food he cooked, to the time he took to prep for my event. We had two chefs at my event who were amazed and very impressed with his cooking! I highly recommend him!

Top Pro
  • 8 years in business
  • 120 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Elsie S.
Verified review

We hired Gourmet Lovers to cater lunch at our daughter college graduation on a Yacht. Carolina and Boris arrived early dress in their professional chef coats The Buffet set in a lavished 5 star style Everything from the mouthwatering appetizer to the main lunch had great presentation, set in high-quality culinary service Each bite tasted amazing. We had a varieties of perfectly executed dessert making it the Gourmet Lovers treats During these events, our guests complement Gourmet Lovers, their culinary creations were outstanding We highly recommend Carolina & Boris Your menu is traditional and modern with unique a twist. We will use them again!!! Thank you!!!

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

Adkins Catering was very accommodating; my party had to be relocated a few hours before the party and they had no problem with it which helped me out a lot. On top of that, the food was amazing and more than I expected. The servers/bartender that they provide were super friendly and all my guest enjoyed them. So worth it. Thanks 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!

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!

Top Pro
The Pit Stop BBQ, LLC
5.0
from 52 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 59 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Genevieve V.
Verified review

Pam and her food was absolutely wonderful!!! We had a few people we could have used and am so glad we chose Pam for my in-laws 50th anniversary. My husband and I have had chefs before in our home before, but no one even compares to Pam and her food. Thank you Pam for a wonderful evening and the memory of the night will be forever!!!!

Super Food for Super People
4.9
from 44 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 64 hires on Thumbtack
Jennifer M.
Verified review

Chef Carolina was AMAZING. I would defiantly recommend her. I am so glad that I was able to have her into our home to cook for us. Her food and menus were perfect. She is extremely pleasant to work with and understood exactly what we wanted and needed during her time here. Looking forward to booking Chef Carolina 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
So Divine Catering
5.0
from 29 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 46 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Karen V.
Verified review

Chef Alexis and her team were the best! Super punctual, very professional and attentive to all the guests needs, plus her food was amazing. Definitely will book her again for another gathering.

Top Pro
SEGARS Culinary
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 24 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Cindy T.
Verified review

Steven came to our home, to serve my husband and me our anniversary dinner. He brought a beautifully printed out menu explaining the courses. He brought his own dishware which was lovely. From the well displayed appetizers to the meal itself ... we were delighted! The food was five star! And dessert was impressive! A very wonderful experience from beginning to end. What a treat to have an impeccably dressed chef walk through the door of our home and create pure deelish!!! Thank you to Steven!!! Michael and Cindy Thee Ashburn, Virginia

  • 3 years in business
  • 39 hires on Thumbtack
Amber B.
Verified review

Chantel was great! The bouquets and greenery was beautiful, I would recommend her in a heartbeat! The flowers were my favorite part of the wedding, and she did a great job with little guidance, helping my vision come to life!

Daily Squares, LLC
5.0
from 19 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
Joanne M.
Verified review

Dareen and her ladies were terrific. Dareen stayed in touch with me before the event, came on time, and left the kitchen all cleared and clean with the extra food stored neatly in the refrigerator. They were professional yet not stiff. My guests, a casual bunch not used to being "served," felt very comfortable. They were extremely complimentary. I was free to enjoy my gathering with no worries because Dareen and her staff took care of everything!

  • 13 years in business
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
Karen V.
Verified review

Chef David and his team were amazing. I hired Chef David three days before my event, and he was able to pull off a beautiful meal for 14 guests in my home. His sommelier, Marlon was super fun and created a tasty specialty drink from the odds and ends he could find from my fridge. Most importantly the food was delicious, especially the kale caesar and the butter cake. Big thanks to Chef David, we're definitely hiring you again.

Top Pro
Living Veg
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Malia F.
Verified review

Shelly not only makes vegan cooking simple and delicious, she provides the tools and tricks you need to prepare meals for your family! She teaches with love and passion and educates the public about plant-based nutrition and provides the info you need to make the switch from omnivore to vegan or enhance your current vegan lifestyle. I have been vegetarian for 20+ years and vegan for 9 years and I learned so much from Shelly just from one class! I can’t wait to learn more, as she has so much to offer and an entire cook book worth of recipes in her head to impress any chef!

A Wayfaring Chef
4.8
from 12 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 19 hires on Thumbtack
Skye J.
Verified review

Jessie is an absolute doll and a fantastic chef! i highly recommend her for any event.

2 French Chicks
4.8
from 12 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
Josette L.
Verified review

Hello my name is chef Josette, I love working with chef Josette And I like making tv shows with Clodine. Her recipes are great.

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

Chef LaTay was very professional and the food was the best I've ever had. Every morsel of food was delicious, even the baked goods were good. Her presentation was very appealing to the eye. I will continue to patronize Chef LaTay as my catering service.

Chef Elizabeth M
4.9
from 10 reviews
  • 14 years in business
Lisa M.
Verified review

The Brunette Gourmette is amazing! Elizabeth and Co. truly delivered above and beyond! She's a great chef, very creative, reliable and fun. Food for our daughter's graduation party couldn't have been better -- rave reviews from everyone. I will definitely go back for more of her wonderful catering. If you want a wonderful party, dinner party or event, don't hesitate to contact the Brunette Gourmette -- you will not be disappointed.

Wendell Hooper
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 21 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Jennifer W.
Verified review

I always look forward working at a Chef Wendell event. His expertise in culinary cuisine is beyond fabulous. Executing any menu along with any task given at hand is his specialty. He has such a way with food because I know he pours his heart into it. Can’t wait to work my next event with Chef Wendell!

Chef Asheesh
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 2 years in business
Raj K.
Verified review

WOW! Chef Asheesh is very responsive to our needs we had to change menu several time on him and he was able to accommodate our last minute requests. His food was simply put delicious and exquisite...

Rondeno Culinary Designs
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Louise L.
Verified review

Ryan is absolutely amazing. The food was wonderful, Ryan is an a amazing chef and such a lovely person too. Thankyou so much!

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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