Find a chef near Temecula, CA

Find a chef near Temecula, CA

Find a chef near Temecula, CA

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Top 10 Chefs near Temecula, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does a personal chef cost?

Hiring a personal chef usually costs anywhere from $40-$100 or more per person. Request free cost estimates from personal chefs in your area so you’ll know exactly how much it will cost to hire one for your needs. For an accurate quote, be sure to let the chefs know the number of people they’ll need to feed, what you’d like on the menu and other relevant details. 

To learn more about the factors that impact the cost to hire a personal or private home chef, read our cost guide.

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 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 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 should catering cost for a wedding?

The cost of wedding catering will reflect the level of service, the menu you choose, the luxury you desire and the number of guests you invite. Where you live also plays a major role in your wedding catering costs. The regional cost to do business and local cost of food will affect your catering bill. There is no set price for wedding catering, because each wedding and each menu is different. This is why many caterers provide a per-person price. This allows you to break down what it costs to feed each person based on the menu you want. Working with your caterer, you can adjust menu items, service level and more to accommodate your budget and guest count. Keep in mind that wedding catering costs are not just for the food. The bill reflects all the components that go into commercial food catering: a commercial kitchen, ingredients, staff, insurance, marketing and more. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Three-course plated meal, moderately upscale, for 125 in Los Angeles: $14,000. Because of staffing costs, a true plated meal costs about twice as much as a staff-assisted buffet.
  • Buffet meal, standard menu, for 100 in Los Angeles: $5,000.
  • Per-person cost for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages: $24–$37, depending on menu selection, in Southern California.
  • Drop off prepared food for 50: $1,000 in North Carolina. Price does not include any service, setup or breakdown.

How do you serve food at a wedding?

Food service at your wedding will affect your catering costs and influence the atmosphere of the reception. Buffet style is more informal; plated meals are a bit fancier; family style encourages sharing. Read about the different food service styles to select your preferred wedding catering choice.

  • Buffet: Caterers can drop off prepared foods for a DIY and budget-friendly buffet option where you set everything up and food is entirely self-service. For a fuller-service buffet, the caterers set up food, oversee the buffet throughout the event, and clean up afterwards. For food only, prices per person might average $16-$18, while a service buffet may start around $20-$22 per person. Adding food stations can increase per-person costs by at least $3-$5.
  • Family style: Servers bring large platters of food to guest tables in courses. It’s less formal (and less expensive) than a plated meal, but more formal and higher-cost than a buffet. You’ll need large tables to accommodate the platters, so plan accordingly when renting furniture for the event.
  • Plated: A plated event is a formal dining experience; waitstaff serve your seated guests for each course, fill their drinks, and attend to them throughout the dinner. A plated dinner is typically the most expensive option for both food and service.
  • Food trucks: Similar to buffets, with food trucks your guests get their own food and bring it to their table. A food truck gives a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception.
  • Cocktail reception: If you don’t want a formal seated dinner, you can opt for a wide assortment of passed appetizers at an extended cocktail hour reception.

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.

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.
Reviews for Temecula chefs
Justinn C.
Chef Emily is amazing!! The food was absolutely delicious. She was punctual, fun, friendly, and all around a great chef! We will definitely be using her again!
homegrown kitchenhomegrown kitchen
Ryan L.
Chef Gabe’s food was outstanding! Working with him was a pleasure, he was very communicative and very personable with all of our guests. Thank you Chef Gabe for an amazing dinner!
mercenary chef, gzmercenary chef, gz
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Tye and Chef Deniece truly exceeded our expectations. They were on time, professional and a pleasure to work with. The food was second to none and they really went the extra mile to ensure we were taken care of. Tye gave a history on the dishes and explained exactly what we were eating as they were served. Everything was served at the perfect temp, the plating was beautiful and it was all cooked to perfection. I also wanted to mention that the menu was definitely a high end menu but still very suitable for children. Our kids loved the food and the chefs! Chef Tye and Chef Deniece spare no details. They will work within your budget to provide an amazing menu. I would recommend them to anyone seeking a private chef experience. While this is our first experience with Main Course, it most definitely will not be our last!
Main CourseMain Course
Tiana D.
La Panzano is an amazing chef and super awesome! Definitely recommend to anyone!
La Panzano Gourmet CateringLa Panzano Gourmet Catering
Ryan L.
I hired Chef Ray for a private dinner and could not be more pleased. From my initial consultation to the time he stepped out the door after dinner service, Chef Ray was absolutely AMAZING!!! His food was delicious and he was super personable. He even gave me a bunch of tips and tricks when he was cooking. I can’t thank you enough Chef Ray!!!
BiTE by Chef RayBiTE by Chef Ray
Enrique A.
Chef Danyale was the total package. Fun personality, excellent service, and amazing food. Highly recommend.
Sabrina M.
Wonderful chef for our big family event! Helped create a great menu that worked for everyone!
mercenary chef, gzmercenary chef, gz
Demi T.
We loved working with Mr. Worldwide Catering! Not only was the food absolutely delicious, but Chef Jose went out of his way to make sure that all of questions were answered and needs were fulfilled. We had a tasting prior to hiring Mr. Worldwide Catering and were quickly convinced not only by the delicious food, but by Chef Jose's knowledge and professionalism. The food at our wedding was outstanding! We would highly recommend Chef Jose and his team! Thank you!!
Mr. WorldWide CateringMr. WorldWide Catering
Natalie R.
Excellent food with excellent service. Very professional and punctual. Definitely would recommend Chef James for all events.
Thumbtack Customer
5+++ stars for Chef Tye Bell. Not only did he create a delicious and memorable menu for my ten year wedding anniversary, but he was personable, punctual, professional and a pleasure to have for the evening. It was five star plus food and service. I will definitely recommend him to anyone looking for an amazing personality and talented chef.
Main CourseMain Course
Brandy H.
Chef Danyale was great! Her food and presentation were a hit at our event. Will DEFINITELY utilize her services again!
Virginia H.
Eric did an amazing job preparing dinner for our leadership retreat. He is professional, personable and an excellent chef. We all agreed that the meal was outstanding! We were all members of the clean plate club! The BBQ grill had a grease fire, Chef Eric saved the day dealing with the fire and quickly changed cooking methods preparing amazing food!
Traica D.
Chef Kevin, provided the MOST amazing meal for our small intimate wedding! Every single bite of every thing he cooked was absolutely delicious, and multiple guests said it was the best meal they had ever eaten. The service was also such high quality, and Leo, who worked with Chef Kevin was incredibly professional. If you want a wonderful experience, then you must hire these guys for your special event, because they strive for the best in every aspect of catering!
Heritage Catering & Culinary ServicesHeritage Catering & Culinary Services
Thumbtack Customer
Better late than never ~ This review is long, long overdue and because of that I’ll start off by apologizing to one of the Chef Tye and his Sou Chef Denise. I had the extreme pleasure of doing business with Chef Tye back in October 2014 by taking a chance and booking him thru the Thumbtack app and I’m so thankful that I did. I was planning a girls weekend trip for three to the Temecula wine country and was in desperate need of a chef to prepare a special birthday celebration dinner. I’m in Northern CA, and just didn’t have access to a chef in the Temecula area. After conducting several internet searches and coming up empty handed I decided to try Thumbtack. After keying in the service type, meal preference and budget I hit the submit button and patiently awaited feedback from participating chefs. Voila’. I received several replies within the 1st hour. After a few back and forth emails via Thumbtack , several great menu selections and a price that just couldn’t be beat, I decided right then and there to hire Chef Tye. I’ve got to tell you, he was the perfect Man for the job. Did I mention he’s great eye candy. (Ladies tip) After hashing out all of the details; exchanging contact information, final menu selections, contract and financial obligations etc… it was on. I was so excited to surprise my girlfriends with Chef Tye. I knew that after speaking with him several times, he was going to ensure the meal was going to be absolutely perfect. During the entire process Chef Tye was extremely professional and through. He kept me in the loop at all times, made excellent suggestions when it came to dishes ZI wanted to have served , or thought I wanted to have served. When he arrived at the rental home, Chef had everything prepped and ready to go for our gourmet birthday dinner. He even travel with his own Sou Chef, who also does double duty as his beautiful mother, Denise. These two are down to earth caring people. I don’t typically do well with strangers, I’m usually stand-offish, but these two were awesome. We all felt as if they were part of our extended family. The dinner surpassed our expectations and I would highly recommend Chef Tye for your next event. You won’t be disappointed. My ,mouth actually started having flashbacks as I started to recall that nights menu. 1st Course Cream of Artichoke Soup ,Served With Roasted Corn, and Butter Poached Lobster Garnished With Chives 2nd Course Pan Seared Sea Scallops Layered on Sun Dried Tomato Risotto Topped With a Cashew Compound Butter 3rd Course Grilled 6oz Petite Filet Served With Cauliflower Gratin, Crunchy Pancetta Green Bean, Finished With a Lobster Tail Scampi 4th Course Chef Tye Bell’s Crème Brule’ Served With Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries Chef Tye came in and did his thing. We had dinner outside on the porch that over looked the vineyards. The weather and company “perfect” . We were we served each course and Chef Tye let us know what we were about to devour and how it was prepared. By the nights end the kitchen was spotless, there was absolutely no signs of it even being used. My girlfriends and I were happy, a lil tipsy off the wine and satisfyingly full from our delicious meal. I’d definitely recommend Chef Tye and will certainly hire him again. Lisa Gomes Visiting Scientist and Academic Cooperation Office (VSAC)& New Employee Orientation Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory P.O. Box 808, L-646,Bldg. 543 Room 1015 Livermore, CA 94550 Phone (925) 422-2005 Fax (925) 422-7995 Web Site: Https:// This information, including all attachments, is sensitive, may contain PII, and is intended only for the use of the requester. If you are not the intended recipient, or responsible for delivery to such recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, or distribution of this information is strictly prohibited. Protection of this information is to be managed in accordance with LLNS,LLC's Personnel Policy and Procedures ( and with applicable Federal laws: Federal Freedom of Information Act, Federal Privacy Act of 1974, Security of Personnel Information Civil Code 1798.80-84, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. and with applicable Federal laws: Federal Freedom of Information Act, Federal Privacy Act of 1974, Security of Personnel Information Civil Code 1798.80-84, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
Main CourseMain Course
Cindy N.
We had a wonderful experience hiring Chris to prepare an exceptional meal for our group of 7 ladies. We all felt very comfortable and relaxed having Chris in the kitchen. His talents and professionalism made our night! If you have the opportunity to hire this chef do it!
Chris Brugler CateringChris Brugler Catering
Nicole C.
Chef Gabriel was amazing! He was super responsive from the beginning. He cooked for 4 of us girls for a bachelorette party and everything was perfect. He was professional and everything tasted fantastic. The presentation was beautiful and he accommodated everyone's needs. I would definitely hire him again!
mercenary chef, gzmercenary chef, gz
Christopher R.
Chef Eric went far and beyond! I booked him for a birthday dinner that I unfortunately had to miss due to becoming sick but he managed to pull through and cook an amazing dinner for my friends. They loved every single part of it! He was very kind and gracious to cook an alternative for my vegetarian friend too.
Thumbtack Customer
Loved meeting with Chef Jose! He's very down the earth, positive, friendly, and SO willing to do whatever you ask to make you day special! Definitely looking forward to working with him on our wedding day! Also, I have searched high and low, and you will NOT find a price better than his! (Always a plus!)
Mr. WorldWide CateringMr. WorldWide Catering
Douglas D.
Wow! What an amazing experience from an amazing chef! Kevin personally is very professional, courteous and personable. Talent-wise, Kevin is off the charts! From start to finish, every course was amazing. We customized the menu a bit, but I mainly followed Kevin’s recommendations and it was a home run. Do not hesitate for even a moment…just book with Kevin and you will not regret it.
Heritage Catering & Culinary ServicesHeritage Catering & Culinary Services
Elizabeth E.
Chef Gabe was a joy to work with! I hired him for a birthday dinner for my moms 65th. Gabe took my menu ideas and created a delicious 3 course dinner that we all enjoyed! Everything from the ricotta tart appetizer to hand made pasta was absolutely delicious. We had a wonderful experience working with him and would surely hire him again!
mercenary chef, gzmercenary chef, gz
Paula S.
Our experience with Courtney was excellent from beginning to end. We hired Courtney as a private chef for one evening in a weekend rental home where our family (3 adult children and spouses) had gathered to celebrate birthdays. She quickly responded to my request for a chef to provide a birthday dinner and was extremely easy to work with....we collaborated on a menu and she was very accommodating to all of my requests. She arrived on time with all her super fresh ingredients and got right to work while we relaxed and enjoyed our evening. Everything was perfect and delicious, from appetizers (shrimp, scallops and grits) to dinner (salad, filet w/ mushroom sauce, grilled veg, truffle mashed potatoes) to a fabulous birthday cake. She did not leave until every dish was done and put was an absolute treat for the whole family and a night we will remember! Thank you Courtney!
The Fusion TableThe Fusion Table
Laura S.
We are over the moon about finding Chef Kevin with Heritage Catering. He was nothing short of AWESOME!! He went above and beyond in every way. His menu was perfect for our special event, the dishes were beautiful and presented so artistically, and the preparation and flavors were just outstanding!! Five star class all the way!! He really made our event even more unforgettable!!
Heritage Catering & Culinary ServicesHeritage Catering & Culinary Services
Bea D.
Chef Tim and his team are a pleasure to work with. He checked all our needs and wants when it comes to catering our wedding! He is very adaptable, professional and his menu has good choices! His food is really good and all our guests were pleased on the presentation and taste. I highly recommend getting him as your caterer on your upcoming events! It will not disappoint you! I will definitely add photos once I get our professional photos done.
Southern California Private Chef ServicesSouthern California Private Chef Services
Casey S.
James and Jessica made my friends special weekend, over-the-top. To have someone come in and prepare food with love and leave the place spotless is a priceless gift. My ohana loves to grill and prepare food together. However this weekend we wanted a break, enjoy each other's company and relax. Nobody had to shop, prep and be in the kitchen or clean up. Was the best treat for us all. And with COVID, we couldn't go out to a restaurant anyway. James brought the best of fine dining and the comfort of home, volume of laughter and our barefeet together. Thank you Chef James, look forward to working with you in the future.
Stephen E.
James was first class throughout. He was very helpful during the planning stage and extremely responsive to our needs. He always answered very promptly to any questions and showed a great understanding of our plans for the birthday party he was catering for. He was on-time and set up the food immaculately. The quality of his cooking was fantastic. All the menu items were high quality and delicious. His beef was so succulent and tender. The mashed potato may have been the best I have ever tasted. He hand crafted us creme brulee which he torched on site. They were divine. Every menu item was unique and very tasty. 10/10 across the board - quality, flavors, communication, value, punctuality, professionalism. If you are looking for a high caliber caterer / chef then James would be an excellent choice. And in addition, James is just a very pleasant and nice person.
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