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Find a chef near Denver, CO

Find a chef near Denver, CO

36 near you

Find a chef near Denver, CO

36 near you

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Top 10 Chefs near Denver, CO

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 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.

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.

Reviews for Denver chefs
Cyntril a.
Everything was great. We loved chef Dee very good vibes 💞💞
Ethnic Fusion cuisine cateringEthnic Fusion cuisine catering
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Michael was the consummate professional. Entree delicious! We will definitely be using his services again.
Chef Michael: Custom Catering and Personal ChefChef Michael: Custom Catering and Personal Chef
Bob L.
Chef Randy’s service and food was as promised. We were very satisfied and would use him again.
Luxury Meals From HomeLuxury Meals From Home
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Chef Michael for my buddy's bachelor party. We had a special request: make a dinner with the pheasant we bring home from our day's hunt, and take the bird to a high level of culinary experience. Chef Michael delivered. We had a nice spread of appetizers, great main course (with beer pairings!), and an amazing dessert. Chef kept a clean kitchen, provided friendly service, and was serious about delivering a high quality meal. I'd book again for an event.
Chef Michael: Custom Catering and Personal ChefChef Michael: Custom Catering and Personal Chef
Ashley F.
Chef Meis was so wonderful! Easy to coordinate, on time, built custom menu for us, and even helped with dishes!
Chef MeisChef Meis
Jennifer E.
Where do I begin.... Jeff was amazing from the moment he spoke to me, trying to find out what was best suited for us and what we needed. Jeff really worked around what WE liked and made it PHENOMENAL!! Did I mention Chef Jeff was AMAZING! The food of course was the highlight of this party. Everyone couldn’t stop talking about how great the food was. Each bite of food was so flavorful, so delicious that we ran out, in a good way! The Beef Carpaccio, Shrimp cocktail shooter like nothing I’ve ever tasted before, mini twice baked potatoes and those Empanadas...... Wow, just WOW! Chef Jeff and Sous chef Danny were a dynamic duo cleaning up everything interacting with guests. Never once letting food get low, keeping it always hot. To say the least we were all BLOWN away!! I’m telling you if you want a Chef that can go over and beyond for your event, you’ve found him! You will not be disappointed I promise! Thank you Chef Jeff and Sous chef Danny YOU made our event the talk of the town 😉
Chef Jeff G StonekingChef Jeff G Stoneking
Trista S.
Dustin was great!!! It was the first time I had ever done the chef thing and he made it very laid back.
Dustin Best chef servicesDustin Best chef services
Pedro S.
Dustin was the ultimate pro and made our party amazing. Like a scene out of master chef in the comfort of our own home.
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Lisa is wonderful! She has been creating and cooking Paleo meals for us and the food is phenomenal! We went with Paleo to begin a healthier lifestyle, and Chef Lisa's meals are so creative and so full of flavor! We couldn't have asked for anything better! We feel very blessed to have found her. Kelvin and Carrie Nicholson
Gourmet Away, LLCGourmet Away, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Michael was true professional and executed wonderful meal as described in pre planning. Tasty food and real pleasure to experience his catering. 5 stars!
Chef Michael: Custom Catering and Personal ChefChef Michael: Custom Catering and Personal Chef
Melanie S.
Chef Randi was extremely responsive and easy to plan with. He made an amazing meal for a get together with my girlfriends. We will definitely be using him again!
Luxury Meals From HomeLuxury Meals From Home
Marin N.
Mitzi and her husband were amazing chefs for my sister’s bachelorette party (17 people!!)! The Italian dinner was delicious and for a good price. Would highly recommend!
The Cheffy Quilter, Mitzi KingThe Cheffy Quilter, Mitzi King
Charlton R.
Genuinely one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time. He is a very experienced chef and it shows in his food. I recommend him to any and everyone!
Kearney Kreations LLCKearney Kreations LLC
Patrick D.
This review is a long time coming. Chef Andrea was awesome. Bottom line is that the meal she prepared, the presentation and her skills made my wife's birthday dinner hard to top!
Fresh Food Further Catering & Private Chef ServiceFresh Food Further Catering & Private Chef Service
Icey M.
Chef Magdiel was very professional and confident. His food spoke for itself self!! I ordered Lamb chops, mixed veggies broccoli, Asparagus, carrots, potatoes, and Hawaiian rolls. The food was delicious!! Amazing flavors and the butter distillate blended well throughout the food. The rolls were perfect for soaking up the butter! Chef Magdiel made a green salsa that I ate with the lamb! The lamb was cooked to perfection. I have never loved veggies more than yesterday.
The Bomb EnchiladaThe Bomb Enchilada
Katherine H.
Chef TJ was a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and on time. I can’t express how amazing the food was. Everyone loved it. I would highly recommend him! Looking forward to working with him in the future.
Chef TJChef TJ
Narnia n.
This was my first time booking a private chef and it was for my boyfriends birthday. Let me tell you, we could not have been happier. We loved every course and every minute of it. We loved it so much that we just had to book inclined catering again twice in one week! We are even planning on flying Cameron out to VA for my birthday. Cameron I cannot thank you enough for the amazing food and the service. If you’re thinking about hiring a private chef inclined catering is what you want!
Inclined CateringInclined Catering
Christina A.
Gourmet Away was a great choice for our holiday staff lunch. Every single person enjoyed the food and complimented the set up. We will definitely work with her again and recommend her to others. Great job, Chef Lisa :)
Gourmet Away, LLCGourmet Away, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Tim is truly a gem. He is responsive, professional, creative, and fun! He came to my home and prepared and served a lovely meal for 8. He offered numerous choices, and what we chose was delicious and perfectly prepared. I highly recommend him!
Custom Culinary ConceptsCustom Culinary Concepts
Thumbtack Customer
Dustin was professional, flexible, and an excellent chef. We selected Dustin because he has a high focus on the quality of the food. The meal was well thought out and expertly prepared. His team took care of everything, and he accommodated a number of dietary restrictions and requests. It was an outstanding evening!
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
Payal S.
Dustin was a great chef you made delicious food for my half vegetarian and half meat loving family. It was perfect way to end our trip to Denver and ensure that we got to relax and not worry about a thing. He came with a server and was extremely professional. Thank you!
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
Alex D.
This was the first time we've had a personal chef come to our house and cook for us. It was a wonderful​ birthday present and I would definitely do it again. Dustin and Andrea made it so easy. They brought all silverware and plates, and left no mess for us. It made for a relaxed atmosphere and fabulous food.
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
Katie L.
I hired Mag, the chef, for my wife’s birthday. I had no idea what I was doing with regards to hiring a personal chef. Mag made it easy. He was full of ideas. He was also honest in the Mexican cuisine was his specialty. He wasn’t kidding. He made a dish for the special occasion Chile en nogada. Nogada is a nut in this case walnut cream sauce. It was so GOOD!! It’s paired wonderfully with a fruity Riesling. Mag was friendly and very professional. I will be hiring him again. His pricing is very fair. Almost to fair. With that kind of quality meal he could charge more. Thanks Mag for making a COVID-19 birthday a wonderful birthday. Cheers!!!!
The Bomb EnchiladaThe Bomb Enchilada
Agne J.
I booked Inclined Catering for my husbands birthday dinner and it was perfect. Every course was great and every guest loved it. Chef and the bartender was extremely professional and nice and we had the best time ever. Definitely will book again for future celebrations! I think photos talks for itself - so take a look.
Inclined CateringInclined Catering
Alexus B.
Best personal chef experience I ever had!!! Dustin was very professional and easy to work with. He made my birthday brunch perfect. Everything he made for my girls and me was amazing. The presentation was great. The food was fabulous. Do not look any further! He is awesome and will not disappoint. I promise. Loved loved loved!!!!
Underground Fine DiningUnderground Fine Dining
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