Find a chef near Jacksonville, FL

Find a chef near Jacksonville, FL

18 near you

Find a chef near Jacksonville, FL

18 near you

Give us a few details and we’ll match you with the right pro.

Zip code

Top 10 Chefs near Jacksonville, FL

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 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 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 Jacksonville chefs
Kevin S.
Chef Karin was awesome. She cooked for 7 of us for my wife's birthday. It was a great surprise to my wife. Chef Karin interacted great with all of us and prepared a wonderful and delicious meal. Everything was on time and the whole experience was beyond what was anticipated. I would definitely recommend Chef Karin to anyone!!!! Awesome experience.
Chef Karin's Creations LLCChef Karin's Creations LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef did not follow thru on the job. Very disappointed!!
Fine Dining @ Home by Chef AarronFine Dining @ Home by Chef Aarron
Jasper H.
The chef prepared a beautiful meal. Very satisfied with product provided.
Chef Jaz MooreChef Jaz Moore
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Aarron did an outstanding job! We enjoyed everything!
Fine Dining @ Home by Chef AarronFine Dining @ Home by Chef Aarron
Aaron H.
Chef Dan was amazing. The food was out of this world and he was great guy in general. We laughed and ate good it’s was like having family over not someone I just met. He’s a great guy and a five star chef ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Chef Dan Culinary Experiences LLCChef Dan Culinary Experiences LLC
Dietangal H.
Chef Nicole prepared a French inspired dinner that was delicious and the lavender lemonade was delightful.
Nicole DixonNicole Dixon
Thumbtack Customer
This was truly a memorable experience! Will definitely use Chef Aarron again! The food quality and taste was excellent!
Fine Dining @ Home by Chef AarronFine Dining @ Home by Chef Aarron
Thumbtack Customer
The Chef was on time. The steak was cooked perfectly and all my guests loved their meal! Will hire again!
Alan HuntAlan Hunt
Nia A.
Chef Jaz was very passionate and attentive. The food was great and so was the service. We will definitely hire again.
Chef Jaz MooreChef Jaz Moore
Andrea R.
Chef Matthew was incredible, the food was amazing from presentation to melt in your mouth delicious!! His servers just kept giving the highest quality one could ask for and as a team it was delightful to meet and work with them. As a wedding planner I meet all types and styles Chef Matthew will forever be my go to cater when I have the choice.
Cultured Foods CateringCultured Foods Catering
Brittany E.
Chef Karin prepared a wonderful five course dinner for my 30th birthday for 10 people. It was such a special experience and all of the food was delicious!
Chef Karin's Creations LLCChef Karin's Creations LLC
Johnnie j.
Chef Dan was great and the food was even greater. Will be seeing him again for my next dinner party. Thank you so much.
Chef Dan Culinary Experiences LLCChef Dan Culinary Experiences LLC
Victoria D.
Working with Chef Jaz was nothing short of amazing! She was very responsive to all my text! Food was awesome! We will definitely be using her again and again!
Chef Jaz MooreChef Jaz Moore
Artress B.
I hired her for a birthday surprise.Great Personality, very accomadating. The food was flavorful and delicious. She went from being a chef to a DJ to make our nite.....#greatexperience
The Belly ChefThe Belly Chef
Travis D.
I really wanted to do something special for my wife for our 11 year Anniversary. I spoke with Chef Dan and he made sure that the night would be memorable. The food was absolutely amazing, his professionalism and service was top notch it was just like we were in the restaurant. He made sure to explain each dish and his homemade ricotta was by far the best I ever tasted. This was the first time that my wife and I had a personal Chef and will not be the last. He worked with us through the whole process and made sure to make food we would enjoy. Chef Dan thank you, thank you, thank you for making this day special, I look forward to working with you again.
Chef Dan Culinary Experiences LLCChef Dan Culinary Experiences LLC
Derek S.
I reached out to chef Karen a month or so ago to prepare a surprise birthday meal for my girlfriend. She provided several options and worked with me to build a 5 course meal to our tastes. The experience was something new for us and Chef Karen did not disappoint! She was a delightful person to work with and a great cook! She even washed the dishes! There was a lot of food and the only thing I wished I’d have done differently is called her sooner, when my girlfriends family was in town. Would totally recommend! Thank you Karen
Chef Karin's Creations LLCChef Karin's Creations LLC
Sean C.
After searching and dealing with large corporations and over priced businesses, I found Chef Cathy and her team on thumbtack. She was kind, willing, adaptable and her communications were spot on. She made made it very simple to cater 100 of our guest. After we first reached out to Chef Cathy, we planned a in home catering visit. She came over and prepared everything that we had asked for, my wife and I felt like royalty the way she treated us. As the day of our wedding approached, she kept in full contact, ensuring us everything was going to plan. On our wedding day Chef Cathy and her team were one of the first ones to arrive at the venue. She had everything set up and strategically placed for guest to come through (all appetizers and main dinner). "The Dinner" was absolutely delicious! We had the Fajitas for our dinner and she killed it! She made everything by scratch and everything had a unique and perfect taste. As the night went on, she reset the buffet which allowed guest to come back for seconds, thirds or just to come by and make a nacho plate. I couldn't have ask for a better person to caterer our wedding. CHEF CATHY is a must have at your wedding or catering event!
Dawn to Dusk Catering and Personal ChefDawn to Dusk Catering and Personal Chef
Angelica s.
Chef Karin was amazing. I was only able to select 3 categories but she got all 5 in my book. very fun friendly and my guest really enjoyed her. The food was amazing and the drinks she made were very good. We will definitely be booking her again for future events.
Chef Karin's Creations LLCChef Karin's Creations LLC
Ed H.
This was my father's 96th Birthday Party, held at the Assisted Living Facility where he now resides. He has only been there since this past September after recovering from a weakened condition and a bout of illness. As you can imagine, we had family, friends and neighbors who were looking forward to seeing him in his new location. I will tell you that I have far more accolades to convey about Chef Derek than I can share with you here... but suffice to say that EVERYTHING was wonderful. Chef Derek took charge of the venue provided, (after meeting with and working closely with the facility management coordinators,) and orchestrated the presentation and delivery of the food from start to finish. I immediately began hearing about how good the food was long before I'd even had a chance to sample it myself. He was prepared with a wonderful appetizer, a salad, both meat and meatless dishes, a gluten-free fish dish that I am still hearing rave reviews about, and a delicious birthday cake for my father. After Dad, of course, Chef Derek was clearly the star of the show. Even more important, perhaps, is that after the event... Chef Derek was able to promptly clean up and police his area in time for the next routine meal event for the residents of the facility. He has my highest recommendation. I am already trying to decide on the next event that will allow us to use his services. (I am going to submit this now. I hope this testimonial process will allow me to come back and add photos later. The pictures will REALLY tell the story.)
Chef Derek E. (Food to Go Catering)Chef Derek E. (Food to Go Catering)
Ronald F.
What a wonderful experience! I now have a personal chef! I’m definitely using him more in the near further to possibly be a staple in my kitchen. It was that good! He was punctual, professional, a bit funny, very knowledgeable of food, the list could go on!. Thank you so much! Oh btw. He cleans too!
Chef Dan Culinary Experiences LLCChef Dan Culinary Experiences LLC
Toni G.
Cultured Foods catered our Christmas Holiday Dinner for American Technical Ceramics. Matthew did an AMAZING job. Everyone loved the food and even commented they wanted to use Cultured Foods again in the future. Matthew is an amazing chef. Its very hard to please over 200 people and Matthew did just that!! We will definately use Cultured Foods again!!
Cultured Foods CateringCultured Foods Catering
Ronald Y.
Chef Renaud prepared a fantastic meal for my wife's 70th birthday. The meal was excellent, from the presentation to the flavor of the food. He cooked, served and cleaned up when he was done. He was very professional from his appearance to explaining each meal's course. By the way this review was not solicited by him, I did it because I want others to enjoy his service like my wife and I did. Try him, you will not be disappointed.
Ready to find a pro?

See more reviews, compare prices, and hire your favorite pros all with Thumbtack.

Why hire professionals on Thumbtack?
Free to use

You never pay to use Thumbtack: Get cost estimates, contact pros, and even book the job—all for no cost.

Compare prices side-by-side

You’ll know how much your project costs even before booking a pro.

Hire with confidence

With access to 1M+ customer reviews and the pros’ work history, you’ll have all the info you need to make a hire.