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Des Plaines Chefs

Browse these chefs with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Des Plaines.

Top Pro
  • 4 years in business
  • 324 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Laura W.
Verified review

WOW!!!! What a memorable experience. So personable, easy to work with, wonderful staff, fantastic ideas for planning the menu. Phenomenal chef from presentation of each dish to the ingredients of each course. Being in the restaurant business myself and dealing with many chefs he is by far my favorite!! If you are looking for a special evening please do not pass up having Chef Richard come to do your private event.

North Island Catering
4.8
from 150 reviews
  • 32 years in business
  • 271 hires on Thumbtack
Paulette C.
Verified review

I am a few weeks late posting this review but I simply had to make time to say what a WONDERFUL company North Island catering is!! We not only had the very BEST service from the moment I sent request looking for a catering company for our event, but the food, service, bartenders, chefs, waiters and waitresses all did a phenomenal job start to finish! The owners were always a phone call or email away and answered my calls almost on the first ring every single time! We had meetings before our event to be sure we were all on the same page with every detail and they certainly did not miss a thing! We were hosting our Daughter's going away party into the Coast Guard. We held the party outdoors on our dock at our harbor downtown Chicago. We had to have hundreds of guests throughout the evening and every single guest mentioned to us how delicious the food was and the great service they received from the chef, waiter, waitresses and bartender! We will certainly hire this company each and every time we host a party! They made this event go so smoothly that it was so nice to have a stress free party and enjoy time with all of our guests without having any of the stress or headaches that can come along with parties that size. I must send a HUGE THANK YOU to Alan, Christina, and their FANTASTIC staff at "North Island catering"!! Paulette C

Chic Chef Catering
4.8
from 132 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 209 hires on Thumbtack
Eileen T.
Verified review

Dynamite team of chefs for our outdoor event hosted at our home. The chefs prepared a seafood boil and bbq for 40 guests, all the food cooked to perfection. Looking forward to working with Chic Chef Catering again in the future.

Top Pro
Cater~2~U Catering LLC
5.0
from 51 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 69 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kevin B.
Verified review

We have had many private chefs and caterers. We have found our “go to” chef service. Food was amazing. Mike and Matt were fun. They entertained the kids at the bar as they cooked, served.. and cleaned up. If you have never had a personal chef, try them. If you have before, uplevel to them. And by the way.. the cost was a bargain. Dinner for 8 with wine and beer pairing Less than $100 per person Insanely goid!

  • 29 years in business
  • 64 hires on Thumbtack
Geralyn P.
Verified review

Loved, loved, loved our experience with chef David and Lakeshore. The menu I selected was perfectly prepared and delicious. Our guests were very impressed.

Top Pro
Gracious
5.0
from 25 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 38 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jennifer W.
Verified review

DELICIOUS food, wonderful chef, works with person ordering. We ordered last minute and it was GREAT.

Top Pro
Food with Flair
5.0
from 25 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lynn O.
Verified review

This was my first time hiring a caterer, and I was not disappointed. This was also my first time using Thumbtack. Had never even heard of it before googling “caterers near me”. Carol of Food with Flair did a wonderful job catering a family outdoor BBQ at my home for my dad’s 90th birthday. We had 25 people in attendance, and many commented on how good the food was. She was very responsive from the moment she and I were matched through Thumbtack, all the way through my event. She helped plan the meal, making suggestions on food items that were popular at other BBQs she had catered; arrived promptly the day of the event with much of the food prep completed and the remainder completed once she arrived; provided the warming trays, serving dishes, and serving utensils; grilled the meat (hamburgers and chicken) on my Weber grill; set up the serving table; had the meal ready in a timely fashion; put away leftovers for me; and left my kitchen clean. She also was able to work with dietary restrictions. She offered to provide paper goods and make arrangements for other supplies (e.g. canopy), which I declined. She brought two pineapple upside down cakes (my Dad’s favorite), and because we had neglected to discuss which of us would provide the candles, she decided to play it safe and brought a “9” & a “0” candle for one of the cakes. For the other cake she had a friend create a diecut that read “Happy 90th Birthday” in colors that coordinated with the cake. It was a nice, thoughtful surprise. While I had thought about asking whether she offered tastings, I didn’t due to the small size of my party; the short time frame between booking the party and the event itself; and her experience as an executive chef. I trusted that the food would be good, and it was. But I can’t share whether she offers tastings or not. My husband and I were very pleased with the service Carol provided and would definitely use her again.

Top Pro
  • 18 years in business
  • 32 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kamal H.
Verified review

We hired Tracy to be part of a two chef team for a baby shower for 70+ guests at our home and were extremely pleased. She was punctual, very helpful and was not hesitant to do whatever needed to be done. We will certainly hire her again.

Top Pro
Kristen Haynes
5.0
from 20 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 23 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Patrick A.
Verified review

Where do I begin with how amazing Kristen was? I requested the assistance of a server to simply help refill the buffet at our event. Kristen went absolutely above and beyond from start to finish. She arrived early and brought all sorts of little tricks of the trade to make my party amazing ie. drink and food garnishes, miniature forks, and even a few mixers for drinks. She put together an amazing cheese platter that everyone was talking about. She made everyone feel welcome and there was never a moment where I worried about a thing - she was always on top of things. From watching if anyone need anything - to cooking more when we were running low - she even cleaned up the kitchen and stayed much longer then I told her I would need her. I have given her name to many people and I can't imagine having an event without her help. After learning that she is an amazing chef, I look forward to having her cater all of our future events. I am definitely one of the pickiest people you'll ever meet and don't typically write these reviews - so if I've gone through this much, you can only imagine how amazing Kristen truly is.

Top Pro
DiMaria Culinary
4.9
from 18 reviews
  • 27 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Rakshinda A.
Verified review

Chef Frank was very professional and quick to respond to all queries. He was flexible in scheduling and location and considerate given that we were in the middle of moving houses. The lesson was a birthday present for my 9 year old daughter and he made it an event to remember. I would highly recommend Chef Frank for cooking/baking lessons.

Top Pro
Chez Mikey
5.0
from 16 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Chris K.
Verified review

Wow! I couldn't have asked for a better chef. Chez Mikey and his sous chef Diana were on time, dressed professionally, prepared delicious food, cleaned up, and gave us a marvelous experience. He worked with our budget and was very friendly. The dishes were plated very nicely. Not only was the food excellent but very appealing to the eye. I will definitely hire him again and I highly recommend him to anyone looking to hire a personal chef.

Feast & Imbibe
4.8
from 15 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
Kellye W.
Verified review

As a fellow event and catering professional, Feast and Imbibe did stellar job of amazing my guests. Recently, Heather and Chef D'Andre created an amazing menu and wine pairings for my baby shower, an intimate dinner for 12. As my guests walked in Heather was offering the champagne we decided to serve and Chef and his team were busy in the kitchen working on plating the passed apps, D'Andre's signature Chicken and Waffle bites! OMG!! Throughout the six course dinner the F& I team was the height of professionalism. Not to mention each course Chef created was mindbendingly delicious! My guests were both satisfied with portion sizes and some woke up the next day craving more! We dined on a beautiful deconstructed salad, smoked salmon, duck confit, olive oil poached salmon and my favorite...lamb belly!! For dessert Chef created a S'more Bomb that was "smoked" with vanilla bean and once cracked open revealed the gender of my baby!! My guests laughed and screamed with delight! Even adults love playing with their food!! I can't wait to use F&I again!!

Mark Avila
5.0
from 13 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Caesar P.
Verified review

I have a close relationship with many chefs around Chicago, a number of whom are Michelin Star holders, and Mark Avila is right at the top with these chefs. He’s well rounded, creative and has the insight and components to run a high end restaurant. He’s not just a masterful chef but also a creator of memorable experiences

PhylClay's Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Maria B.
Verified review

PhylClay's Catering catered my wedding and made my day extra special. Everyone, including myself, loved the food. The service was excellent and the experience was breathtaking.

By the Graham
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Moe J.
Verified review

Hired "By The Graham" as a private chef for my brother's bachelor party. Wanted to try something different than just ordering pizza or going to a restaurant. Not only was the food amazing, but I was really impressed with Dillion's professionalism and knowledge when it comes to cooking. Will definitely be using "By The Graham" the next time I need a Chef!

Thyme for Dinner
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Shelley L.
Verified review

I really enjoy working with kristi. She's easy to get along with and is willing to do whatever I ask with the food. I am on a special diet and she always manages to create dishes that fit the diet and also taste great!

Rock & Rolling Pin Bakery
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Roy S.
Verified review

I had a great dinner party, Chef Noel cooked up a terrific dinner that was five star. Totally awesome experience.

Dreamyvents Catering
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Arlieta H.
Verified review

Chef Chanell’s food will snatch your soul and leave you desiring more! I had some of her shrimp and grits, buffalo chicken rolls,vegan pasta, and homemade strawberry lemonade! Everything she creates is fresh, flavorful, and full of love! Chef Chanell is passionate, gifted, and a true food connoisseur! I have booked her not once or twice but I am a consistent client so trust you are in good hands!!

Fyusion Dining
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Elaine L.
Verified review

I really never write reviews, but Alvin Yu and his team were amazing! Our guests really raved about all the food. (I need to get his recipe for the Asiago Crusted Chicken Breast - so tender!). And his servers and sous chefs really made the event. Their attention to detail and lovely personalities really made the atmosphere. They were so helpful beyond what I could have even asked for. We had 2 passed appetizers, then salad, 4 entrees and 3 sides served family style for 44 guests and everything was delicious and well timed. Alvin totally understood what I wanted and was able to seamlessly accommodate special dietary needs. He was very responsive to all my questions throughout the planning process and seriously made the event really so easy on me! And they really made our guests of honor feel very special, too. They really go above and beyond. A huge thank you to Fyusion Dining for making our event such a success!

Chef Lynn Garrett
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Pierre H.
Verified review

Chef Lynn Garrett prepared an exceptional menu and honored my guest with excellent care and service. A heartfelt thank you!

Chef Paul Catering
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 34 years in business
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Bettie L.
Verified review

The food was fabulous!! I received many compliments! Thank You Chef Paul. Bettie Sams Club, Gurnee, IL.

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.

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.

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 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.
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