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Find a private chef near Brooklyn, NY

Find a private chef near Brooklyn, NY

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Find a private chef near Brooklyn, NY

100+ near you

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Top 10 Private Chefs near Brooklyn, NY

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 Brooklyn private chefs
Sean C.
Charly was brilliant! My husband surprised me with a private chef for our first anniversary dinner and Charly did not disappoint. He made delicious food in our tiny Brooklyn apartment. Already making plans to hire him again.
Tsiann H.
I got the honor of working with Chef Rob for a private Mother’s Day dinner. I want to start off by saying this is the first time I’ve hired a private chef. I had 2 chefs cancel on me prior to reaching out to Rob and I’m so happy it all worked out! The way he conducted business from start to finish was incredible. He was super responsive and very easy to work with! We discussed the full menu on the phone (meaning we worked TOGETHER to create the perfect meal for my family). He was attentive to dietary restrictions and incredibly thoughtful. His food was FANTASTIC. The carrot soufflé is to die for! I’m personally a very picky eater and my whole family agreed if I liked it, ANYONE would like it- & I LOVED it!! The food was delicious and beautifully presented. He was such a great energy and made the whole experience perfect. I honestly cannot thank him enough for everything he did. My mom, aunt and grandmother were SO HAPPY and I could tell they truly felt appreciated. If you want a genuine, caring, funny and extremely talented chef for your events I highly recommend chef Rob!
Robert Crawford & Associates Inc.Robert Crawford & Associates Inc.
Dante W.
I hired Chef Lisle to prepare a three course Valentine's Day dinner for my girlfriend and me. I wanted something that was both southetn and Caribbean inspired and the menu he created thoroughly captured both cuisines. He cooked codfish cakes and hush puppies for appetizers. Chicken fried chicken with sweet plantains and pineapple cornbread was the main course with banana pudding as the dessert. The dinner and quality of food were excellent and went well beyond my expectations, especially the hush puppies and codfish cakes. Chef Lisle communicated well and was very personable. He cleaned up after himself which was much appreciated. I would definitely hire him again. The total cost for the private dinner was $370 (75/hr for 4 hours + cost of ingredients). If you are within the New York area, I don't believe there was a cost for travel.
Feed Me MoreFeed Me More
Meredith L.
I planned a small dinner party for my husband's 40th birthday and Tamara was amazing to work with. She helped me put the menu together, was very responsive with any questions I had and was able to work with my budget. For the actual event, she was punctual, professional, and also followed COVID guidelines wearing a mask and gloves. Her food was absolutely delicious. We had a seafood bisque, scallop risotto, and rack of lamb. She also helped us find a bartender for the event. I 100% recommend her to anyone who is planning a similar event or needs a private chef. I can't wait to work with her again in the future!
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Tony cooked us the most DELICIOUS top quality - fresh - dinner ever. Over a month later, my family is still raving about how tasty my birthday dinner was that Chef Tony cooked us. My birthday dinner menu included: -Rustic flat bread pizza with roasted eggplant, sundried tomatoes, arugula, manchego cheese with balsamic paint (the flatbread was perfectly crispy and the flavors came together amazing) -Mexican seafood ceviche (marinated sea bass scallops with avocado salad and lime crispy tortilla chips) I don't eat fish but the rest of my family devoured it and even I tried some and really enjoyed it!! It looked so light, tasty and refreshing that I couldn't help it! -French bree strawberries with toasted almonds in greek film cups (the bree and strawberry together was the perfect balance and broke up the courses perfectly) -Mini maryland crab cakes over granny smith apple cole slaw (everyone in my family went back for seconds and my brothers had 3 each! to the point where I had to stop them so they wouldn't be too full for the next courses. The slaw was soooooooooooooo tasty, I wish I knew how to make that as the perfect side-dish) -Spanish style Arroz con pollo (tomato rice chicken and chorizo) WORDS CAN NOT EXPRESS HOW GOOD THIS TASTED!! We literally could not stop eating it. This was legit real deal spanish arroz con pollo and better than I have eaten at any of the tons of spanish restaurants I have visited) -Cuban spiced grilled pork tenderloin with a pickled ginger mango slaw on a flour tortilla (once again the slaw was made completely different and incredibly flavorful and refreshing. It was the perfect topping for the soft tortilla tacos and the pork was very tasty and tender) -Argentinian steak (grilled latin filet mignon) with roasted red pepper saffron sauce served with whipped sweet potatoes sand grilled asparagus (by this point we were all incredibly full but HAD HAD HAD to eat this because that is how good it was. What an amazing way to end the dinner courses. The filet mignon did not need a knife at all and literally melted in my mouth. I WISH I watched Chef Tony make the sweet potatoes - they were the best I have ever eaten and I am huge food as well as my family. It had the perfect balance of sweet to it and I still am craving sweet potatoes made just like that! The asparagus was a perfect vegetable to go with it along with the home-made gravy he drizzled over the plate) -For dessert we had creme brûlée, italian cheese cake, flourless chocolate cake and warm chocolate chip cookies... For creme brûlée (one of my favorite desserts) Chef Tony even let us cook the top with the fire ourselves! Just typing this menu all over again makes me hungry thinking about the 5 star restaurant quality food Chef Tony made us. Everyone including myself literally loved every single food he served us. I can't express enough how much my family and I enjoyed having Chef Tony cook for us at home. I must have used the word flavorful 100x in this review, but that is literally the only way to explain it. Usually we go out for the family birthdays for all of the siblings, but this was just such a fun new twist that now everyone in my family wants to do this again with Chef Tony! Especially my brother who hates eating out, but the rest of the family always wants to eat out because sometimes it is nice to not have to cook...and now we have the perfect balance by getting a private chef for us like Chef Tony instead. This was the first time I ever hired a private chef and Chef Tony by far exceeded my expectations. He was also incredibly easy to work with on the menu. I can be a bit indecisive at times and I changed things about 3 times and Chef Tony was super easygoing about it and sent me back a new menu each time catering to exactly what I asked for. Since I hired him a week and a half before my birthday, he was very patient with me considering. He faceted with my sister to see her kitchen and go over everything we may or may not need. Oh, did I also mention he brought adorable blue blue linen napkins and made a printed menu with name on heading for every single person in my family eating, which was such a sweet and unique gesture on his end. He was also very friendly at my sister's house and was enjoyable to be around. I will 10000% be calling Chef Tony again and I have already told so many of my friends about him. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY - IT IS WORTH IT! Especially now that winter is coming, who wants to get dressed up and go out in freezing weather when you can hang out in the comfort of your home for quality time with family and friends, put the kids to bed without having to hire a babysitter, have some drinks, play games and get served 5 star quality restaurant food (if not better) ?!?! I am so happy I discovered Chef Tony and I look forward to definitely working again with him in the future. Also Chef Tony is a professional sommelier, but since we were drinking mixed drinks we didn't get the wine pairing included. I read very positive reviews about Chef Tony's wine pairing and my family and I very much look forward to trying that out eventually with Chef Tony. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Chef Tony for giving me one of those most memorable birthday dinners ever, you truly impressed my family, fiancé's family & myself to the point where like I said, everyone still brings you and your cooking up. I wish I could truly explain in words how positive this review really was it, but I did my very best to try and put into words. Bravo Chef Tony, looking forward to working with you again soon!! ~Thea Francesca
Tony Lawrence - Global Wine ChefTony Lawrence - Global Wine Chef
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