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Find a chef near Cincinnati, OH

Find a chef near Cincinnati, OH

8 near you

Find a chef near Cincinnati, OH

8 near you

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Top 7 Chefs near Cincinnati, OH

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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

Reviews for Cincinnati chefs
Thumbtack Customer
I couldn't be more pleased with The Happy Chefs! Under the direction of Jay Woosley, the Assistant Chefs were friendly, professional and hard working. They served great food with a smile. This group was courteous and the presentation of the food was gorgeous, it tasted as good as it looked. The menu we discussed was maintained and created to perfection. The clean up they provided also after their services was beyond my expectations. Jay's prices were reasonable and worked within the budget for my event. I would recommend this personal chef and his staff without hesitation. Thank you Happy Chefs!
The Happy Chefs LLCThe Happy Chefs LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef came to our home and cooked an amazing meal. We will definitely hire again.
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Cindy S.
Delicious food and delivered on time. Appreciated the Chef's punctuality and professionalism. Everyone enjoyed his food and highly recommend!
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Kim G.
Chef Jay and his team are so well organized. The food was absolutely amazing. I will be seeing them again!
The Happy Chefs LLCThe Happy Chefs LLC
Ebony c.
The food was excellent! Chef Amanda was so professional, kept everything on budget. All of my friends felt it was a job well done.
Amanda Lisa's Personal Chef ServicesAmanda Lisa's Personal Chef Services
Sai K.
I was looking for a traditional thanksgiving dinner on a budget to feed 90 people for a school event. The Happy Chefs LLC gave me a great deal and left an excellent impression. They were professional, arrived ahead of time and communicated very well. The food tasted really good and a lot of students particularly complimented the food. Chef Jay, his wife Mary Jo and Chef Jim were warm and polite and they stayed back to take care of replacements even though they were contracted only for a drop off. I would definitely recommend them and I know I am going to reach out to them for more projects in the future
The Happy Chefs LLCThe Happy Chefs LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Dominick did a fantastic job and delivered generous portions of great food at very short notice. I would definitely use him again.
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Elizabeth H.
Chef Amanda is amazing! Clean, punctual, professional, friendly, beautiful presentation, and absolutely delicious! I highly recommend her and will definitely use her services again!
Amanda Lisa's Personal Chef ServicesAmanda Lisa's Personal Chef Services
Michelle S.
Chef Dominick is a pleasure to work with and I received many compliments on the food. He was there early and did all of it himself with a smile on his face. I would highly recommend this caterer.
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Eric S.
Chef Brandon and team are AMAZING! After much research, we finally found a chef that was willing to work with us on our menu without charging a fortune. We decided to have a taco bar for our wedding. Brandon worked with us on all our requests which included vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The food was delicious and presentation was superb. My wife and I couldn’t be happier with how everything came together thanks to them. Our guests were raving about the menu all night! Brandon and team were on time and very professional. A piece of advice for anyone reading this is a chef like Brandon does not usually come reasonably priced or available. Book quickly before the rest of the city finds him too because it won’t be long.
The Screaming GoatThe Screaming Goat
Thumbtack Customer
Christina prepared a wonderful birthday celebration dinner for my wife and I along with our two daughters and their husbands. She was very responsive to my initial inquiry, professional in her delivery and a super chef.
Stir Crazy CuisineStir Crazy Cuisine
Roberto O.
The food and the presentation was outstanding. Great communication with Chef Jay and Mary Jo. They were right on time and gave us more than we asked for. Highly recommended! I’m looking forward to work again with them.
The Happy Chefs LLCThe Happy Chefs LLC
Molly A.
Chef Dominick prepared a wonderful four course meal for a bachelorette party of 10 girls! It was delicious and beautifully prepared. He was extremely responsive and professional to work with. It was so much fun and I would highly recommend hiring him!
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Sally H.
If I could give Chef Marco 10 stars I would. He listened to my requests and produced a whole food plant based meal plan for my sister (who is going through cancer) that was as beautiful as it was appetizing. Top notch all the way!!
Spinning Platters LLCSpinning Platters LLC
Christina S.
We have scheduled services and are looking forward to a great event! So far Chef Dominick has been very accommodating with our menu requests and he even made some helpful suggestions. Can't wait to see the quality of his work and the presentation!
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Dominick exceeded my expectations! He took my menu ideas to the next level and provided several thoughtful add-ons that made dinner for our guests delicious and memorable. He was well-prepared, prompt, thorough, and professional. I would hire him again for any event and recommend him wholeheartedly!
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
Kim J.
My family hired Chef Jessica to provide healthy, fresh meals for our family bi-weekly. Boy, has she delivered! The food is amazingly tasty, she uses whole ingredients and offers a wide range of options that would suit anyone's taste buds. I highly recommend, we are feeling quite lucky we found her!!
Chef JessicaChef Jessica
Thumbtack Customer
We had an all girls 50th birthday celebration and Chef Kim did a fantastic job! She was very easy to communicate with and gave great suggestions...she was on time, professional, organized and the food was tasty. I loved not worrying about cooking and cleaning up, it was so nice just to sit back and enjoy the party🎉 Will definitely use her services again!
Fresh Street Kitchens & Catering, llcFresh Street Kitchens & Catering, llc
Thumbtack Customer
I was very pleased with the service! They arrived on time, set up and his assistant, Colin was very pleasant. From the first bites, there were compliments on how good the food tasted. This was especially important because I was planning the rehearsal dinner for my son's future in-laws. Even the next day, the mother-in-law commented on how good the dinner was. We ordered a gluten-free and vegan dish and it was so good that non-vegans ate it. The person who was gluten-free told me she ate well as she usually doesn't get to eat much at those types of dinners. There were left overs which allowed some to have a good snack later. Most of them were in hotels. Finally, the staff and especially the Chef were so understanding and flexible!!!! I planned everything from Los Angeles and I forgot some important details. They worked with me to have a stress free event! Thank you, Kitchen on Wheels!!!!
Flavor Catering and Bar ServiceFlavor Catering and Bar Service
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