Find a chef near Hilton Head Island, SC

Find a chef near Hilton Head Island, SC

Find a chef near Hilton Head Island, SC

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Top 10 Chefs near Hilton Head Island, SC

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 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 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.
Reviews for Hilton Head Island chefs
Aida B.
My chef cancelled on me last minute, and Andrea and Chef came to my rescue. The food was amazing.... everything was amazing. Chef's special desert.... delicious!!! I would highly recommend them for your next event. You won't be disappointed.
AM Entertainment and Events ServicesAM Entertainment and Events Services
Kathy S.
Very pleased with the quality and the variety of Chef Eric's meals.
Jerry S.
Andrea and Chef Spencer did a great job for our family dinner night! They were gracious, well prepared and thoughtful. They asked great questions to understand what we wanted and then delivered a great experience. The highlight ( other than the delicious food-Thanks Chef!) was the cool dessert with the asked for chocolate, but with a really thoughtful beach theme. Andrea and Chef prepped, prepared served and cleaned up. Left us full and happy. The kitchen was cleaner than when they arrived! Great job - Thank You Andrea and Chef Spencer!!!
AM Entertainment and Events ServicesAM Entertainment and Events Services
Brianna W.
Chef Amber Marie was absolutely amazing! The service she provided to our group was outstanding and the food was delicious! From start to finish she was such a pleasure to work with! Would highly recommend her services!
Clean CuisineClean Cuisine
Ashley B.
Chef Jay was very responsive leading up to my parents' 50th anniversary dinner which was held while we were out of town on vacation. The whole event was so special. The entire meal was wonderful, but the chocolate mouse was some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted.
Chef Jay AmberChef Jay Amber
Josh H.
Very pleased with the staff. Food was great. Had low country boil with extra crab legs. Fresh food amazing flavors. Chef was spot on. The lady that set it all up (Andrea) was very easy to deal with on what we would like. All around great experience. Would highly recommend. Also using them again this week. Can't wait.
AM Entertainment and Events ServicesAM Entertainment and Events Services
Kurt S.
Chef Sarah was the best decision my family made on our trip to Hilton Head. She provided us with the most fantastic evening from start to finish. I recommend her to anyone looking for a high quality personal chef and five star meal. Even before the evening began, Sarah was incredibly responsive with all questions and menu requests I had. I was planning a intimate meal (cocktail hour / apps, and sit down dinner) for eight adults and I admit to not being the easiest client. I was dealing with picky eaters and dietary restrictions that I was trying to plan around. Sarah couldn't have been more amenable. She listened to all of my requests and offered up various menu ideas and variations to adjust to my wishes. And she helped settle on the perfect menu! On the night of the dinner, she arrived on time and got right to work! She is extremely professional and hard working. She was attentive and managed every aspect of the evening from cooking, to plating, to serving, to cleaning! I don't know how she managed it! And the meal was absolutely delicious! It was the best meal of our trip to Hilton Head by a long shot. She was able to incorporate local flavors with traditional favorites! Even with the picky eaters, she pleased everyone! We still rave about the meal! I highly recommend Chef Sarah for a night and meal you won't forget!
Chef Sarah LLCChef Sarah LLC
Britton H.
I cannot say enough about the quality of Taste of Soul’s Service. From intake to close out, the entire experience was top-notch. Chef Curtis was able to accommodate our party within a weeks notice, he developed a meal plan with efficiency, arrived on time and went above and beyond our expectations. The brunch was among the best I’ve ever tasted. Everyone in our group is already identifying opportunities to use him again! Thank you for creating such a memorable experience!
Taste of Soul Catering and Personal Chef ServicesTaste of Soul Catering and Personal Chef Services
Thumbtack Customer
I have worked with Chef Sarah in many capacities and for a number of years. In a word, she is brilliant! I have seen her shopping, prepping, cooking, plating and serving and her creativity is beyond anything I have experienced in my decades of eating at fine restaurants. While Sarah and I work together offering plant-based healthy lunches, she is well-versed in all foods, and can present to her clients exactly what they like to eat. I highly recommend her to my nutritional clients.
Chef Sarah LLCChef Sarah LLC
Kaaryn B.
We planned a special dinner for our anniversary while in Hilton Head. Sarah was simply awesome! The menu choices were spot on, even with our picky eaters. Appetizers were to die for! The meal was perfect. She handled everything from start to finish, and in between. We never asked, but she even took the time to light candles that we had forgotten about. That attention to detail made our night a complete success. If you need a chef for a special dinner/event in Hilton Head or the surrounding area, Sarah is absolutely the best choice! Thanks Sarah!
Chef Sarah LLCChef Sarah LLC
Brian M.
Chef Naqui , catered our surprise 25th wedding anniversary for my wife and a few close friends. The food was out of this world we could not be happier. Naqui is an artist when it comes to food he and I talked about the menu and then he prepared it as he explained. We very much liked how he engaged us in what he was doing and how he made each of the recopies. PS: this is a tip that Naqui will not tell you unless asked" add his homemade chicken wings to your next catered party " He should patent the receipt and sell it to a national chain. Thanks again for a great meal and wonderful company. Brian Molloy NH
Elaine a.
Eric Green and his assistant, Teresa, were wonderful. He was very easy to work with creating a menu for our beach dinner in Sea Pines. I requested specific things and he had wonderful suggestions that made the menu perfect for everyone in our group of 10 adults. He was also willing to accommodate an increase in numbers at the last minute. The weather was iffy the day of the dinner and even though we were able to have drinks at the beach it began raining very hard right as the first course was served. They were able to quickly move us indoors and reset everything for appetizers. The food was amazing. The shrimp and grits was a crowd favorite and grouper with lemon caper sauce delicious. The ribeye temperatures were somewhat inconsistent but flavor and Demi glaze reduction were great. Overall, the meal was delicious. All 10 of us agree that Eric made us a wonderful dinner and that we will have him be our chef next year during our Labor Day Weekend. I just hope the weather cooperates so we can actually have dinner on the beach.
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