Find a private chef near Austin, TX

Find a private chef near Austin, TX

35 near you

Find a private chef near Austin, TX

35 near you

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Top 10 Private Chefs near Austin, TX

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 Austin private chefs
Sara b.
This was my first time hiring a private chef & it was amazing! Chris is super accommodating & very sweet. I highly recommend hiring him. Our 4 course meal was delicious!
C.H. Hospitality GroupC.H. Hospitality Group
Rosemary B.
Chef Derrick is an immensely talented Chef!! We knew from reading his reviews and having visited the Culinary Institute of America we were in for a treat, however, Chef Derrick exceeded any of our expectations. We highly recommend hiring Chef Derrick for a private home celebration, wedding or business event. In addition to his culinary skills he is one of the most interesting people we have ever had the privilege to meet! Looking forward to our next celebration with Chef Derrick!!
One Love Specialty Food &  BeveragesOne Love Specialty Food & Beverages
Steve L.
Great Food. Great Fun! We hired Chef D to cook a private, romantic dinner in our home to celebrate our 40th anniversary. He composed a great menu and followed through with an outstanding meal served with a delightful side of wit and stories. Don’t go wrong - hire Chef D.
One Love Specialty Food &  BeveragesOne Love Specialty Food & Beverages
Thumbtack Customer
I surprised my wife on her 40th B-Day with a private chef to cook dinner for the family. Kelsey was GREAT, she was warm, kind and professional every step of the way. The food was fantastic too. We started with a cheese and charcuterie plate, and then a duck salad with organic greens, both were delicious.The main course was halibut with a citrus sauce and asparagus, it was perfectly cooked. The dessert was her signature creme brulee and it was outstanding. I'd highly recommend Kelsey to anyone needing a private chef for a special occasion.
Crisp By KelseyCrisp By Kelsey
Rachel S.
This service was excellent. We were planning a bachelorette party and the bride wanted a fancy meal in the house. I had never hired a private chef before and he was so easy to work with and made incredible food. Would recommend him any day!
J and S Catering-Baking Company LLCJ and S Catering-Baking Company LLC
Anna J.
Chef Shawna exceeded my expectations. She was very quick to respond and answered all of my questions about menu options. She arrived right on time and was incredibly professional. I would definitely go to her again for future private dining experiences.
Best Mobile ChefBest Mobile Chef
Deborah R.
Joyce provided Private Chef services for for a CEO level group dinner, and everyone was pleased beyond measure! She took a simple 'Tex Mex' menu request and kicked it up 3 notches within the same price point. Highly recommend and will definitely use her again.
JC Cooks Catering & Chef ServiceJC Cooks Catering & Chef Service
Kaysha p.
Demeatrie is an excellent private chef! She was punctual, prepared, and her food was delicious. She helped me plan out a meal based on our situation, set out a beautiful table setting and explained each dish as it was served. She was friendly, kind, and easy to work with. Highly recommend!
The Starving GypsyThe Starving Gypsy
Joneice S.
Wow 🤩 Chef Derek definitely delivered the vision of the night! I was blown away on how he was able to execute the description that was given to him for my surprise dinner for two. Derek surely exceeded those expectations! Not to mention this was my first time hiring a private chef. The entire experience was new for me but he definitely did not disappoint, steaks and shrimp were cooked perfectly.... Dessert was a melt in your mouth moment! I am such a picky eater and he made it all happen and this chef NBC was the icing on the cake to an amazing night! I definitely recommend him a thousand times over and over!
Chef DerekChef Derek
Becky A.
Chef Derek made an absolutely amazing 4 course menu for our backyard elopement for 10 of us. When I was first looking at chefs for our wedding, I loved how responsive Derek was as well as the menu Derek put together after getting our input- we were so impressed with the menu, we had no changes! Fast forward to our wedding day, not only was the food delicious (we are self proclaimed foodies), Chef Derek and his girlfriend were also super nice people and a joy to have cook for us in our home (they navigated the kitchen, served us and washed all the dishes!). We truly felt like we brought a high end restaurant to our backyard. The filet mignon with cabernet goat cheese butter was to die for (and they even had some leftovers for us!). It's a meal we will always remember and I am so glad we chose Chef Derek for our wedding. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a private chef!
Chef DerekChef Derek
Tessa M.
Alana was great!! This was my first experience hiring a chef to cook at my house and it exceeded our expectations! She has years of experience and it definitely shines through. The food was fantastic and she was very professional, she also gave me a few menu options which was nice and specialized just for us. I would absolutely recommend her for an excellent private dining experience or to cater a party.
Most Wanted Chef LLCMost Wanted Chef LLC
Louis D.
Chef Rene was our first in home private chef experience. We hosted another couple for a casual, fun, kid free dinner party. Chef was great with communication and knew exactly the right questions to ask me as I really didn't know where to start with curating a menu for us and what the vibe of the evening was to be. After a few messages back and forth, chef presented a few different options for our menu. We collaborated and locked the menu down. The whole process was easy yet detailed. The cost was very reasonable. The night of, Chef arrived at the arranged time and was polite, friendly, professional and cordial. Within an hour of his arrival our home smelled amazing and I knew we were in for an amazing culinary experience. Chef brought everything, and was very conscience of social distancing and cleanliness, all we needed to do was have a clean kitchen, empty dishwasher and counter space. He used our stovetop and oven. He had our first course ready and plated at the exact time we had arranged. He served us and described each course, answered any questions we had, and left us to enjoy the course. He then cleared the plates, plated the next course and the night progressed. The food was absolutely amazing. It looked and tasted unbelievable! The courses complimented each other yet stood alone on their own. One of the greatest benefits of the night was my wife's surprise when she went into our kitchen and realized it was even cleaner than before Chef arrived. Our dishwasher was running and the sink was empty. Such a treat when you have 2 young kids and the dishes, cleaning battle is always a battle. We pretty much booked Chef for our beginning of Summer party right then and there. I can't recommend him highly enough. THANKS CHEF RENE!
Chef Rene HelitChef Rene Helit
Carolyn R.
Chef Derrick was a complete treasure! I knew this would be my best party ever the moment he arrived! He took charge of my kitchen as I sat and enjoyed watching him do his majic! I was able to sample his creations as he prepared them! I felt I was at my own private pre party. My guests enjoyed him so much a few of them have already called him to cater their parties!
One Love Specialty Food &  BeveragesOne Love Specialty Food & Beverages
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