The Urban Chef

Seattle, WA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

My service stands out because I don't put you into any "cookie cutter" plan and personalize each event to the clients needs. I don't take just any job if its not a good fit for us both.The amount of love and dedication I put towards every menu and event sets me apart from my competitors . I have a wide knowledge of many different cuisine and serving styles. Making the night/event special is the most important part of my business.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I enjoy making clients vision and concept come to life. My goal with every event that I do, is to know that my clients walked away with a memorable experience.

Location

Seattle, WA 98166

Years in business

7

Number of employees

4

Times hired on Thumbtack

75

Reviews

40 Reviews
  • Brianna A. Jul 5, 2017
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    We hired the Urban Chef for our wedding on June 17th, 2017. We met with Rachel the Sunday before our wedding to give her all of our decorations and wine. We were not prepared to pay that day, so we paid through PayPal. After a series of anxiety ridden texts, she followed up to get an extra $1,000 from my husband because PayPal wasn't going through quick enough. Urban Chef has yet to refund us the extra $1,000 and will not respond to calls or texts. On the day of our wedding, she was supposed to come early to set up all the decorations. Our ceremony was supposed to start at 5:00 pm. The Urban Chef catering team didn't show up until about 5:15 pm, so none of our decorations went up until after the wedding. The food tasted good but we had comments from wedding guests saying the bacon wasn't cooked through and there were plastic covered snack bars that looked like they came from 7-11. They also ran out of some of the food dishes. We paid for food for 130 people and there was a maximum of 120 there. Buyer beware.
  • Winona R. Apr 10, 2017
    Event Catering
    Verified Review Updated
    I'm sorry to say that after hiring Rachel and her team for two events, and being very happy with the service she provided, our organization was incorrectly charged and it took months to resolve. We wanted to proceed with the assumption that this was in error and were certain that Rachel would rectify this right away, but we got the run-around via email and on the phone, multiple excuses, and finally had to turn to our bank to resolve this charge of a couple thousand dollars that was unrelated to our contract or service received. Unfortunately, I can no longer recommend Rachel, though we enjoyed working with her, as I found this extremely unprofessional and alarming.
    Rachel and her team catered a nonprofit fundraising event. Rachel was extremely thorough, prepared, and helped think through the critical details. She went above and beyond to ensure that things went smoothly. I would definitely hire her again!
  • Verified Review Original
    Rachel and her team catered a nonprofit fundraising event. Rachel was extremely thorough, prepared, and helped think through the critical details. She went above and beyond to ensure that things went smoothly. I would definitely hire her again!
  • AJ M. Feb 8, 2017
    Unhappy Customer
    Our holiday party was excruciatingly disappointing. The venue wasn't checked prior to the event and it snowed that morning. We called early and Rachel told us her GPS indicated her ETA was 10 minutes. One assistant arrived 30 minutes later saying Rachel was “on the way” but she had no supplies and wasn't able to begin set-up. We repeatedly called but Rachel did not pick up her phone and voicemail was full. Being unfamiliar with the venue, Rachel had difficulty finding the entrance and arrived as our event was scheduled to start with most of the guests already there. We only scheduled the venue until 1 pm, resulting in limited opportunity to eat and mingle. By the time dessert was set out, it was time to leave. Had she let us know how late she was going to be, we could have delayed the arrival of our teams and tried to negotiate the room for additional time. Below is the breakdown of why we rated this so low: - Late arrival with no contact, eliminating our opportunity to manage on our end - Arriving with insufficient equipment for the event which could have been managed by a site visit - Dirty dishes/dispensers/service wear - the first person to get hot water received a "bloom" of something left over from a previous event - Did not provide several options of food/beverages listed on the contract but did include a meatball with hair in it - Items were not labelled so individuals with allergies (specifically listed on the contract) were unable to eat - Food was cold, insufficient with some not thoroughly cooked. It took so long for food to come out, many people left hungry and unhappy Our event was early December. Due to weather and various issues that Rachel later described, I wanted to offer an opportunity to "make it right." While we can't supply a recommendation, we could have posted a neutral review with positive feedback for corrective action. Sadly, she continues to avoid resolution though we have offered easy and flexible solutions via 15 various voice/email.
  • Sarah W. Feb 1, 2017
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Grateful
    Rachel did an excellent job with the food for my wedding. I couldn't be happier with the quality of her food and the presentation was great to boot! I'm so grateful I found her!
  • Tioni H. Dec 5, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Great food and service
    Rachel and her crew were amazing to work with. I will be using her services again and have recommended her services to others.
  • Anthony C. Oct 19, 2016
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    I regret booking Urban Chef
    I regret booking Urban Chef to cater my wedding. The experience was so awful that It has taken me over a month to calm down from the what happened. I verify the information stated in this review is factual and true to the best of my knowledge. Fact: Urban Chef arrived to our wedding more than 2 hours late. Fact: Urban Chef served undercooked chicken that had to be thrown out. Urban Chef abandoned her waitstaff in the middle of our reception. Fact: Urban Chef did not notify before or during the wedding that she would be leaving to tend to another event. Fact: The Urban Chef buffet ran out of food before all of our tables were called to eat. Fact: We had to order takeout pizza to feed three tables of guest. Fact: We were embarrassed and upset that the Urban Chef put us in this situation on our wedding day and was not even there fix it. Fact: Urban Chef has made no attempt to contact us to claim responsibility for the unprofessional and unsatisfactory service that was provided. I would not recommend the Urban Chef.
  • Jason B. Oct 4, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Catered Rooftop Dinner
    Some Of the food was very good. However, she was over thirty minutes late arriving. A lot of the food was cold. I was promised lemonade in a container and she did not bring it. She did go to get a few containers at a store, but it wasn't what I wanted it expected. I probably would not use this caterer again.
  • Tina F. Oct 2, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Nothing's perfect!
    There were a copy of hiccups along the way but over all it turned out great!
  • Tarah L. Sep 24, 2016
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    First off, I had the the pleasure of having The Urban Chef - Rachel Huckins cater my Amazing Wedding. Now to say amazing after all of the hiccups along the way is a huge turnaround from where I was at. Being a stressed out frazzled Bride, being told "No can do" to every idea I had that Killer party requires by the venue owner who was supposed to be a "one stop shop" was maddening. So I took the plunge to search for ALL outside vendors required for my big day. Rachel came in a swept me off my feet allowing my true vision to come to life. Rachel tailored a custom menu for our wedding. It turned out so so Great! Rachel is more than just a caterer. She can be your event coordinator helping you fine tune your event. The catering business is not easy. She also allowed for us to stay on budget and truly does her best with the "crew" she has on hand that say. Point here Rachel Rocks the menu! People don't realize the inconsistency with each venue and rules are always different, but I can assure you. Rachel will take care of you and provide you with Amazing taste bud ticklers for you and your guests. Thank you Rachel from the bottom of our hearts. I would have been lost without you! Love, Tarah Frederick
  • Elizabeth E. Sep 15, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Cartering made easy
    We will hire Urban Chef again, without a doubt. The menu packages made ordering easy, and she provided tables and linens so I didn't have to rent from a different company. The food was delicious!
  • Eugene H. Sep 6, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Very Great and Professional. Food good too.
    Very flexible with my needs. And helped out at every stage of the production. 10/10
  • Karen G. Aug 29, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    The event was an informal buffet, sit-down dinner for 25 in our home. We have a large, bare event room. On short notice (six days), Rachel was able to arrange tables, chairs, linens, flatware, dishes, stemware and servers--all of the things necessary for a comfortable and pretty dinner party--and produce and serve dinner from appetizers to dessert. Rachel collaborated on the menu to keep it simple, elegant (some lovely crab cakes as appetizers, for example) and delicious. We provided alcohol, Rachel arranged a server to pour and serve. Rachel is a charming, hard worker who will go the extra mile to be sure your party she caters is a success. She brought two servers who were also efficient, charming and well-liked by our guests. Many of our guests commented favorably on the servers and the food. The charge for the catering and rentals was quite reasonable. We would hire Rachel again.
  • Monica H. Jul 13, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    the sesame cones with friend chicken and honey were a huge hit. people also loved the little glasses filled with fresh veggies and homemade green goddess at bottom
  • Robin A. Jun 20, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
  • Rachel S. Jun 5, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Rachel was amazing! She worked with us closely with us and planned the perfect menu for our wedding which catered to our special dietary needs. The food was delicious and the presentation beautiful. Rachel was able to artfully plan and execute with our feedback and also just run the show day-of, with everything coming off without a hitch. I would hire Rachel again in a minute to cater any event!
  • Hal F. May 15, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Rachel did a great job. Her advice on food selection was helpful and the quality and service was great.
  • Francesca I. May 11, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
  • Barb B. Jan 21, 2016
    We hired Rachel to cater our staff brunch, 90 people and an international theme (2016 Olympics!) The food was delicious! It was also nicely presented, arrived on time and exactly what we wanted. Working with Rachel was a pleasure. We got four other bids and none came close to Rachel's proposal - not just cost but also food variety, quantity etc. We had to accommodate various dietary preferences and were grateful for her flexibility and her suggestions. We are still hearing from staff who loved the food - said it was the best food ever at a staff brunch. Thanks Rachel!
  • Elle H. Jan 7, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Professional and very easy to work with. Theresa or Barb will be contacting you.
  • Shannon B. Dec 16, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
  • Annie P. Nov 18, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    The food was delicious and looked beautiful. The only reason I am not leaving 5 stars (and I would leave 4.5 stars if I could) is that she left the price per person on the menu and one of the dishes was slightly dry. Otherwise I would hire Rachel again!
  • Albert L. Oct 14, 2015
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Our group was small, but the service was worthy of a black tie event! The food was 5-star quality and presented professionally. Our Alumni group would highly recommend The Urban Chef to others for their banquet needs.
  • Janet O. Sep 28, 2015
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Rachel is fabulous, from start to finish we have enjoyed our experience. Wonderful to work with, delicious food, great presentation. Just all around pleased. Thank you so much!!!
  • Michelle P. Sep 12, 2015
    We had a great experience with the Urban Chef! Food was delicious and beautifully displayed. Rachel was very easy to work with and accommodating to our changing needs. I highly recommend this caterer and will use them again.
  • Taylor B. Sep 11, 2015
    Rachael was hired to catar my daughters birthday party. The event was for around 75 people. Everything was on time, set up and taken down as scheduled. The food was absolutely amazing; and everything was very professional. She will definitely be hired for the next event I hold.
  • Kalisa O. Sep 9, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    I hired Rachel based on her reviews for my 40th birthday party. I would agree with others that her communication and response time made it very easy to communicate with her. And she delivered on the basics, there was plenty of food for our guests. Unfortunately, we were disappointed in the overall catering experience. We did our best to communicate with her the feel we wanted to achieve with the party and the food and we outlined our specific requests, i.e. passed appetizers, walking around making sure the guests drinks were filled and a unique specialty cocktail. She assured us without meeting us before hand or visiting the space prior to the event that her and her sister could handle this 24 person event without a problem. We expected a lot more from the food, it seemed to have been prepared to far in advance. Therefore, the sliders were dry, the Beechers macaroni bites were not seasoned and bland and the passed crostini's were dry. This is our second time using a chef from Thumbtack and perhaps our level of expectation was set high after our first experience. We would caution anyone wanting an elevated party feel to hire the Urban Chef. We felt like we were promised more than what was delivered.
    Rachel H. Sep 10, 2015

    Hi Kalisa, Thank you for the review. I am sorry that you were not completely satisfied. I feel that I met every expectation you had. All of your guests always had a full drink and they never waited to be served in any way so I am surprised that you did not elaborate on that point more. I am very sorry though that you misunderstood what style of serving you were having for your party. The invoice you received was for a buffet. If you wanted passed appetizers it would have been a different fee and we would have had a completely different set up. I am not sure where the misunderstanding came from but I am very sorry that it happened and would like to make it up to you in any way you see fit. We were able to pass the cold appetizers once we realized the misunderstanding and I had hoped that that resolved the problem but I can see that it did not and I am sorry for that. As far as the quality of the food. You are absolutely correct. The food was to be served at 6 when we originally planned the party together and your husband gave me strict orders to hold off on getting the food out because guests were still mingling. The food ended up being served over an hour after when it was initially meant to go out. I believe if the buffet had been opened when you originally wanted it to then you would have been much happier with the quality. I am sorry that you weren't completely satisfied and if there's anything I can do to resolve this, please let me know.

  • Sunny D. Aug 31, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Working with Rachel was an easy and pleasant experience. She was responsive over email and phone, and her variety of menus to choose from was impressive. Great communication throughout the process and GREAT food!! Rachel worked our event herself, and made sure we had everything we needed. We had so many compliments on the catering. I would definitely hire The Urban Chef again!
  • Michael R. Aug 24, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Rachel provided excellent food for our welcome party for our wedding. I would definitely use her again. The only hitch for our welcome party was that it was the day of crazy summer storms in Seattle, which caused a ton of traffic, and Rachel arrived a bit late which required all of us to hustle in a big way before guests came. But working together, we got it all set up and as I said, the guests LOVED the food. I would definitely use her again. Cross fingers that those crazy and rare summer storms don't happen as that causes everyone, including guests, to be late.
  • Amy D. Jul 24, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Unfortunately my organization was unable to follow-through with our hopes for a catered event. However, throughout the planning process, Rachel was AMAZING, creating a menu for us that fit our specific needs, coordinating pricing, answering tons of questions, all with patience and professionalism. I will definitely use her services for future catering requirements, thanks so much Rachel, sorry things got changed up on the planning.
  • Esther L. Jul 18, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    My experience with Rachel was excellent. From the moment we communicated, Rachel was professional and personable all wrapped in one. She took time to hear my request for hor'duerves and made great suggestions for my particular event. The food was fresh and tasted amazing. Our guests were all pleased with the taste of each hor'duerve. But the biggest hit was the small red potatoes with sour cream and chives on top. The potatoes were nicely seasoned and complimented the meat hor'duerves. Rachel was prompt to arrive at our venue. I would recommend her services for your next event. You will be glad you did, as we were.
  • Kimberly G. Jul 15, 2015
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    We hired Rachel for our wedding on July 11th 2015, and she and her staff were absolutely amazing. We loved the food, and Rachel herself. We would absolutely recommend and hire her again.
  • Rachelle B. Jul 15, 2015
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Great communicator, listens to your menu needs, and provides options to fit your budget. We will try Rachel's tasting menu tomorrow, but so far its been nice to plan with her.
  • Maureen V. Jul 12, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    I hired The Urban Chef for my husbands 60th Surprise Birthday. It was a complicated venue combined with the surprise, they were very professional and easy to work with. The food and cake were very good! I would not hesitate to hire her again and recommended her.
  • Angela S. Jun 15, 2015
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Just hired Rachel to cater my wedding on 10/10/15 at Pike Place Market for 120 guests. I'll update post-event, but so far Rachel has been an absolute delight to work with.From the initial email contact, to the phone call where she patiently let me blabber on about all my ideas, to every message in between, she has been responsive, professional, fun and easy going, and speaking as someone who plans events professionally, I can tell she really loves what she does. Can't wait to update after the wedding!
  • Bobbi E. May 15, 2015
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
  • Janice S. Feb 21, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Very happy, the food was awesome. She listened to us, and tailored a menu that really fit with our needs. When we requested a cold menu with sandwiches for our memorial, she actually gave us that, instead of trying to give us the stock menu with hot food that the other caterers tried. Will recommend her to anybody needing a good caterer!
  • Maureen W. Jan 18, 2015
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Rachel provided excellent food,service and price! I would highly recommend her to anyone and give her 10 gold stars!!!
  • Farah H. Dec 21, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Rachel did an amazing job of catering our 200 person party! She was easy to work with, had a great selection of appetizers to choose from and many suggestions to help make all of our guests happy. Rachel and her team were very professional and on top of keeping the banquet table filled and fresh the whole night, but very laid back and didn't look stressed at all. I received many complements on the food. I would definitely use The Urban Chef again for a large party! I'd love to see what an amazing menu she could come up with for a smaller party as well. Thanks so much Rachel! You helped make our party a success!
  • Nicol R. Oct 21, 2014
    I had an engagement party in Bellevue this August. Thinking that I wanted linens and decorations we decided to have the food dropped off instead, which I did not even know was possible. We chose to have Chicken Marsala, potatoes, salad the works, with stuffed mushrooms as a appetizer. I probably changed my mind a hundred times, Rachel taking lead in most of the ideas we ended up using. In short, we were able to stay home with friends and family and still have an elegant dinner and not have to lift a finger.
  • Teresa R. Oct 16, 2014
    I hired Rachel for a gathering of 30 for an anniversary party and was extremely pleased with her. She was very open to all my requests and didn't force "her" food favorites on me like I've had done before by other caterers. Everyone loved the food and I will definitely hire her again, she was very pleasant and "funny" to work with. Very enjoyable experience😃

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Typically is the menu price per person and then they add on what services they want additionally .
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Talking with the client and getting a good sense of what there looking for and then at that point I make them menus and from there we decide what all options they want to have included . Then we meet and do a tasting and wrap everything up .
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have an associates degree in culinary arts and I take wine course every year in the summer and I read on the latest trends continuously.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Started making dinners for my mom and dad for money in 2003 and decided to go to culinary college to be personal chef. Out of college I went straight to cooking in kitchens on the line and eventually I ran kitchens for many years till I decided to give my catering/personal chef dream a shot.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Wedding, baptism, corporate events, Plated fine dining dinners, dinner buffets, lunch buffets and a lot of appetizer parties
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I catered I party for 150 on Lake Washington in which the client was trying me out for the first time. She had these yearly parties and her house and always used the same caterer. This was the last year she was doing it and wanted something different. She was so happy with my work that she gave me and additional $300 tip and is talking about doing it one more time so I could cook for her.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Be clear as to what you want and expect so you aren't disappointed with any part of it.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I think customers should have a clear vision on how they want everything to flow so they can relate that to the caterer and help the caterer achieve their vision better.