How To Hire A Chef For A Dinner Party

Hiring a chef for your next dinner party is a great way to ensure you and your guests will enjoy an amazing meal!  Entertaining a crowd, even a small group for that matter, can be stressful and not having to worry about cooking can be a huge weight off your shoulders. 

In this post, we’ll discuss how to find a local chef to help with your next dinner party.


Search Online

For most people, the first step to finding a chef for your dinner party is visiting Google.  Here are some suggested search terms:

  • "Personal chefs in my area"
  • "Personal chef dinner party services"

Local personal chefs provide a variety of in-home meal services, including weekly meal prep and dinner parties.  Look for personal chefs with a nice website, testimonials, and ideally past experience doing dinner parties.  Even if it doesn’t explicitly state it on their website, almost every personal chef will do dinner parties and other similar events. 

Schedule A Consultation

Once you find a company you’re interested in, schedule a consultation with the chef.  Most personal chefs offer a free in-home (or phone) consultation, and it usually lasts ~1 hour.  The consultation is a great opportunity to get to know the chef, explain what you’re looking for, and get a price estimate. 


Ask The Right Questions

During the consultation, you’ll want to make sure you’re asking the right questions so you can determine if the chef is a good fit.  Here are some suggested questions:

  1. Do you have prior experience doing dinner parties?
  2. What is your usual hourly rate?
  3. How much time would you estimate you’d need for my event?
  4. Do you charge a separate fee for the food?
  5. How much control do I have over the menu?
  6. What is your cancelation policy?
  7. Where do you prepare the meals?
  8. Do you have any references?
  9. Are you fully insured?

In terms of an hourly rate, expect most chefs to charge $50-$100 per hour.  As with any service, you typically get what you pay for.  If you’re looking for a 5-star experience and live in a big city, ~$100 an hour is a typical going rate.  The amount of time the chef spends preparing for the event depends on a variety of factors, including the number of guests, menu, and their level of efficiency.

Also, keep in mind that most personal chefs will have to prepare the meal(s) at your home.  If they say they can prepare the food offsite, that raises a flag because most personal chefs don’t have a catering license or access to a health department approved commercial kitchen. 


Come Up With A Game Plan

Once you decide on a personal chef service, you’ll want to formulate a plan for the event.  Come up with a budget (especially for the grocery) and discuss expectations so you’re both on the same page.  You’ll want to have a clear understanding of what the chef’s responsibilities are and what you need to contribute. 

FYI You’ll probably want the chef to arrive at least an hour (probably more like 2 hours) before the first guests arrive to allow enough time for prep and to begin the cooking process. 

 Personal chefs are a booming industry and they offer services in most cities across the US!

Personal chefs are a booming industry and they offer services in most cities across the US!