This article appears in Holiday Cookbook 2017.
Add some drama to your next dinner party by hiring a personal chef or caterer to serve food that will wow your guests and let you enjoy a night off from kitchen duty.
“The best part is that the host doesn’t have to worry about anything. I customize the menu to suit you. There’s no stress, no cleanup, no shopping. It’s a real treat,” said chef Cindy Bishop, chef and owner of Cin City Cuisine in Las Vegas.
For people who like to entertain, hiring a personal chef means making their party a night to remember. It becomes an event, said Jim Holderbaum, chef/owner of Range and Reef, an East Coast company that specializes in outdoor events including grilling, clam bakes and seafood boils.
“It’s not just the type of food, but the technique, the uniqueness of the service. It’s very personalized. It’s a great way to make a party special,” Holderbaum said. For example, seeing — and smelling — 40 pounds of top sirloin grilling over an oak fire or a colorful shrimp boil is a sensory experience.
For the host, hiring someone else to do the cooking allows them to enjoy the process and excitement of throwing a party, said Thomas Preti, owner and co-founder of New York City’s Thomas Preti Events to Savor.
“Nowadays it’s all about being present in every moment, and we provide a service where our clients are able to be a part of the creative process with us,” he said. “Whether we’re creating a classic All American Gobbles Eve or a Moroccan Friendsgiving Cocktail Party, we bring together the best vendors in the business — from décor to entertainment and memorable, interactive guest experiences. It takes the entire event to the next level when you have the time to pull all the pieces together.”
From sushi chefs to barbecue, whatever your menu there is a chef out there ready to serve. Alison Gütwaks, chef and owner of AliBabka in Columbus, Ohio, specializes in kosher events that appeal to people of all religions, she said.
“It’s all about expectations. I work within people’s budgets to give them what they want,” Gütwaks said.