The Idea of a Professional Chef
I don't see how hiring a private chef would be cheaper than hiring a caterer. We looked at different options and when they were it was clear none of them have had experience with a personal chef at a wedding.
I don't see why you shouldn't buy the groceries yourself and pay a professional chef to prepare the food. 110 First, her tag is Chicago so her cost of a wedding vs your cost of wedding are probably pretty different. It was, according to our guests, the best wedding food they'd ever had, and some of the best food overall. This is one of my main concerns, hence why we're leaning towards hiring a chef to cook the hot dishes the day of. A personal chef will often use your kitchen or bring a limited amount of things to cook with, for a smaller dinner party. If you don't mind my asking, where was your sister's wedding located, and how did she find the chefs? If you happen to know a great personal chef who would do that, please feel free to post or PM me their website or contact info!
You can fill out the questionnaire of what you are looking for and they will match you with catering companies and personal chefs with wedding experience. FH and I hate typical wedding food. We just need a chef or two to cook the entrees and hot sides the day of, and we also need a waitstaff. Our venue allows any kind of outside catering, so we want to hire a personal/private chef to prepare a buffet-style meal for us. We already priced it out, and it's going to be much cheaper than hiring a catering company that might provide mediocre food. :P When it comes to your wedding day, though, doing most of the food yourself is VERY stressful. I'd agree that I got ripped off if it had been typical wedding fare, but it was not.
The only personal chefs I know work with Personal Trainers/Dietitians, or own their own restaurants.
Our venue comes with a giant gas grill and we've been thinking about hiring someone to grill the salmon and veggies.
May I ask why your husband wants you guys to cater your own wedding? Your want GREAT food at your wedding. Planning a wedding is hard when you're on a budget; it's even harder when other brides are telling you that you're being unrealistic. Yes, a buffet is significantly easier than portioning for a seated dinner and will be cheaper - but still not cheap. You do realize that a catering company is exactly that: One chef, with staff, making food for a hundred people, and sometimes serving it.
Good chefs are project managers - they know exactly which things to do ahead that won't effect the quality in the end. Also, $25 a head is a damn good price for a catering company doing a wedding. For example, you can cut the amount of food on the buffet by half by adding servers to the line. Then you need a large van with tons of stackable food safe equipment to get all that food to the venue.
My fiance fishes a lot, and he's planning on catching some salmon for our wedding. Do you guys have any tips on finding a versatile personal chef who would draft up a menu with us and prepare a buffet style meal on the day of? People graduating soon could use your wedding for their portfolio, or instructors might like the extra weekend-pay? I'm positive there are plenty that are happy to cater menus and offer choices more in line with your tastes. I don't think that I'm being unrealistic here, like most brides are implying in this thread. I thought we'd look into doing most of the things ourselves and just hiring a professional to actually cook the food the day of. One of the few things he asked for was to cater our own wedding.
She and her husband bought the food themselves and hired 2 chefs, 2 sous chefs and 4 waitstaff. The former seems like an avenue you can pursue to find some personal chefs in your area that are willing to do side work. Who is setting up all your tables and breaking them down for reception? We haven't been to a catered wedding that had great food. You need a commercial kitchen space to prep and cook all that food - something usually only caterers have. But I also don't want like Boston Market catered with plastic/paper plates and utensils, that seems "tacky" to me. I'm a chef - this is a potentially dangerous idea.
What you want is a higher end catering service, because they are accustomed to the timing and service of a wedding, but can customize your menu. We just don't want to pay a catering company a bunch of unnecessary fees. I didn't personally get any quotes but I read the reviews on some people that seemed promising and made mental notes. The morning of the wedding, he's going to the hall to set everything on the burners to warm while we're running around and going through the ceremony. I, in no way, can spend anywhere near $25 a head for 70 people to eat, that's almost half my budget! Oven big enough for all the fish and meat and sides to be held hot until service? They know how to prep and par-cook offsite and serve at your venue and make it delicious. Peeling 40 pounds of potatoes alone takes a few hours and the cooking hasn't even started yet. Fishing your own salmon is AMAZING. they don't really swim up the east river so that wasn't an option for me.
If you hire people who don't normally cater, you might get a deal, but you probably will have some serious hiccups. We cooked for 75 people, and for reference, this is what our fridge looks like right now. Plus I don't think me or my family will have time to prepare food for about 70 ppl, on top of decorating and setting up. Now, what did I do for my wedding.
We figured that we'd save the most money if we did as much stuff as possible ahead of time.If you're looking to save money, consider significantly cheaper mains than prime rib and whole slabs of salmon. I understand that I want champagne on a beer budget, but I thought that it'd be possible to make champagne on a beer budget, y'know? Specifically, found a guy who had built a wood burning brick oven into the back of a 1952 food flat bed pick up. I thought that it'd be possible to make champagne on a beer budget This is totally possible for a lot of things. We're total foodies, so we want to customize our own menu and possibly buy the groceries ourselves.