Some are trained, experienced chefs who have earned an excellent reputation and strive to maintain it.
Some choose to hire out hourly cooks from staffing agencies, and don't even appear onsite at your party.
Chef JoAnna is always onsite at every event she caters and pays very close attention to your event.
Caterers approach food preparation differently.
Some caterers prepare delicious recipes from scratch, with groceries bought from the same high-quality markets you shop at every day.
Others shop at warehouse stores to purchase the pre-cooked food, canned food and frozen packaged entrées which they reheat, arrange on platters to serve to your guests.
Chef JoAnna is a classically trained chef who buys her ingredients from top grocery stores and local farmers markets, then prepares it all that day, at your home.
Prices compare very closely to restaurant prices.
Caterers pay approximately the same for food as restaurants. A filet mignon costs more than NY Strip, which costs more than chuck steak. Chef JoAnna is always willing to work with your food budget to help you get the most for your money.
"How do I set my budget?"
The advantage of having Chef JoAnna cater your dinner party is that you can enjoy a customized menu of gourmet food in the privacy and luxury of your own home. Here's an exercise to help you figure out what kind of event you'd like to host: Let's imagine that instead of hosting the event at your home, you'd take your guests out to dinner. Figure out what kind of restaurant you'd choose, and then estimate the average cost per person for an appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Let's also say that the level of service is equivalent to the restaurant you've selected too.... So - if you would take your guests to:
$7/person, no service to speak of
Sizzler? Red Lobster?
$20+/person, basic service
$45+/person, average service
Michael's? Border Grill?
$60+/person, excellent service
Patina? Spago? Melisse?
$100+/person, impeccable service
If you want extra courses (soup, fish, intermezzo, cheese, etc.), higher quality food (wild king salmon instead of farm raised sockeye), or special services (like a bartender), take that into consideration. Now add tax, and a tip, and you have a very good estimate of what you should budget for your caterer.
How do I choose the menu? How shall I select which wines to serve?
Chef JoAnna will work with you to create a menu that suits your tastes, as well as make suggestions for the foods best suited for your event. She will make sure that your kitchen can accommodate what you'd like served.
If you'd like a buffet, the Chef can provide chafing dishes, platters, and serving utensils to create an elegant and sophisticated arrangement that will pique your guests' appetites. If you'd like a seated dinner, Chef JoAnna can arrange for staff to serve your guests and clear the table when you're finished.
You can tell the Chef which wines you'd like to pour and she will create a menu that compliments them, or you can select the best wines from your collection to pair with the foods you'd like to serve. Either way, the best part of enjoying your own wines with the menu you've designed is that there's never a corkage fee!
Caterers charge very differently.
Be aware of what is included in the price and what is added on.
Will the company create a custom estimate based on your exact specifications, or do they charge a flat-fee "by the head"?
Is your caterer willing to work with you to make adjustments to align the event you desire to your budget?
Discover what is included in the estimate and what is available for an extra charge.
Does your caterer insist that they provide everything such as beverages & disposables, so they can mark those items up?
Many restaurants advertise cheap catering prices but require you to pick up and serve the food yourself.
Ask if the gratuities, taxes and service charges are included... if not, expect to pay more than the estimate they give you.
Chef JoAnna's charges include only TIME, GROCERIES and RENTAL of her equipment. No additional surcharges, gratuities or other hidden charges are included. Leftover food will always be packaged up safely for you to enjoy later.
The following options will vary depending on the type of event you're hosting, so they cannot be included in a preliminary estimate. Please ask Chef JoAnna if you'd like her to provide these additional services, so that they can be included in your estimate:
Flowers, candles, balloons, or other decorations specific to your event's theme.
Use of matching service platters
Chafing dishes to keep your food hot and safe.
Lemon wedges for iced tea, real butter for bread, real cream for coffee, and all of the appropriate serviceware.
Would you like plated meals served to your guests by a waiter, or do you prefer platters of food available, served family style, or perhaps on a buffet? Chef JoAnna has a team of skilled, friendly service staff who will be available to provide beverage refills, serve food and clear dishes. The number of servers will vary with the level of service appropriate to your event. Bartending staff is also available.
Be sure to verify experience and ask for references.
Catering large events is very difficult. There are uncontrollable factors when working in a private home, and if your caterer has only used professional equipment, they may not know how to handle the limitations of a residential kitchen...or know how to prevent culinary disasters. Chef JoAnna's letters of reference and photo gallery can help to give you a better idea of her experience.
If your event is important to you and your guests, choose a chef experienced with in-home catering.
· · · Important Safety and Legal Issues regarding Catering · · ·
Is your chef/caterer certified by the National Restaurant Association?
The safe and sanitary preparation of your food is of utmost importance. Chef JoAnna holds a current ServSafe® Certification, indicating that she has completed a course on safe food handling and kitchen sanitation procedures, and passed a comprehensive exam. You should feel free to ask to see your caterer's certificate!
Is your caterer up-to-date on what's legal in your area?
Chef JoAnna brings groceries to your location, and cooks everything right there, onsite. Everything is always freshly made. In most counties, caterers who cook food at their own home and bring it to your home or office are breaking the law. You are putting your guests at risk, and placing yourself at risk for a lawsuit. Caterers serving food away from the place it is prepared requires the the kitchen must be certified and inspected at random by the Department of Health. (You should know where the food is being made: you can look up the kitchen's grade here.)
Insurance companies do not pay claims for unlicensed catering,
so why put the health and safety of your friends and family at risk
by hiring someone who cooks in an unlicensed kitchen?
In closing, consider what message you're sending if you compromise quality for a less experienced caterer that charges a lower price. This is one instance where that old saying "you get what you pay for" really rings true!
You'll be pleased to discover how luxurious it is to have Chef JoAnna be your private chef for dinner parties and other events. Chef JoAnna offers catering, personal chef services, and other culinary services in Nashville and surrounding areas. Chef JoAnna has catering menus, party guidelines, beverage quantities, and party checklists. For a formal, intimate event, Chef JoAnna will attend to your every need, and make sure that your special event is as special as it can be. Professional caterer and chef offers excellent home made food in Nashville, TN. Chef JoAnna serves Antioch TN, Brentwood TN, Fairview TN, Franklin TN, Gallatin TN, Goodlettsville TN, Hendersonville TN, Hermitage TN, Joelton TN, Kingston Springs TN, La Vergne TN, Madison TN, Mount Juliet TN, Murfreesboro TN, Nashville, TN TN, Smyrna TN, Springfield TN, White House TN, Whites Creek, TN and many other Nashville area communities. Personal chef services are available in Robertson County, Sumner County, Trousdale County, Wilson County, Rutherford County, Bedford County, Marshal County, Maury County, Davidson County, Williamson County, Cheatham County, Montgomery County, Hickman County, Lewis County, Perry County, Humphreys County, Houston County, Stewart County, Decatur County, Carroll County, Smith County, Dekalb County, and Cannon County. Personal chef and Catering available in Giles County (Pulaski, TN), Lawrence County (Lawrenceburg, TN) Maury County (Columbia, TN) and Marshall County (Lewisburg, TN).