Planning For Success: the client needs to consider the following details before calling vendors 

  • Determine if you would like the Chef to arrive with groceries and cook for you & guests "on-location" - Private Chef Services
  • If you would prefer the Chef and Service Crew to prepare the majority of the menu in advance for an event - Catering Services
  • Are you planning a Retreat for a group and are thinking about hiring a Chef to take care of the culinary details? - Retreat Chef Services
  • Define your vision for your event by considering a few of the following variables:
  • Time of Day determines every detail, from the menu to the service. These time frames are standard ranges.                                                                 Brunch 10 to 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Lunch 11 to 1 or 2 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                   High Tea 2 to 4 or 5 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  •   Dinner  5 to 7 or 8 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                             Heavy Hors d'oeuvres  5 to 7 pm                                                                                                                                                                                           Light Hors d'oeuvres 8 pm to ?
  • Type of Event determines your preferred menu and service style. Service style will determine how many service crew will be needed.           
    A formal "sit down" dinner requires more table side service staff averaging 1 server for each ten guests at 8 service hours per server.          
    Hors d'oeuvres service may require a "station attendant" as well as others to pass trays and small plates throughout the venue.                             Buffet or Station Service requires 1 server for each twenty guests averaging 4 service hours per server.  Service Staff prices to follow.
  • Menu Pricing -  Here is a rough estimate of want you can expect to pay for the food per person. Final estimates are based on all of the details.      Brunch or Lunch                    $20 + per person                                                                                                                                                                      High Tea                                   $20 to $40 per person                                                                                                                                                            Light Hors d'oeuvres            $18 to $26 per person                                                                                                                                                           Heavy Hors d'oeuvres          $25 to $40+ per person                                                                                                                                                            Buffet Dinner                          $25 to $40+ per person                                                                                                                                                                Plated Dinner                          $35+ per person  (Prix Fixe or choices)                                                                                                                                Simple BBQ Dinner               $20+ per person                                                                                                                                                                      Box Lunches                           $18+ per person (min 10 box lunches per order)                                                                                                                    ** Service staff, beverages and rental costs are not included in these estimates as they will vary greatly for each event and chosen venue **
  • Menus are created for each client as Chef Adair blends your budget with a list of seasonal ingredients to offer custom menu(s) that everyone of your guests will enjoy. She'll factor in the cost of ingredients, preparation labor and a few other details to determine your final per person price. Taxes on prepared food will be added to the final invoice.
  • Service Staff - The numbers of staff for both the kitchen and "front of the house" are determined by the chosen service style ranging from a formal service dinner, Prix Fixe service  or a casual buffet, hors d'oeuvres service and more.  Catering servers are paid for setup, event service and clean up ranging from $20 to $30 per hour. Culinary staff can range from $20 to $60 per hour.  An estimate for numbers of catering crew and their labor hours will be provided in the estimate. Taxes and gratuities will be applied in the final invoice. 
  • Event Locations - Is the venue you have chosen "all inclusive" or will you need to rent tables, chairs, etc?  Are there adequate kitchen facilities or will the catering crew need to set up an event kitchen in a tent outside? Is water and electricity available?  How far is parking from the event site?  All of these factors may require additional staff and resources to execute your vision.  The possibility of permits - tents - cabins - covered spaces  - entertainment - furniture - themed decor - event rentals from tables to glasses - signage - etc. may be necessary. Our Culinary Origins crew will assist you in finding local vendors for each layer and detail.
  • Rentals for Private Events -   If choosing a venue that does not provide service ware or when planning an outdoor event please consider the possibility of rentals and their additional costs. Will you need a tent, an outdoor kitchen, tables, chairs, cloth napkins, dinnerware, wine glasses? Complete rental charges will be presented separately in the final estimate. You can expect the following prices for standard rental items:                           Glass and China                     $10 to $18. per person                                                                                                                                                    Tables, Chairs and Linen      $10 to $15 per person                                                                                                                                                           Cloth Napkins                         $ 1. per person
  • Length of your Event If you are renting a venue you will have to consider your time fame in the rental agreement.  Factor in the caterers set up and clean up times, as well.   You can expect a minimum of 1 to 2 hours of set up, 2 to 6 hours for your event and a minimum of an hour for clean up depending on the extent of the construction and the venue location. We will discuss this in the initial planning and include it in our contract Will you be charged for overtime if your party goes later? Do you want to party late into the night? Consider how late you expect the service staff to stay and the venues requirements for cleaning.
  • Beverages & Bar Services - Culinary Origins can provide a variety of non alcoholic beverages. Do you want beer & wine, a full bar or a signature cocktail served? Since Culinary Origins does not sell alcohol you have the option of providing it yourself. Anderson Valley's Beer and Wines can be selected on a tasting tour and served at your event . Culinary Origins can provide service staff and a list of bar tools needed for service. 
  • Weather and Creative Venues  - Valerie has 30 years of experience catering events on boats, on the beach, in the woods and in fields with spectacular views and no conveniences. A cocktail party in a warehouse or barrel room or any of these outdoor destinations may require lighting, heaters, tables and chairs, bars and buffets, an on-site kitchen, tents, bathrooms, and any number of other conveniences. Permits & Permissions may also apply for outdoor locations.
  • Flowers and Decorations - Valerie works with local creative vendors who can transform rustic into magical with up-cycled design decor and local flora. Share your vision with as much detail as possible. Bring a picture file of magazine clippings or Pinterest or sketches...