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Best Personal Chefs in San Diego, CA

Our Recommended Top 6

We did the research for you!

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Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored San Diego Personal Chefs on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.



6Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.


featured provider = Featured Provider

Poway, CA 92064 Rating

Why choose this provider?

David Schooler is a personal chef in Poway, who is a member of the American Personal and Private Chef Association. Mr. Schooler is a San Diego Culinary Institute graduate and a Chef Peter Metz Award recipient, and he has several years of experience as a professional cuisine master. Mr. Schooler begins the process with a consultation that assesses the clients’ lifestyle and dietary requirements, and he brings his own state-of-the-art equipment to their kitchen. The company sells gift certificates that allow people to share the epicurean joys with their family, friends, and colleagues, and it can cater dinner parties for up to 20 persons and special events, including gourmet picnics, for as many as 100 fine diners. The menu suggestions include coq au vin with pearl onions and wild mushrooms, Korean-style barbecue short rib, hot Italian sausage with linguine and arugula, Chef David’s lamb chops, cedar plank salmon with lemon-dill beurre blanc, artisan cheese platters with fruit and spicy sweet pralines, and classic chocolate mousse.

San Diego, CA 92101 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Anna’s Home Cooking is a provider of personal chef services in San Diego that concocts nutritious and delicious meals right in the comforts of the client’s residence. The business supports local farmers and vendors, and it buys the ingredients on the cooking date to ensure freshness. The crew offers weekly, fortnightly, and monthly options, and it can also create multi-course meals an as-needed basis at dinner parties and small events. Anna’s Home Cooking tailors the dishes to the customer’s preferences and dietary requirements, and the sample menu items include grilled root vegetable and couscous salad, hearty winter chicken noodle soup, chicken breast marsala, slow-roasted leg of lamb with fresh oregano and thyme, tiger shrimp scampi with butter-lemon sauce over angel hair pasta, and fresh cod with Mediterranean rice pilaf and steamed French green beans. The company website contains the questionnaire and an online payment platform.

San Diego, CA 92071 Rating

Review Sources

4.5 (6)
4.3 (4)

Why choose this provider?

Bellyful Meals is a provider of personal chef and catering services in San Diego that has been around for more than 10 years. The owner holds a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, and she graduated at the top of her class from the National Culinary School. The company caters home dinners and special events, and it continually serves politicians, movie stars, celebrity athletes, retired C-suite executives, and people with special dietary needs. Bellyful Meals also offers cooking instruction and restaurant menu design consultation, and some of its popular dishes are teriyaki chicken lettuce cups, cheeseburger wontons, turkey meatballs with blue cheese, sausage tortellini, halibut en papillote, streusel-topped sour cream coffee cake, and lemon pavlova with fresh seasonal berries. The staff welcomes ideas from clients, and it accommodates requests for consultations.

Carlsbad, CA 92009 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (3)

Why choose this provider?

Parker & Thyme is a provider of personal chef services in Carlsbad that puts fantastic cuisine on San Diego’s North County tables. The team engages in creative meal and menu planning, nutritional consultations, cooking lessons, and catering at private dinner parties and big events. The company offers a range of innovative and healthful recipes, and it can prepare dishes for people with special nourishment needs, including those on small intestine bacterial overgrowth, gluten-free, Candida, Paleo, and other diets. Parker & Thyme has other locations in Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe, and it begins the process with an assessment, to help determine the right ingredients and portions per delivery. The crew leaves the client’s kitchen clean and spotless, and it accepts credit card, personal check, and cash payments.

San Diego, CA 92104 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (21)

Why choose this provider?

Couch Potatoes is a state-licensed and insured provider of personal chef services in San Diego that welcomes people to great dining right in the comforts of their own home. The owner is a former member of the United States Navy, who has traveled the world and tasted some of the Earth’s most exotic dishes, and he holds degrees in culinary arts and culinary management. The company helps individuals and families with busy schedules and limited knowledge in the kitchen, and the process involves planning the wholesome and scrumptious meal, shopping for the best ingredients in town, preparing the food, and cleaning up the site. Couch Potatoes is a member of the American Culinary Federation and the American Personal and Private Chef Association, and it also holds a ServSafe Food Sanitation Program certification. Clients can visit the website to view the Secret Menu and sample dishes that loyal customers always order.

Del Mar, CA 92014

Why choose this provider?

Dinner at Home is a provider of certified personal chef and catering services in Del Mar that lets people rediscover epicurean marvels right where they live. The company designs, crafts, and delivers fresh, delicious, healthy, and affordable meals, and it serves individuals and families in the beach city and nearby areas, including Del Sur, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, and Carmel Valley. Dinner at Home has been part of the local food and beverage industry for more than 10 years, and it also offers in-home instruction for gourmet food enthusiasts and aspiring kitchen professionals. The crew welcomes meal ideas from clients, and some of the menu items are old-fashioned Swiss steak, Marco Polo bundles, turkey piccata, cheddar chili pie, vegetarian shepherd’s pie, and Chef Pamela’s lasagna.

Compare our Top Personal Chefs

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
David Schooler
Poway, CA 92064
Anna’s Home Cooking
San Diego, CA 92101
Bellyful Meals
San Diego, CA 92071
Parker & Thyme
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Couch Potatoes
San Diego, CA 92104
Dinner at Home
Del Mar, CA 92014


  • Introduction

    Professional private chefs can prepare daily meals and snacks for the families that hire them, or they can provide catering services for multiple guests at public events. These professionals use fresh ingredients and expert skill to craft delicious, healthy meals for their guests, both in private homes and for large events. Before you hire a personal chef for yourself, your family, or a private event, it helps to know what they do, how they charge, and where to find the right chef for you.

  • How much does a personal chef cost?

    The price you pay for a private chef is affected by many factors, such as location, size of the meal being prepared, and the arrangements you have made for their service. In urban areas with generally high costs, you can expect to pay between $300 and $450 for a meal service for up to 12 guests. Groceries, the cost of facilities, and other expenses can add significantly to this cost.

  • How do you become a personal chef?

    While there are no strict educational requirements for becoming a personal chef, many people who choose this career follow a fairly standard course of classwork and professional experience. Many personal chefs have a high school diploma, plus an associate's degree or professional certificate in culinary arts. Some chefs choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in the subject or to expand into a business degree if they intend to run their own catering service.

  • How do personal chefs charge?

    Personal chefs are free to charge their clients in any way that works for them. Some personal chefs are part of a family's private staff and are usually paid wages as a member of the household help. Some work independently and charge by the hour or by the job. Some charge a flat rate per event, though there is often an additional cost for extra guests.

  • What is the difference between a caterer and a personal chef?

    Though their roles at events can be similar, caterers differ from personal chefs in that they generally manage independent businesses with many clients, rather than acting as single-client contractors. Caterers are also typically hired for one-off events, rather than retained for regular service like personal chefs.

  • Do personal chefs need a business license?

    Though the rules for running a business vary from state to state, personal chefs who work as independent contractors generally do not need professional licensure. A personal chef who owns a small business might be required to pay a business tax or other state or local licensing fee, but this is basically the same as any other small business. Personal chefs employed by a household are generally considered employees and do not need to pay for a business license.

  • Will a personal chef work for one night/meal?

    Personal chefs are generally free to work out any business arrangement that suits them and their clients. In some cases, a personal chef will work for many years for a single family, but others offer their services on an as-needed basis and can be engaged for single events.