Imagine yourself at your next event or social gathering. Now instead of picturing frantic madness, you are sitting back and socialising with your guests as your own private chef cooks up a storm in the kitchen. You can hear the food sizzling away, smell the wafting fragrances, and see your chef at work, bringing to life the menu that you both created together. Yes, you, after collaborating with your chef, designed a unique menu that you & your guests are going to love. You sip on some wine, expertly selected to complement the incoming feast. And best of all, you know you won’t have to lift a finger later.
CHEFIN is your portal to that reality. You get access to a handpicked selection of top chefs, a bespoke menu made just for your event, and the chance to sit back and enjoy quality dining wherever you like, like a Michelin starred restaurant at your convenience!
Everything you need for an event, in one place
You’ve taken in that imaginary scenario and you want to know more. Here’s how CHEFIN can work for you, whether you’re a corporate event planner or a social butterfly with a busy roster of private events.
Choose from a handpicked selection of top private chefs for your event
To make sure your catering reflects the look and feel of your event, you need to know who is cooking your food. The first step when booking a private chef with CHEFIN is letting us know your ideas, expectations, and dreams for your catering. Excessive or minimal, it doesn’t matter. You tell us what you want and we team you up with the right chef who can turn your catering ideas into a reality.
You can also read through individual Chef’s profiles to learn more about the personality, skills, and expertise of each private chef. All of our personal chefs have their own specialties and each one will bring something unique and special to the table.
Work with your chef to design a bespoke menu for your event
Now it’s time to collaborate with your chef and design a dream menu that will amaze your guests. The bespoke menu creation process is what makes CHEFIN a form of personalised catering that’s different. You’ll work with your chef to create a tailor-made menu that takes their expertise and infuses it with your own ideas and flavour preferences. Make your menu match your event occasion, let the chef make it a work of art, and it will become a memory for your guests .
Discover an array of unique venues, from luxury modern penthouses to cosy city rooftops
Why stop at catering when we can help you find a venue, too? Save time trying to find the perfect venue for your event and choose from our exclusive network of stunning hidden locations across the city. We have access to venues for events of all types – including ballrooms, galleries, restaurants, terraces, and outdoor gardens and pavilions.
Find everything for your event in one place – including DJs, photographers, and decorations
Here’s how we can let you offload even more event stress: by taking care of event extras like DJs, photographers, videographers, equipment hire, MCs, and decorations. Skip the hours of research and relaying your brief and ideas and let our team organise all your event essentials. Ultimately, your event will be harmonious and you’ll barely have to partake in pre-event planning. Now isn’t that a dream?
What a personal chef can bring to your event
In case you’re not already convinced by the idea of bespoke menus, live cooking, and access to a handpicked selection of top chefs, here’s what else a personal chef can bring to your event.
Private chefs make your event ‘luxury’
Private chefs are extravagant and luxurious, like having fine dining that’s tailored to your event.
What’s more sophisticated than having a chef in your kitchen, cooking a meal that you helped design? Having a personal chef at your event adds an air of luxury, where food is created to cater to your tastes and every plate is worthy of its own Instagram post. Guests are spoiled and your event’s class factor goes up a couple of notches.
You get to know the personality behind the food
Most of the time, you have no idea who cooked the food you’re eating at a restaurant or by catering companies. You don’t know why they chose the ingredients they did or where those ingredients came from. With restaurants & catering companies the person that serves you has no connection with the food, they are simply providing a service – and that means you’re missing out on half of the food experience! Having a private chef lets you know the person behind the food. You get to know your chef on a personal level and find out what drives them.
Private chefs are part of the entertainment
Make your personal chef part of your event experience by having them introduce the meal and interact with guests. Your chef will also cook your food on-site, chatting away and sharing culinary wisdom. The beauty of hiring personal chefs is that you get to discover the multidimensional aspects of the individual who made your food. And because every chef is a different person, every experience will be different.
You’ll get access to international food trends before they hit restaurants
Our team of private chefs are constantly experimenting with the latest food trends, ingredients, and combinations to create food that’s innovative and different. That means you’ll get a taste of food trends before they hit restaurants, and learn all about what’s new on the culinary scene from your private chef.
You get decades of experience from around the world’s top restaurants in your kitchen.
Our team of private chefs are innovative free thinkers who love cooking for events like yours to have more creative freedom with their cooking. They have years of experience in the world’s top restaurants, working under renowned and starred chefs, and know all the industry secrets to making great food. Ask them questions, hear some stories, and gain some insight into what it’s like to work in the world’s top kitchens.
Your ideas + private chef expertise = bespoke menu for your event
We keep talking about this ‘bespoke menu’, but what exactly does that mean for you? Well, this is the part where you and your private chef make your catering dreams come true. Here’s how the menu creation process works with CHEFIN.
How a private chef will design your menu
When you first get in touch with our team, we’ll ask you a range of questions about your event. You might already have a theme, ideas, dietary guidelines, or a cuisine in mind, or you might have absolutely no idea. Your chef will work with you to find out what kind of food you’re looking for, what kinds of ingredients you’d like to work with, and how you’d like it to be served and presented.
After that, your personal chef will take your brief and start turning it into a menu. You’ll get to approve the final menu or work with your chef to make adjustments if necessary. At the end, you’ll get your very own menu that’s tailored-made to your tastes and perfect for your event.
You can make your menu interactive
If you want to add some extra oomph to your catering, consider making your menu interactive. Interactive dining means guests can get involved with the way food is served and eaten, whether it’s putting together their own tacos or eating the meal blindfolded. Some of our popular interactive dining experiences include:
- Blindfolded dinners – Let your guests eat the meal while blindfolded, trying to guess the ingredients in each course. You can make this experience competition and award a prize to the winner with the sharpest taste buds.
- Food journeys – Take your guests on a journey around the world. You can choose a particular cuisine or a range of cuisines and have your chef explain the history, ingredients, and country behind each dish.
5 ways you can customise your menu
The beauty of a bespoke menu is that the possibilities are endless, but too much choice can be overwhelming! Here are some ideas to get you thinking on how you can customise your menu:
- Choose a particular cuisine,
- Make your menu highlight certain colours e.g. autumn colours, red foods, green foods, rainbow feasts,
- Centre your menu around a particular ingredient and use it in different ways for each dish e.g. chocolate, pumpkin,
- Let your menu mirror your event’s theme if you have one,
- Choose a look and feel for your menu e.g. simple foods, modern foods, hearty foods, traditional foods.
When finished, your menu will be the perfect balance between your ideas and your chef’s unique take on your brief. To learn more about how your chef will create their menu from your brief, read on.
How your personal chef will turn your ideas into a menu
A private chef’s food might look effortless on the table, but behind-the-scenes is a different story. It takes a lot of work to craft a menu that’s harmonious and fits within a brief. Your chef will be selecting ingredients in line with your needs, brainstorming how to use them together, layering, structuring, and designing the presentation. Along the way, there’ll be experimentation, decisions, suggestions, creative work, and a lot of intuition.
The best part is, you’ll get to hear all about your chef’s journey with turning your ideas into a mouth-watering menu. To give you an idea on what goes on behind-the-scenes, here’s how your private chef will create your bespoke menu.
Step 1: Choosing ingredients
You’ll have given your chef a brief and series of ideas, inspiration, and guidelines to follow. From there, they’ll be selecting ingredients that are in season, follow your brief, and work together harmoniously. This is no easy task, and not taking the time to carefully consider ingredients can lead to a disaster of clashing flavours. Carefully selected quality ingredients is what makes a dish really feel like a harmony of flavours for your taste buds.
Our private chefs choose locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and will trawl through farmer’s markets, delis, and community gardens to gather inspiration for your menu’s ingredients. They’ll ask producers for their best picks, sample artisanal delicacies, and plan your menu based on local availability. Of course, every chef also has their own arsenal of ingredients they love to work with. And every chef also has that special list of ingredients in the back of their mind, just waiting for the right opportunity to be used…
Step 2: Building a flavour profile
Having now chosen the ingredients for your menu, your chef will start to consider how to best balance their flavours. Correctly balancing flavours in a dish gives a complex and powerful flavour, whether three ingredients have been used or thirty. Understanding the complexities of taste, aroma, texture, and flavour is how chefs add an unusual twist to a dish and make it exceptional.
Building a balanced flavour profile is all about understanding how the different taste elements – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami – interact within a meal. Each taste will either enhance or balance the flavour of another, and your chef will know how to make each taste shine.
What are the five taste elements?
- Sweet – The sweet taste counteracts bitter and sour flavours and turns down the heat on an extra spicy meal. Chefs will use ingredients like fruits, honey, sugar, and syrups to add sweetness.
- Sour – The sour taste adds acidity to a dish. This balances all of the flavours and adds an extra zing while also reducing excess sweet or spicy flavours. A squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar is the perfect sour component to a dish.
- Salty – This is the best flavour enhancer there is! Adding salt brings out all of the other flavours in the dish, making more subtle tastes more prominent.
- Bitter – It’s not the most popular flavour around, but bitterness can bring great balance to a meal. The bitter taste helps counteract dishes that are too rich, sweet, or heavy – think things like beer, rinds, or bitter greens.
- Umami – This can be a hard-to-define flavour, but umami brings balance to a dish without stealing the show. You’ll find this taste in soy sauce, mushrooms, oysters, cheese, tomatoes, and meat.
The three elements of a dish: texture, flavour, and aroma
Three elements which must be carefully considered when a private chef designs a dish is its texture, flavour, and aroma. These three elements must work in harmony to create a dish that is both pleasing to the senses and enjoyable to eat. A dish might taste incredible, for example, but if it has an odd texture then it will be less enjoyable overall. On the other hand, a meal can have a great texture and tantalising aroma but lack in flavour. If one of the three elements is off balance then the whole dish falls apart, so chefs must be very calculating when creating a dish
Step 3: Designing the plate – dish presentation & plating techniques
Everyone knows that you eat with your eyes before your mouth, and your private chef won’t disappoint when it comes to presentation. The final step before tasting is designing an exquisite looking plate that will make your guests excited for the meal ahead. Plating up is something that chefs consider throughout the entire menu creation process, including a number of elements for the specific occasion:
- How guests will be eating the meal,
- The texture of each ingredient,
- Which component of the dish should be eaten first, second, which should be eaten together, etc.
- How different elements of the dish will interact together (i.e. will an ingredient change texture when mixed with another?),
- How temperature will affect each ingredient in the dish depending on its position on the plate,
- The colour of the plates, style of the table, individual’s personality, etc.
Each of our private chefs is highly skilled in the art of food presentation and will make your dishes beautiful and easy-to-eat. They might decide to serve your food inside a small pumpkin or deconstructed on the plate. Either way, the final design always complements your brief, ideas, and event needs.
Step 4: Tasting time
You don’t think your chef will let you be the first to taste your meal, did you? A private chef will always taste the meal on their own before serving it to someone else. Usually, a chef will make a ‘lesser’ version of the recipe using less popular cuts of meat and unfavourable parts of vegetables. This gives them an idea of how the dish will taste in different circumstances.
This is also your chef’s chance to experiment with your menu’s texture, flavour, and plating up. They might choose to go for pureed peanuts instead of crushed, or switch from a bowl to a platter. Some chefs also use this opportunity to create two or three different versions of a dish and choose the one that works best. This step is all about perfecting your menu’s final elements.
What it’s like to have a personal chef at your event
With your menu created and approved, all that’s left is for you to enjoy your event. Your personal chef is taking care of all the food preparation, cooking, and serving, and you’re basking in luxury amongst your guests. Want to dive deeper into this dream scenario? Here’s what it’s like to have a personal chef at your event.
A regular event becomes a Michelin-starred dining experience
Food served in foil trays doesn’t exactly scream ‘sophisticated’. If you want your event to ooze an air of luxury and exclusivity, a private chef is the way to do it. From impeccable food presentation to years of experience in the world’s top kitchens and selection of fine, gourmet ingredients, personal chefs bring an air of fine dining luxury to all events. Whether it’s a corporate seminar or small family occasion, add a private chef and you have a five star experience.
No pre-event stress
Anyone who’s organised events knows how stressful the process can be. If it’s a special occasion, celebration, or big corporate event then the stress can increase tenfold. Even small social dinners can come with the pressure of wanting to impress your guests. And when it comes to cooking for large groups of people, there’s all the prep work, shopping, fear you won’t be able to pull off that new recipe you’ve been trying…
Having a private chef means offloading all of that pre-event stress. Your chef will take care of everything from menu creation to ingredient sourcing, cooking, serving, and even cleaning up, so you’ll have your hands free to focus on your guests.
You’ll be a guest at your own event
The last thing you want to do when you have a room full of guests is run back and forth to the kitchen. Whether it’s a family occasion or corporate event, a lot of fun can be missed if you’re on cooking or events duty. One of the major perks of having a private chef is getting to feel like a guest at your own event.
With all of the food and event responsibilities taken care of, you can sit back and enjoy more socialising instead of cooking. You’ll get to make memories with your loved ones and spend less time stressing alone. Now wouldn’t that be nice?
You get to boast about the marvellous food presentation & taste
As the event host, you get credit for all the spectacular dishes your private chef serves at your event. Watch as they not only present beautiful artistic dishes, but also quickly plate up 50 dishes all at the same time! Let your personal chef do their work and wow your guests from beginning to end. Expect to get cameras rolling and Instagrams updating with plenty of food photos and memories of your event.
You get impeccable professional wine pairing as a bonus from a certified sommelier
As an added bonus, having a private chef at your event also means having a wine menu that perfectly complements your food. Your personal chef will give you the option of working with a sommelier to create wine pairings that will bring out the flavours in your menu. Now that’s a five star experience!
You can go to the after party guilt-free
You can wave goodbye to that dreaded moment when guests leave and the cleanup begins. You can say ‘yes’ to that after party, knowing you won’t come home to a mess you have to clean up. Because once your guests have eaten all the sensational food, your private chef team will collect dishes, clear tables, wash up, and leave your venue as spotless as it was when they first walked in. We can even come to clean up the next day if your party continues throughout the night.
4 ways a private chef enlivens the event
In the age of Masterchef, chefs are almost like celebrities. People love to get up close and personal with a chef to learn more about food, cooking, secret ingredients, and how they create their recipes. Having a personal chef at your event is like having a whole extra source of entertainment for guests, with a live cooking show and plenty of wisdom to be shared. Here are just 4 ways your personal chef can enliven your event.
1. Let your chef flambé something
If there’s ever a way to create commotion in the kitchen, it’s by flambéing something. Ask your chef to flambé at your event and you’ll definitely get people excited! Flambé is when a pan is deliberately set to light by adding alcohol to the pot. The food is literally set alight, with a beautiful blue flame that leaves behind a subtle smoky flavour in the dish. Chefs usually rub, brandy, or cognac to flambé a dish. This is a surefire way to get some heads turning at your event.
2. Ask for waste-free cooking – with food scraps!
Heads will surely be turning if your private chef is throwing food scraps into a pot! Encourage waste-free cooking and sustainability by asking your chef to create an eco-friendly meal that incorporates food scraps. Yes, scraps, although in reality no part of a food is necessarily a scrap.
Chefs know how to use each and every part of an ingredient, so ask them to take something you’d throw in the bin and turn it into something spectacular. It could be carrot tops, onion skins, or shrimp shells. Whatever it is, expect a surprise and let yourself and your guests learn some valuable waste-free cooking tips in the process!
3. Put confit on the menu
Confit is one of those culinary terms that’s heard often in cooking shows but rarely practised by home chefs. Let your personal chef prepare a confit item on the menu and you’ll be sure to create a stir amongst guests. Why? Because confit food releases an incredible aroma that will waft around your venue tantalising guests until it’s time to eat. This type of slow-cooking uses low heat and lots of fat to create melt-in-your-mouth food that will never be forgotten by a guest.
4. Let your chef introduce the menu to guests
Dining isn’t the same when you can help yourself and no words are exchanged. Your private chef can bring a personal touch to the dining experience by introducing the menu to guests and explaining each dish. This encourages interaction between guests and turns the act of eating into a form of entertainment of its own.
Eat local food, made by locals
You’ve heard the buzzwords everywhere – paddock to plate, eat local, seasonal menus. But what is eating local all about, and how does a private chef come into it?
Part of our ethos here at CHEFIN is to source local and ingredients and local talent. Our personal chefs are scouted within the country and each serve their local areas. They have a deep understanding of the best local food producers, farmers, delis, and artisans. Every menu our private chefs create is centred around locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. If you’re after eco-friendly, sustainable catering then this is it.
Here’s how our chefs make their food local, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.
They source all ingredients locally and in season
Our personal chefs choose to source all of their ingredients from within the state, if possible. That means working with local farmers to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables, knowing local producers and artisans, and highlighting local distilleries, wineries, and food co-ops. Your chef will always know where each ingredient came from and its journey to get to your plate.
Seafood is all sustainably and ethically sourced
All seafood used by our private chefs is sustainably and ethically sourced. We work with the Marine Stewardship Council to ensure all the seafood used by our chefs can be traced back to healthy fish populations sourced from certified suppliers. That means you can feel good about where your seafood is coming from, and we can feel good about the seafood we serve you.
They practice waste-free cooking
As mentioned earlier, our chefs know how to use all parts of a fruit or vegetable and leave nothing to waste. Whether it’s throwing shrimp shells into a sauce or using celery leaves in a salad, our private chefs minimise the waste they create throughout the cooking process. This leaves less trace and impact on the environment.
Almost everything is made from scratch
Where possible, our chefs will make every element of a dish from scratch. That means your final meal will contain little to no processed foods, which is better for both the environment and your health. Making everything from scratch reduces the carbon footprint of your menu and makes everything taste ten times better.
What makes personal chefs different to catering companies?
Still struggling to see how personal chefs are different to catering companies? There’s a lot that sets the two apart.
Private chefs will design a menu just for your event
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: why choose from a general menu when you can have one specially designed for your event? Personal chefs will guarantee a menu that’s tailored to your taste buds and catered to your guests. That’s something you just can’t get with pre-designed meal options.
They add an extra air of luxury
Personal chefs don’t serve food in foil plates. They take care about presentation, and that includes everything from how food is served to how it’s plated up. Everything your private chef does is of a fine dining standard that’s a step above traditional catering. It’s like eating at an exquisite restaurant, only at your chosen venue.
They can be part of your event
As mentioned earlier in the article, personal chefs can be part of your event’s entertainment. They won’t just be there to set up and leave, as a traditional caterer might. They may be cooking your food on-site, swapping stories and sharing recipes with guests, or just introducing the menu at the table – it’s up to you.
They bring a human element to your food
Unlike traditional catering, a private chef infuses their personality into the food delivery experience. They leave traces of their soul in their cooking, and you’ll be able to interact with them and see how their unique spirit reflects in each dish. Because every chef is different, you’ll always be guaranteed a set of surprises depending on their unique approach to cooking.
Booking a private chef is easy – even last minute chefs!
By now, you know how a private chef can transform your event catering into something truly spectacular. You’ve learned what makes them different to caterers, and how they can create a bespoke menu that’s tailored to your exact needs and desires. You know that they pour their heart and souls into a meal, that each dish is served with love, pride, and a dash of good humour. So you probably want to see what it’s like for yourself!
Booking a private chef with CHEFIN is so easy. Just head to our enquiry page to start planning your eventhttps://chefin.com.au/enquiry/. We’ll ask a couple of questions about you and your event, and then one of our team members will get in touch to connect you with your chef. From there, you can start pouring your ideas out and watch your tailor-made menu come to life.
Everyone deserves a private chef experience – even if just to give yourself a day off to enjoy the party! Give yourself the gift of luxury and start dreaming of your menu now.