Featured Image Source: Yan Krukov pexels
By Julia Leblanc
Want to customize your food but are too busy to prepare and cook them on your own? Or maybe you’re hosting a small event soon and need help with meal preparation?
Whatever it is that you need, we’re here to help you with our guide to finding the best personal chef in Calgary. In this article, you’ll find details on personal chef businesses, factors to consider when choosing your chef, and answers to FAQs.
How Much Do Personal Chef Services Cost in Calgary?
Before we proceed to our list of the top personal chef businesses in Calgary, you should first know how much you may likely spend on their services.
In Calgary, you can expect to pay a personal chef around $50–$165 per person, depending on your number of guests and the extent and type of menu. This cost can also spike during peak seasons such as the holiday season.
This cost already covers meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, cooking, serving, and clean-up.
The Best Personal Chefs in Calgary
Here are the best personal chefs in Calgary that’ll take dietary restrictions and allergies into consideration during meal planning. We made sure all our picks have sufficient culinary training and are licensed and insured for your convenience and safety.
1. Personal Thyme
|MENU||Menu and Pricing|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 988-2920 | [email protected]|
Just as its name tries to suggest, Personal Thyme allows its customers to spend more quality time with their loved ones. It achieves this by preparing, cooking, and delivering fresh and quality meals to Calgarians.
Personal Thyme is a caterer, dinner party service, and personal chef business run by Corrina Murray. Prior to leading her team of five, Chef Corrina formally trained in SAIT, worked under Head Chef Paul Rogalski, and received awards.
Under Chef Corrina’s lead, Personal Thyme brings fresh and seasonal flavours to each table it serves. Personal Thyme’s selection includes a 3-course menu, 4-course menu, 5-course menu, and cocktail party menu.
Despite its fully set menu, Personal Thyme still caters to any request. So, those with diet restrictions and food allergies can still expect fresh and hearty meals from Personal Thyme.
All its meals are prepared on-site, so you’ll need to make sure they have ample working space. Luckily, its team also guarantees full clean-up and tableside service.
To avail of Personal Thyme’s services, clients need only call it or sign its online forms. This personal chef’s forms ask for the schedule, type and size of the event, number of courses, and dietary restrictions.
Whether for big or small events, Personal Thyme is known to deliver high-quality service and five-star meals. Here are some reviews that have praised it for such:
“I was very fortunate to be able to hire a chef for my husband 60th birthday on short notice. Corinna was fantastic at accommodating the event at my home. The meal was great and I could not have been happier with everything and how the night turned out. Thank you Corinna”—Deb Maltby
“Corinna arrived on time, and set up so quietly we didn’t realize she was there until she would magically materialize with the next amazing plate full of appetizers, or the next course in our four-course dinner. All of the food was five-star quality. We were absolutely full to the brim by time dessert was done, and my kitchen was as clean as a whistle when she was finished using it. This was a family gathering of eight people, some with dietary restrictions. Corinna adjusted some of the servings for those with the dietary concerns, and the entire event went off without a snag. Everyone enjoyed the food, and it was the best Christmas present I could ever give (especially to myself!!!). I would highly recommend Personal Thyme/Corinna for any catered function, and if I ever host an event like this again, I will definitely be calling Personal Thyme.”—Angelese Hood
2. Simply Gourmet – Personal Chef & Catering
|ADDRESS||444 Cedarille Crescent SW, Calgary, AB T2W 2H7|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 400-2444|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM|
Simply Gourmet offers personal chef services for those looking for daily meals and event catering meals.
For every service, Simply Gourmet provides meals good for ten days. This service is even applicable for solo-living individuals and families of five.
To truly provide personalized meals that fit your dietary needs, Simply Gourmet customizes meal plans for each client. Of course, Simply Gourmet allows its customers to dictate their favourites so the chefs can keep these dishes on rotation.
Simply Gourmet prepares all meals in its location, so you won’t have to worry about providing them with a space for cooking and preparing meals. After preparing, this personal chef then delivers your meals for free, right to your freezer.
That said, it will be preparing meals for other clients in the same kitchen, so there’s no guarantee of the place being free of food allergens. So, if you have a really sensitive body, that a whiff of an allergen can trigger symptoms, inform Simply Gourmet.
However, because Simply Gourmet serves highly specialized meals, it only takes on a limited number of clients at a time. Luckily, it still has a waitlist to join if it’s already fully booked.
Whether for catering or for meal subscriptions, Simply Gourmet delivers high-quality food and services to its customers. Here are just some of its reviews to tell you more:
“We hired Simply Gourmet to cater a small dinner for our 25th wedding anniversary. As a family of health care providers, we were pleased to see that they were compliant with all Public Health Orders surrounding COVID-19. We were given wonderful menu choices from which to select our meal and Aelie was able to accommodate gluten free options for our family member with celiac disease. Her communication was prompt and clear. The food was delivered on time and in more than adequate serving sizes. Additionally, the quality of the food was out of this world and the pricing was fair and competitive. I highly recommend Simply Gourmet and will use them in the future.”—Anne Marie Lauf
“Chef’s Aelie and Paige are incredible, we highly recommend them for personal chef or catering services. Food is professionally prepared, delicious, and most important, healthy! The personal chef service also allows for a high degree of menu customization.—Craig Frenette
3. Alex Edmonson Chef Services
Alex Edmonson brings luxurious and restaurant fine dining right to the comfort of your own home.
He delivers 3-course, 4-course, and 5-course dinners as well as 10-course chef’s tasting menus and canapes. Additionally, Chef Alex shares his skills and expertise by offering private cooking lessons upon request.
We also find Chef Alex special for his vast experience, allowing him to cook and prepare meals from just about any cuisine. And because all meals are handmade by Chef Alex, you can also request special adjustments due to dietary restrictions and allergies.
So, his meals aren’t only aesthetic and flavoursome, but also nutritious.
His experiences involve extensive training in SAIT and world-renowned and Michelin-starred restaurants abroad. Chef Alex has also worked under acclaimed Chef Rene Redzepi and has even finished top 5 in the latest season of Top Chef Canada.
But all these experiences make Chef Alex’s services a bit more expensive. We say this because his website shows a starting pricing of $200 per person for full-course dinners.
And since Chef Alex works alone, you should also expect that he has a limited capacity. So, just hope that he still has a slot left for you if you want him to hire him to cook restaurant-quality meals at your home.
Read these reviews from customers who claimed that Alex Edmonson is the best personal chef in Calgary:
“Alex was the chef for my wedding. He delivered a absolutely amazing dinning experience for our special day. Everyone agreed it was incredible and wanted more. His duck was was tender, juicy, and succulent. He was personable and professional. Providing a personal dinning experience second to none. If I ever get married again I would have no second thoughts about using him again. 100/10 you are missing out if you don’t use him.—Ian McKellar
“This was our first experience with a personal chef and we were all totally impressed with quality and service provided. Especially with this pandemic situation having a personal chef come to your home was a perfect fit. Do not hesitate to hire Alex, you will not be disappointed and we will bring him to our home again!”—Robbie White
4. Victory is in the Kitchen – Personal Chef
|MENU||Depending on consultation with customer|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 671-5664 | [email protected]|
If you need routine personal chef services, then Victory in the Kitchen may be the perfect choice for you. This business offers regular meal preparation for families of all sizes with its weekly and bi-weekly options.
And to truly cater to families from all walks of life, Victory in the Kitchen also offers occasional help. So, those who don’t find routine personal chef services economical or sustainable can still rely on Victory in the Kitchen.
We also like that Victory in the Kitchen offers several options so that customers can save up on costs by choosing only what they want and need. These options include Busy Family, Entree Only, Build Your Own Meal, and On the Go.
Victory in the Kitchen can even handle catering services, but only for a maximum of 10 people. This limitation is simply because the business only has one chef, Chef Stepanka.
Chef Stepanka is a personal chef with food handling certification and liability insurance. She received culinary training from SAIT, Luka Symons, and various pubs, bars, and restaurants.
But what makes Victory in the Kitchen stand out is that it has relatively affordable prices. We say this because it only charges $250-$350 for each 5-6 hour session.
Read these customer reviews to know what to expect should you choose Chef Stepanka as your personal chef here in Calgary
“Having Stepanka cook for us was a blessing. All her meals were delicious, healthy and made with the best ingredients. Stepanka created a meal plan based on our flavour preference, considering also my gluten sensitivity. She also did all the grocery shopping for me! The best part was coming home after work to a fridge full of dinners and spotless clean kitchen. Stepanka saved so much of my time. Thank you!”—Andrea Mele
“I believe that coming home from work and having a meal ready to eat is a dream come true for most of us. And if the food is also healthy, nutritious and delicious even better! Stepanka’s cooking and baking is amazing, it tastes great and you don’t have to move a finger. I’d definitely recommend Victory is in the kitchen to all the “too busy to cook” folks in Calgary. Enjoy your meals!”—Petra Sedlmajerova
5. Healthy Chef Delivery
|MENU||Ala Carte Items |
|ADDRESS||6232 17a St SE, Calgary, AB T2C 0L8|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 265-2433|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM |
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Now, if you’re conscious about your diet because of your body goals or underlying health conditions, Healthy Chef Delivery may be what you need.
Its team is composed not only of private chefs but also licensed nutritionists and dietitians.
This food delivery service uses nothing but farm-fresh, organic, and locally-grown ingredients. Without any nutrient loss due to processing, Healthy Chef Delivery’s customers get all the nutrients they’re paying for.
Each meal it prepares and cooks is already well-balanced with carbohydrates, protein, and fats. However, Healthy Chef Delivery still allows its clients to customize their meals according to their needs and wants.
Its options include slim fit, vegan, dairy-free, vegetarian, and gluten-free to cater to any dietary restrictions. Clients need only login, specify the number of days and number of people, choose and customize their desired meals, check out, and wait for the delivery.
While it adjusts meals according to client preference, Healthy Chef Delivery doesn’t offer cooking services for private events and groups.
And do know, these healthy and nutritious options that Healthy Chef Delivery comes with a hefty price.
Read these reviews to know just how Healthy Chef Delivery has helped even the busiest of Calgarians:
“I have gotten meals from them for weeks on and off for couple years. These guys have the best selection for weight loss or as in my case body building food . I prep my own meals but some weeks when i am so busy with work , these guys are heaven sent.”—Sunny Rastin
“A convenient and healthy option – we understand that all their ingredients are organic – for when busy and with little time to cook oneself, or to supplement one’s own cooking with specific dishes from their menu. Their delivery boxes always have a nice surprise or two when delivered with a cheery wave by Robert – organic produce, dark chocolate, snacks, etc. with a nice note from Judy – and their food is hygienically packed, both frozen and not; thereby allowing for immediate consumption and/or freezing for future use depending on the individual meal(s). We look forward to them recommencing their delivery, in due course.”—Vivek Joshi
Factors to Consider in Hiring a Personal Chef
Here are the factors you should consider before hiring a personal chef.
Your personal chef should be skilled and knowledgeable not only in cooking but also in food safety and meal preparation. As such, culinary training is important.
Remember, you’ll be paying your personal chef. So, it’s only proper that you expect a certain standard from them.
Check out the chef’s menu to know what cuisine they’re accustomed to.
If you’re only hiring a personal chef for a certain event that already has a set theme, then a chef with expertise in a single cuisine would be suitable.
However, if you’re thinking of hiring a personal chef for your everyday meals and annual events, then you’d need someone who has experience and expertise in various cuisines.
Next, make sure the personal chef you’re hiring is available at the times you need them. Ask them if they’re available on the date and time of your event.
And, if you need daily meals, then make sure they can deliver your meals promptly without keeping you waiting hungrily.
Personal chefs can cook for small families and small gatherings alike, so you should also consider their experience with large orders. Look for someone with experience serving several clients at once if you’re thinking of hiring a personal chef for your daily and event needs.
And can they cook vegetarian, gluten-free, and other diet-restricted meals? Consider the chef’s expertise in cooking specialized meals without compromising taste and quality.
Personal chefs directly interact with you. So, make sure you’re hiring someone willing to listen to what you want and need.
Of course, chefs can also give professional opinions about your proposed menu or meal plan. But the best personal chef in Calgary should be able to suggest changes in a friendly and informative nature.
You’ll be eating the food your personal chef cooks, so they hold a significant role in your health and wellness. Make sure they’re licensed and have relevant experience and training.
Lastly, consider the costs of hiring your personal chef. You can scroll up to our cost guide to know what sorts of rates are reasonable.
FAQs about Personal Chefs
And that concludes our complete guide to finding the best personal chef in Calgary. So, go ahead and give your top choices a call, and you’ll surely get delicious and nutritious meals in no time.
Calgary also has lots of chefs with potential. So, if you think we missed any other personal chefs, feel free to share them with us!
Do you want to cut your costs and start taking control over your kitchen? If you want to give cooking a try, then you can also check out the best culinary schools in Calgary.