21 total reviews
I actually feel emotional when I think about Marcy and Chef by Design when I think back on our beautiful wedding day on September 27th.. I don't throw around "perfect" very often. The catering was PERFECT. I grew up in VB but have lived in NYC the last 9 years, where I was a manager at the exceptional raw/vegan restaurant, Pure Food and Wine. So, good food is IMPORTANT to me: quality of ingredients, flavors, presentation... I wanted NYC standards. And CBD delivered above and beyond. My mom and I pretty much fell in love with Marcy at our tasting. She is just a doll--so sweet and warm and excited about what she does and realizing her bride's vision.. As is Joanie and the rest of her team. The amazing Chef John (Marcy's husband) is SO talented! They have a CRAZY EXTENSIVE menu, ranging from perfectly done and delicious "standards" to super creative, original dishes. I had a ton to choose from, and STILL Chef John created an *INCREDIBLE* vegan entree for us!!!!!! It was magazine worthy in taste and presentation. Everything was! Their staff at the reception were more than polite to our guests--they were happy, warm, and accommodating to all of our dear family and friends, which was SO important to me. They all had smiles on their pretty faces and looked so polished in their sleek black attire. They also made sure my husband and I actually got to eat!! We didn't want a cake so we chose a few different desserts (again, from like a thousand options!) and they were all AMAZING! And, the team packed up three huge bags of food and desserts that were awaiting us in our hotel room! They also did our bar, which was stellar, and set up ALL the rentals for the linens, tableware, chairs, etc. Also perfection. The compliments from friends and family are still flooding in. If you want not only truly amazing food and presentation, but also lovely people who are a delight to work with, hire Chef by Design. You will be so happy you did. And so will all of your guests:)
I am sorry it has taken me so long to write and thank you for so much work, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail for our rehearsal dinner and wedding. You were my rock and I felt so comfortable on my wedding day knowing you all were there and running the show! We have received so many comments about how wonderful the food was at both events, but you were right, the soup was the hit of the wedding! :) We felt like everything was just beautiful and your staff were so attentive to us and every detail. Our celebration really started when we got home and unpacked our wonderful picnic, which was delicious! Thank you just doesn't seem like enough to say for all of your investment, but please know it is from the bottom of our hearts.
So much thanks,
I don't know where to begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your team! Thank you just isn't enough! You made Megan's wedding from beginning to the end a beautiful and positive experience. You and your staff remained polite and accommodating towards our guests. The room was decorated wonderfully and I knew I could relax and enjoy the celebration! All of the little things added up to make a huge impact!
Please pass along my thanks to your staff again for a most excellent job!
Blessings to you all!
Love and Appreciation,
From the minute we meet Marcy, Joanie, and Chef John, we knew we had to have them as our caterers. The level of professionalism and experience is superior to any other caterers we have worked with. Chef by Design allows for the bride and groom to personally develop their menu which is unlike many other caterers. Given Chef John prepares and cooks everything, the menu is unlimited. The food is beyond 5 stars. I live in a very metropolitan area where I have had the pleasure of eating at several 4-5 star restaurants including those by famous chefs and Chef John’s food was equal if not better than them. There was not an obstacle that they could not overcome. We had a few restrictions in our menu including no alcohol could be used and the food had to be mostly (90%) gluten free. This was not even a hurdle for Chef John. We also wanted to have Guinness at our wedding. This is hard to do because Guinness must be poured with a nitrogen tap or it is not a quality pour. When another vendor said they could do this, but ended up not being able to only a day before the wedding Marcy and Joanie stepped in and made sure we had Guinness at the wedding. Marcy and Joanie also did all the rentals based off what we said we wanted for the table layout. The day before the wedding my husband decided he wanted chair covers so I frantically called Joanie and Marcy. They not only got the chair covers, but they did the most amazing job setting up the reception hall. They took our ideas and made it something magical!! From cocktail hour to dessert, that was gluten free, it was perfect. We were like family from the minute we met. It is a gift to have a wonderful caterer for your special day, but it is a blessing to have the most wonderful people doing it for you!
I wanted to say thank you for the amazing food and service you all provided for our wedding. We received non-stop compliments from family and friends on all of the food - taste and presentation - and your staff was absolutely wonderful. They delivered impeccable service, were extremely pleasant, professional, and accommodating!
Thanks for another great celebration!!
Joanie, Marcy & Staff -
Never in my life have I ever been able to put something super important to me in the hands of someone else. On my wedding day, I put everything in y'alls hands and I could not have been more happy with everything! It was the absolute best day of our lives and we can't thank y'all enough! Y'all made our day so perfect and stress free.... and fed us really amazing food :D Thanks so so so much!!
Michelle and Bill
We both love Marcy and John from Chef by Design, as well as their assistant Joanie! They were all so sweet and professional. Their team had great communication and understanding. Every single dish from Chef by Design had great presentation besides the outstanding tastes, which in my opinion is very important. Chef John was awesome!
As for starters (in cocktail hour), I personally liked the crab cakes very much! They were so delicious. My (now) husband enjoyed the tuna parfait.
Slightly disappointed at the main courses on the day of though. Both of the steaks and sea basses were overcooked, and also looked quite different from the previous tasting. Understandable still.
We absolutely loved our wedding cake which was also done by Chef by Design! It was a vanilla chiffon cake which looked super elegant and was very tasty! It melted in your mouth. Unlike many other cakes, it wasn't too sweet but just hit the spot! Every guest loved it too!
The other desserts were also great, but just melted too fast under the sun, so many of them ended up being wasted, which was a shame. It was really hot on that day. Our wedding reception was held under a tent, but the dessert table wasn't covered unfortunately - but not their fault. We probably should have plated the desserts and delivered to the guests.
Services-wise were all perfect, nothing to complain about.
Overall, it was absolutely a pleasure working with Chef by Design. Would recommend!
Was easy to work with from beginning to the end!
Chef by Design went above and beyond for our wedding! They had loads of fun with our carnival/circus-themed reception, which was reflected in both the menu and presentation. Appetizers, entrees, and desserts were all absolutely delicious and every single one of our guests agreed. Food was one of the most important aspects to us and we're so grateful for Chef by Design's perfect interpretation and execution.
We mainly worked with Joanie, who is as creative as she is organized. She was a joy to work with and was both enthusiastic and hardworking from beginning to end.
My husband and I interviewed several other big name caterers in Virginia Beach and walked away from each interaction with a bad taste in our mouths. We had an agreement to only select vendors that gave us an immediate warm feeling- and, that's exactly what we got with Chef by Design.
The entire team at Chef by Design was absolutely amazing! Joanie and Marcy sat down with us for our initial consultation and walked us through their entire menu (more food than you can imagine). My husband and I then individually picked out what we imagined having on our big day. Surprise- nothing was similar. So, Joanie and Marcy helped us narrow our choices down to a fluid and complementary list. They even dreamed up new ideas (we both love pizza- so, why not have a gourmet flatbread bar?).
A few weeks later, they provided us a tasting of the menu items we had chosen. All of them. Oh my gosh... it was the most delicious and filling dinner ever. As we tasted each item, they made notes about what we liked and didn't like (more salt, no pomegranate seeds, etc.), and we extremely willing to alter their menu items to our taste.
As if their impeccable customer service and decadent food weren't enough, they went out of their way to make our special day as seamless as possible. I decided to redo the entire seating arrangement at my venue, having long skinny cafeteria style tables rather than the typical rounds. Joanie helped with that whole process by drawing up a diagram and making sure it was exactly how I envisioned the space. They also coordinated all of our rentals (how many we would need, placing the order, returning the rentals) and were at our wedding venue the entire day setting up.
I can't say enough about Chef by Design. Guests were raving all night (and still are, months later) about how delicious the food was. I didn't imagine that when I signed a caterer all of this would come with it. They went FAR beyond our expectations, and I can't thank them enough!
Let me say that I was planning a destination wedding by phone - no easy task. While staff at CBD were very pleasant, it was very difficult to get return calls, finalize plans etc. We had arrived at the destination before being able to finalize the bill!! However, any hesitation I had melted away on my tongue when I tasted the food!
This was bar none the most amazing food I've ever had at a wedding. Weeks later friends are still talking about their crab cakes!! We opted for tapas selections, and really - every one was better than the next!! We had nearly nothing left over!
I would not say they are a 'budget' option, but the service on site was phenomenal. The servers were so kind and thoughtful, I really don't have enough WONDERFUL things to say, except I was they were located in my home town so I could use them for our next party!!! Truly, truly exceptional service.
Not inexpensive - but because of the quality of food and level of superior service they still rate a 5 star for value - well worth every penny!!
just got married 2 weeks ago and we hired chef by design to cater our reception. they were awesome! Joanie and her team went above and beyond our expectations. they were so helpful throughout the entire process and took care of everything! Joanie helped to calm any worries or doubts we had during planning and we couldn't have asked for a better company to work with. the food is amazing! so yummy. loved the BLT sliders and both of our entree choices were outstanding! can't thank them enough, our wedding was beautiful and wonderful thanks to them!
We couldn't be happier with our choice of Chef By Design for our rehearsal dinner, wedding, and cake! The entire staff was extremely helpful from start to finish. The food was delicious and our guests continuously commented on how great all of the food was. I would highly recommend Chef By Design!
Chef by Design was absolutely wonderful!! They were so attentive to everyone's needs. We were going to have a beach wedding with dinner outside. It decided to rain that day so we had to do everything inside the beach house. Chef by Design went above and beyond my expectations with helping make it work with limited spacing. They were amazing and I would highly recommend Chef by Design to anyone!!!!!
We booked Chef by Design almost 1 year before my daughter's wedding on October 20, 2012. Throughout this time, we met several times to discuss her vision and do a tasting. They were so friendly and helpful. Joanie Powell was the best in helping us with the rentals, selections, and creative ideas. We received so many compliments from our guests on how great the food and the service were. They loved the crab cakes and grits and rockfish appetizers! Not only was the presentation beautiful, but even more importantly, the food was delicious thanks to Chef John. Their service was personal, professional and of great quality. We would highly recommend them for any special event.
Wonderful! I can't say enough good things about this company. The staff was extremely helpful and very proactive. The food was outstanding! I loved it and we had raving reviews for months afterward. The guests could not say enough good things about the quality of the food and service. Truely made our day perfect.
You were SUCH a pleasure to work with, and such a beautiful bride! Thank you for allowing us to serve you both and your guests on such a special day! Best to you both!!
Chef by Design is incredibly amazing!!!! My husband and I went to many tastings. My husband is the cook of the house and is very picky. After meeting with Marcy and Joanie we decided from their elaborate menu what we wanted to taste. Everything from the salad to the main entrees was simply scrumptious!!! We planned our menu over a year in advanced. We were a tad leery that maybe would not be the same on the day of the wedding. A few weeks before the wedding our guest count went up, Joanie and Marcy worked with us through a few bumps in the road. On the day of the wedding Beth came out with their full staff EVERYTHING WAS BEYOND PERFECT!!!!!The food actually was better then what we had originally tasted, fit for a king and a queen! Our guest even now 4 months later are still raving about the taste and quality of the food!!! Chef by Design is simply the best in Hampton Roads!!! Thank you Marcy, John, Joanie, Beth and all of Chef by Design staff for making our wedding so grand!!!!
Chef by Design was everything I could have hoped they would be and more! From the planning stages on Joanie and her team were nothing but helpful. We were working to a specific budget and Joanie helped us every step of the way to pick an amazing menu for the price we desired. The day of the wedding, we had to unexpectedly move the ceremony from the beach to the reception venue and thus move all of the furniture that had already been set up for the reception. Joanie and her team jumped in with all hands on deck to assist in any way that they could, whether it be moving tables, or helping my mom to manage the stress of the unexpected change. Chef by Design also worked seamlessly with our DJ to coordinate the evening so everything ran smoothly. I was waited on all evening by Joanie's team, and they handled any issues that arose directly with the DJ so that my mother and I could enjoy the evening. We paid for a caterer and we got an entire day-of event team! I cannot speak kindly enough about Chef by Design and our experience with them. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend them to anyone. The food was to die for, the presentation was magnificent, and you will NOT beat the all-around service. I promise you will not be disappointed!
I cannot say enough positive things about Chef by Design. They catered our rehearsal party one night and did the wedding reception the next evening. We planned on both the events being held outside but due to bad weather, both parties had to be moved inside, one of them at the last minute. Joanie's comment was, "we can make this work", and indeed they did! The food was outstanding and we received many compliments on the delicious seafood we served. Joanie thought of absolutely everything and made both evenings go as smoothly as possible with no work or worries from any of the family. I highly recommend Chef by Design and believe you can trust them with your very special events as we did--and we were so glad we did!
Our son and his fiance had a destination wedding and then a party here in our city the following weekend. Chef by Design Catering did all of the catering for 4 events (2 states --back to back weekends!)...rehearsal dinner, wedding day luncheon and evening fiesta dinner--22 people (in a private rented oceanfront home)...then the following weekend, an outdoor BBQ party for 130+ guests. Each event had a different 'feel'...the food was amazing...truly exceptional in every way. Every detail was well thought out and meticulously executed. I was impressed by the attention to detail! Catering is more than food (which in this case is THE best!!). I had numerous comments about the adequacy of numbers of catering staff and their friendliness! The innkeeper of the venue told me she had never dealt with a caterer who had enough staff and did not have her running here and there for ice and other needs. She had nothing to do our entire party! She told me this was the best caterer she had ever seen! I am still receiving phone calls about our party..with special comments about the food!! Several guests asked who our caterers were so they could use them for future events! Nice work, John, Marcy, Joanie....and all your professional staff! YOU made it easy to celebrate our special couple! We had fun!!!! Mother of the Groom
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Virginia Beach Premier Caterer
Chef by Design is a full-service catering company specializing in seasonally inspired menus with beautiful presentation and impeccable service. We create custom catering menus for your wedding and will help plan, create, and supply your event from your first idea through the final moment.
- Price Range: $$$
- Specialty: American Regional, Asian, Continental, Dessert Specialists, Eastern European, French, Fusion, Italian, Kosher Style, Latin American, Mediterranean, Other Cuisine, Vegetarian
awards and affiliations
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2014
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2013
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2012