$$$ – Moderate
American, Eastern European, French, Italian, Latin American, Fusion
Menu Tastings, Passed Appetizers, Food + Catering
The team at Chef By Design put together a fantastic menu for my daughter's wedding reception. The appetizers during cocktail hour were exquisite. The dinner selections were fresh, delicious comfort foods that pleased everyone. We are still receiving notes from our guests thanking us for inviting them and commenting on how wonderful the food was! Joanie, Marcy and Chef John were creative, organized, and diligent in the service that they provided. I would recommend them without hesitation and I hope to use them again at other types of functions in the future.
I called several times and wrote emails. Each time it would take weeks to hear back from Marcy or her assistant. It is very frustrating when you are trying to figure out all of this stuff and they do not bother to even call you back. Then I tell them about the proposals I had received from other caterers and Marcy spent 20 minutes bashing the other caterers before she moved on to tell me she would try to get closer to the other caterer's proposals. Then when she finally (2 1/2 weeks later) sent me an updated proposal it did not reflect the things we talked about. When I finally got the proper one, after tons of emails back and forth, I happened to ask a question and realized there were almost $2,000 worth of fees that were not included!!! This is mainly because they were trying to get the proposal to match the other caterers and left out all the other things included in the proposal to make it look closer. I decided to go with Monteros because I have had none of those issues with them. They are supportive and respond right away. I would recommend staying away from this company unless you have time to waste.
I don't even know where to start with all of my Chef by Design compliments! When we first started speaking with Marcy, we really weren't sure what kind of food we wanted. We were merging a casual southern family with an Italian northern family, so our tastes in food were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Once I explained that, Marcy just ran with it and created an outstanding menu that meshed our differences very well. My in-laws went with us for the tasting and I was a bit nervous, as they're very picky and tend to only eat things they're used to. As we went through the menu, tasting each item and making notations, I noticed my father-in-law writing "Excellent" next to everything!! He rarely uses that word to describe food unless it truly is excellent! I was so relieved and so excited! The food the day of the wedding was just as amazing it was when we did the tasting. Our wedding was almost 2 weeks ago, and we're still receiving compliments from our guests about how wonderful everything was! Also, we've received a lot of compliments on the staff. I've been told multiple times that everyone was just so helpful, friendly, and truly seemed like they were happy to be there. To me, good service is just as important as good food, so I'm very thankful to the CBD staff!
Chef By Design blew us away immediately. Their website makes food selection simple and it was a treat working with Marcy and Joanie. We loved our tasting so much that we decided to use them for our rehearsal dinner in addition to our wedding. We had a beach wedding in Sandbridge so we wanted to include plenty of seafood options. At Marcy’s suggestion we went with a seafood boil for the rehearsal dinner and it was a hit! No worries if seafood isn't your jam: they have plenty of other options including mac & cheese that I still dream about. Our family has a lot of foodies and they were all blown away. If I had a dollar for every time someone said it was the best meal they ever had our wedding would have been free!
Joanie and the team at Chef by Design executed a flawless evening for our wedding reception. The food was DELICIOUS - everything from the appetizers, oyster bar, entrees, and special request cobbler bar dessert was on point. We received so many complements from our family and friends on the food. Joanie did 3+ site visits to ensure that the outdoor tented wedding at the home I grew up in would be fabulous. And when the weather called for massive storms, Joanie and the team had the best attitude for doing everything possible to make the night amazing. They also seamlessly executed a room flip and ran an efficient bar for our guests all night. Our goodie bag made a delicious dinner of leftovers the first night of our honeymoon. I HIGHLY recommend.
Don't waste your time by searching for other caterers- go straight to Chef By Design! The team was super accommodating, and you will feel like you are at a five star restaurant! The food is absolutely amazing. During our tasting, they got my mom to eat and enjoy a crabcake ( and she does not like crab), and I also ate one of the mini ham brioche appetizers and liked it (and I do not eat ham!). We chose to do a buffet with a plated Caesar salad. At the buffet we had the chicken with roasted red peppers, spinach, and feta, the slow roasted herb encrusted prime rib, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. We even opted to do a macaroni and cheese station with toppings including lobster, bacon, fried onions, and so much more. To top off the night, we did a s'mores station that was a huge hit! Everyone raved about the food, and they were wonderful in assuring that the bride and groom were served their plates first- we did not even have to get up to make our plate! I had been told by many people that on my wedding day I would not get a chance to eat- well they made sure I had that chance! Even during pictures they carried up trays of the appetizers to serve to the wedding party while others were in cocktail hour. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this caterer, and highly recommend to go with them!
Chef by Design did a fantastic job! Marcy was such a joy to work with, she and her team helped us create the feel we were hoping for at our reception. They were part of our amazing vendor team that flipped the room from ceremony to beautiful reception so fast and the food was AMAZING! Chef John worked with us to create a custom ethnic food station that was fantastic. So many of our guests came up to us during the reception and in the days after the wedding to tell us how great our food was! I would highly recommend Chef by Design!
Sarah H.Reviewed on 10/02/2015 Sarah R
Chef by Design did an excellent job at our wedding. The menus they offered were creative and delicious, they were open to our feedback and suggestions, and followed through exactly how it was planned. They were a wonderful caterer and we would use them again in the future!
ExcellentReviewed on 10/02/2015 Michelle H
Everything was fantastic. I wouldn't use anyone but Chef by Design. The staff is very friendly and willing to help with anything you need. The food was excellent and we had so many guests complimenting the food and service. You won't go wrong by choosing Chef by Design for your event. Thank you for all you have done and making our day so special.
Great Job All AroundReviewed on 10/01/2015
CBD was great throughout the process. With two very busy professionals trying to plan our own wedding, without a coordinator, we were really able to rely on CBD to guide us through the process, adapt to our schedule and provide superb service and food for our wedding. I would recommend them to anyone.
More than just an Amazing Caterer!!!Reviewed on 9/29/2015 Amelia H
Chef by Design went above and beyond for our Wedding. Marcy and Joanie were so amazing to answer every question, every email, and to take note of every small detail. Leading up to the wedding, they really treated us like we were the one and only client they had and made sure we were comfortable with everything every step of the way. They're not only caterers, but they handled the rentals, and beyond. We had made custom chargers for the tables, and they were sure to use them but also collect them to keep them from being stolen at the end of the night. We also had coozies and special champagne glasses for people to keep that they made sure was displayed and used! Our guests raved about the food. The Cocktail Hour, the Charcuterie Boards on each Table, The Duet Plates... even down to the late night Milk & Cookie Shots and later the Pretzels for the bus ride home! We also had them do our Wedding Cake and many of our guests were in awe of the amazing flavor of the Strawberry and Creamsicle layered cake. Marcy and Joanie cared about everything being perfect, down to finding boards to cover up mud puddles, dealing with late transpo buses (which was not their hire) and even helping come up with ideas for our rain plan to transform original ideas to incorporate into the new rain plan ideas. The one thing I'll also recommend, in case it doesn't usually come in the package is that we had our own waitress assigned to us who really took care of us, who gave the lead singer of the band a thumbs up for me when I couldn't get up and even putting spray deodorant on me when I realized I had forgotten! Because of her, we got to eat all the food, have drinks whenever we wanted, and really be able to enjoy the Wedding! I wouldn't take even a nano second in hiring Chef by Design again, their custom service, attention to detail, and all round amazing work will never be forgotten. Thank you so much guys for making our Wedding as amazing as it was!!! Amelia & David 9-26-15
OUTSTANDING!!Reviewed on 4/13/2015 Steven J
As a couple who comes to you with over 3 decades of combined experience in the restaurant industry; nearly half of which spent in the NYC dining scene, you have blown us away with your creativity, focus and dedication to your craft. After meeting with you to discuss our vision and concluding the introductory tasting it was obvious that there was simply no other choice by comparison. Through your influence, the bar for which every other catering business in VA Beach is measured should forever be set by you. All other businesses, whether it be bar or restaurant should fall in line and learn from your example. It is our belief that you set the standard in VA Beach and our hope is that others will learn of you by any means necessary, including this letter. From a culinary and service standpoint you are truly in a class of your own and you are deserving of being one of the most coveted food and service professionals in the Hampton Roads. There are very few chefs who could pull off such an exceptional menu for over 100 guests and maintain the integrity of each dish as it was intended; in addition to having a staff that provides a separate beer or wine pairing for each of the five courses and are able to time it flawlessly. The NY Times would award you no less than three stars for achieving this on a consistent level given the quality of production on both ends. Our guests have said to us time after time that it was the best dinner that they have had at a wedding or otherwise. Chef John Telfer should be commended for his ability to execute at such a high level. Also deserving of praise is Co-Owner/Director of Catering Marcy Telfer and Catering Manager Joanie Powell for their tireless efforts to seek perfection and for their personal, hands-on approach to achieving it. These three lead an all-star team of service professionals who carry with them a wealth of knowledge and are more than capable of working in the finest of dining settings. We cannot say enough how happy we are that Chef by Design was our caterer for what was the most important day of our lives. We sincerely and wholeheartedly want to thank you all for your exceptional service and hospitality. You exceed our already high expectations and made our wedding reception one of our top dining experiences ever and an evening that we will never forget. We wish you all continued success!
Beyond happy with chef by design!Reviewed on 12/29/2014
Joanie and Marcy were absolutely wonderful. We not only ordered catering service but also a coordinating package so that our wedding party could enjoy the wedding and not have to be involved in running the show. Joanie was the woman in charge and I couldn't have asked for a better person. She kept everyone on task as we were getting ready, she kept in contact with all the vendors, and she kept me out of the loop so that I did not stress. We received so many compliments on the flow of the wedding as well as the food and service! The food was amazing and the wait staff was attentive and professional. Weddings are definitely Joanie and Marcy's calling as everything that they took care of was done flawlessly! Thanks so much chef by design!
Catering for Wedding - AMAZINGReviewed on 12/11/2014 Elizabeth D
Chef by Design was absolutely wonderful for our wedding! Their food is delicious and was just as good as the tasting. Quality food and reasonable prices for the service provided. The staff is so friendly and does so much more than just provide the food. The service and hard work that went into making our wedding such a success cannot be valued and it is hard to put into words the appreciation of their hard work. The staff helped move my chairs from inside to outside, and then back inside for the reception, due to the rain. The coordination between them and my planner was amazing and without them, we couldn't have pulled off my perfect image of an outdoor ceremony. The food was so good and it was very important to us to have our guests recognize the great food at the wedding. Everyone raved about every single thing that was served and it was no wonder that all the food was gone at the end of the night. Everyone left satisfied and the food was better than expected being served in large quantities. They provide full set up and break down and handle all rentals as needed so there is little for you to personally stress over as they have everything handled. Joanie and Marcy will work with you as much as you need to plan the perfect menu and work within your budget. They both are amazing and you will feel like friends instantly when working with them. I would recommend them to anyone for any catering needs.
Chef John is AMAZINGReviewed on 11/14/2014 Brittany Z
We looked at various caterers and selected sample menus; however, Chef by Design was the only menu we didn't need to tweek at all. We loved all our original selections, and we especially enjoyed being able to do minor changes on the items we wanted to stick with (extra sauce/no sauce/less garlic, etc). When meeting with the staff, everyone was super friendly. They even came with us to our rentals appointment to help layout tables and help with our overall decorations. The buffet and cocktail food items were perfect. Our food was so delicious (all our guests keep telling us), and they even made up a to-go box for my husband and me to eat it all over again the next day. :) I would recommend contacting by phone, rather than email. They are quicker to respond with a direct phone call.
Amazing TeamReviewed on 11/04/2014 Alicia H
The entire Chef By Design team was amazing to work with from start to finish. They made my visions become a reality and all of my wedding guests keep talking about how wonderful the food was. I would highly recommend Chef by Design to anyone looking for a caterer.
You want to hire Chef By Design!Reviewed on 11/02/2014
Fantastic! Ok here's the deal: There are alot of caterers that can pump out food. There are few that can create meals that are as delicious, thoughtful, satisfying, and high-end as Chef by Design Catering Co. The staff are incredibly friendly and active listeners who want your event to be better than expected. They hire wait staff who have the same values as the owners... it is not a wonder to us that they are fast gaining the stellar reputation and growing a client list that such an excellent business deserves. Our guests raved about how good the food and service was and that made us proud as hosts.
Will never use another caterer!Reviewed on 10/31/2014
We knew the food and service were going to be excellent when we booked Chef By Design for our daughter's September wedding (reception at The Water Table), because we had been to an event that they had previously catered. But I have to say that Marcy and her staff (and Chef husband!) far exceded even our expectations! Being the hosts of the event, we were able to see just how perfectly everything came together; no detail was overlooked! Marcy and her staff helped us to plan the perfect event and our friends are still talking about how delicious all of the food was, from the cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres through all of the reception food. A favorite both in taste and "curb appeal" was the mashed potato bar (served in martini glasses with unique toppings). The potatoes were the best I've ever had! The staff was so nice, attentive and friendly; nothing was overlooked! Marcy made us feel comfortable from the start, she knows the venues and does her homework! She also respected some of our little nuances (ie, purchasing our own alcohol and setups (which she helped with the numbers), speciality drinks and how to handle, etc, etc...) She had some really good ideas and followed through on everything. She was easy to get it touch with during our planning and when she did get busy with other events, always got back to us and apologized for any delay. The only thing that didn't go as planned (because there has to be "something", right?), was that the outdoor cocktail hour bartender put a tip jar out (we had open bar and had requested no tip jar). We let it go as it wasn't put out at the indoor reception and the staff apologized for the oversight afterwards. Apparently they had a new bartender who did not get the word. So just make sure to make that very clear if you also do not want. But that was the only issue and a small one. The staff all remained after the event for cleanup and they were there early for setup, so we did tip all of them and they were very appreciative! In summary, we will never use another caterer, we love Chef By Design!!!
Incredible Caterer and WeddingReviewed on 10/31/2014
Our wedding had to have been one of the best in the area! I had such a fantastic group of vendors, and Chef by Design was unlike any other. Their level of service for what my vision was perfect. I had a huge, over the top, gorgeous wedding with so many details - Joanie and Marcy helped me to bring everything I wanted into the wedding and reception. I can't thank them enough. After meeting and tasting with other caterers in the area, I just KNEW that this company is the BEST! They cook the food on-site with Chef John and his team, and I still am getting calls about the food. Their staff paid such attention to every detail, were so friendly and helpful, but professional! Even when my guests tried to get their beautiful staff on the dance floor!! I cannot thank them enough. I will be referring them to everyone I know! We love you guys!!!
BEST CATERERReviewed on 10/30/2014
My husband and I are from NY, and hired a coordinator for our elaborate wedding. She referred us to a caterer in Hampton Roads, and after meeting and tasting with that caterer, we were so disappointed, thinking if this was the best in the area, we would have to get married in NY. We have a very upscale palate and are in the food business, so the level of creativity for our menu had to be top notch. We heard about Chef by Design by our lighting company, and were told we HAD to meet with them. From the moment we met with Joanie, Marcy, and Chef John, we immediately knew that they would be our caterer. At our first 3 hour meeting (!), they brought out food to us, not knowing our palate's but absolutely blew us away with the level of excellence in each course. We then created our 5 course plated menu from scratch, had follow up Skype meetings to tweak the menu, flew back for the tasting, and couldn't have been more pleased with everything. The level of service and timing we expected for this 5 course reception, with wine and beer pairings with each course, would make even the most distinguished and experienced caterer nervous, but Chef by Design staff was nothing short of perfect in their service and presentation. We cannot say enough about this company, and truly how amazing their food, personalized service and attention to detail was. There is NO OTHER caterer that could have done what they did. We cannot thank them enough for making our day one we will never, ever forget! xoxo
Thank You!Reviewed on 10/30/2014
Thank you, again for making our wedding day beyond our dreams! You were such a pleasure to work with!!!! I cannot say enough about what an incredible experience we had wit you all at Chef by Design from start to finish. The food, the décor, your staff - everything was beyond our expectations! Meredith
Fantastic Caterer for my dream weddingReviewed on 10/30/2014
I can't thank Chef by Design enough for all of the hard work and excellence they put into our wedding. From the first phone call, then meeting, personal tasting with the Chef, to the final day, everything was beyond anything I imagined. It will be an experience I will never forget. We immediately fell in love with Marcy, Chef John and Joanie...they are on top of every detail, and I never stressed over anything. They created the most beautiful menu for us, and it was our "signature" menu! Their service is beyond amazing..all of their staff is gorgeous and so professional. We loved each one of them. Marcy was at our wedding - they don't hand it over to some captain I never met...It truly was the best experience, and I cannot thank them enough for making my dream wedding come true!!
INCREDIBLE SERVICE, AMAZING FOODReviewed on 10/30/2014
Guests are still raving about the incredible service they received at our wedding & the AMAZING food! We could not have been happier with the above & beyond approach to our special day! Thank you Chef John & Marcy!! Everything was just perfect!
5 Stars!Reviewed on 10/30/2014
For someone with a severe gluten allergy like myself, the compassion and experience from Chef John, Marcy and the CBD family is top notch when it comes to food allergies. They manage to make gluten free dishes not only atypical (no "our option is salad with no dressing") but delicious!! I was so pleased with my experience with Chef by Design.
AMAZING CATERER!!!Reviewed on 10/30/2014
The absolute BEST caterer in Hampton Roads area! Fabulous experience for wedding reception with the most awesome food and professional and caring staff. We met with several caterers, and knew right away after meeting with Marcy and Joanie, that they were the most qualified for our reception. It was held at the beautiful Water Table, and had a TON of detail, so we needed a company that was on top of everything from start to finish. They designed floor layouts, walked through the design of the food displays, did final site visits with us, and walked everything through with us from start to the big day. I couldn't be happier! There truly is not another company around that takes the time and gives such attention to detail as this company. You won't find another company that sends a Chef and team to the wedding to cook the food on site so it is FRESH and served with such excellence. As the mother of the groom, I can tell you that every guest RAVED about this company, and we have sent many friends to them!