Chef by Design Catering Co.

Virginia Beach, VA

About this Vendor

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

$$$ – Moderate


American, Eastern European, French, Italian, Latin American, Fusion

Dietary Options


Wedding Categories

Menu Tastings, Passed Appetizers, Food + Catering


Contact Info

5318 Fairfield Shopping Ctr., Virginia Beach, VA

Wedding 9/27/2013

Reviewed on 10/24/2013 bonnie c

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... Read More 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:)


Reviewed 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... Read More 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

Great Food, Great Service, Great Feedback from Guests!

Reviewed on 10/29/2014 Ariel C

Chef By Design has a reputation for being one of the best catering companies in the area and I found out first-hand how they truly go out of their way to ensure your event is a memorable experience. I contracted with Chef By Design to cater my wedding but quickly found out that... Read More they do so much more for their clients. Our tasting appointment was very personalized and relaxed. The staff made sure they were checking in with us to see what we liked and didn't like but also gave me and my fiance some space to discuss our menu during the tasting. At Chef By Design they were happy to change up some of their standard dishes to fit our needs and tastes, but we didn't have too change much because their food is amazing. Other catering companies we consulted with left us feeling underwhelmed with impersonal, rushed consultations and just did not provide overall the level of service we were looking for. Chef By Design representatives even attended my site walk-through. I could tell they were as excited about the event as I was and appreciated that they took the time on a weekend to come and provide suggestions and solutions as we worked through event logistics. On the day of our wedding I can't tell you how fantastic it was to not worry about anything related to our bar, food or service. Not only were the servers and bartenders that work for Chef By Design professional and polite, but the company also handles "back of the house"/ behind the scenes services most brides don't realize are crucial to a well executed event. During our buffet dinner guests were never left waiting for a dish and we never ran out of food. I still get compliments over a year later from guests on how much they loved the food at our wedding. If you are looking for a high level of service with quality food and impeccable execution for your wedding or next event, definitely check out Chef By Design. They will work with you at all stages of the planning process to ensure your day goes off without a hitch!

Reviewed on 10/21/2015

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 (... Read More 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!

Reviewed on 10/09/2015 Caitlin B

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... Read More 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!


Reviewed 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... Read More event. Thank you for all you have done and making our day so special.

Great Job All Around

Reviewed 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... Read More 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... Read More 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


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... Read More 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... Read More 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 - AMAZING

Reviewed 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... Read More 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 AMAZING

Reviewed 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... Read More 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 Team

Reviewed 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... Read More 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... Read More 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 Wedding

Reviewed 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... Read More 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!!!

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... Read More our expectations! Meredith

Fantastic Caterer for my dream wedding

Reviewed 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... Read More 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!!


Reviewed 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... Read More delicious!! I was so pleased with my experience with Chef by Design.


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... Read More 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!


Reviewed on 10/30/2014

Fantastic! Ok here's the deal: There are a lot 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... Read More event to be better than expected. They hire wait staff who have the same values as the is not a wonder to us that they are fast gaining the stellar reputation and growing client list that such an excellent business deserves. Our guests raved about how good the food and service was that made us proud as hosts. Thank you!

The BEST Caterer!

Reviewed on 10/30/2014

We know we could not have selected a better caterer. We are especially grateful for the help with the last minute changes with the rentals and beer. Several of our guests asked if you do events outside of Norfolk because they have never had better food. All the thanks to you... Read More all. We LOVED our to-go boxes and ate it all up the very next night. The food was heavenly!! We truly feel like you are part of our family and are so blessed to have had you playing such a large role in our wedding. Thank you so much!!!

The Best!

Reviewed on 10/30/2014

We would like to thank you and your awesome team for making our special day so fantastic! You guys are seriously the best! The wedding couldn't have gone any smoother! Every detail was taken care of by you guys, and everything was so stress free! It was just amazing, thanks... Read More again Marcy and Joanie for everything!!