how does this work?
When you decide to hire Gather & Forge for your special event or services, you will be prompted by our booking processes to fill out some information after which you will receive an appointed time to speak with a booking consultant. You will then be quoted for the services and receive an invoice that will instruct you to pay a deposit of half the total cost of your event (which is typically a per guest amount alongside a sliding scale of luxuriousness, i.e. $75-$200/guest.) This price includes our back-end costs, menu development, groceries, preparation, execution of menu, and cleaning. The cost you decide upon with our booking agent will not be set in stone, and can be adjusted based on wants and needs. Once your deposit is paid, our customer relations management system books your special date on our calendar. At this point, an appointment will be scheduled so that you may speak to the chef who will be assigned to your event and discuss further details and expectations. The day of your event, the chef will bring all necessary equipment and mise en place to the location and render the services agreed upon. The chef will clean the kitchen just before leaving and you will receive an invoice the following day with your remaining balance as well as the option to include gratuity.
How much do your services cost?
Gather & Forge offers a variety of services at different pricing tiers depending on a client’s needs and specifications. Private dinners begin at $75 per guest which includes a uniquely personalized menu, the shopping, preparation, and transferring of ingredients to the event, execution of said menu, and a kitchen cleanup following the service. Our minimum per event, which includes a dinner for two, is $400. We do this to ensure the highest degree of attention to our clients as well ensure that we are utilizing our time wisely. All of our services are tip optional, but signing up and cementing the date on our calendar requires a deposit of half the total cost. The menu, number of courses, cost of ingredients, and distance to location will all play a factor into the final cost per person.
For personal chef weekly meal prep service, our prices begin at $400 per weekly service depending on dietary needs/preferences, number of portions, as well as the average cost of higher-end ingredients if requested. This cost covers menu development based off a thorough diet assessment, the shopping, transporting, and cooking of said meals, thorough kitchen cleaning, and relaying of appropriate reheating instructions for each individual meal as needed. This service typically takes place within approximately 5-6 hours in your home kitchen one day per week.
Our private chef services vary depending on number of services and meals required per day. Gather & Forge is proud to be able to serve Austin’s elite and is open to negotiating over the phone or in person.
How long do your events/services usually last?
Gather & Forge will often arrive at an event site an hour or more prior to the starting time of your event. We will have most of our courses prepped out and ready to fire. Depending on the number of courses and guests attending, we like to have our dinner services run approximately 1:30 to 2:00 hours. So with setting-up and clean-up accounted for, we are usually at the event site for a total of 4-5 hours.
Can you provide menu samples?
Gather & Forge is continually modifying menus to capture the essence of the season as well as play off of our most recent culinary exploits. We are a diverse team of chefs with many different experiences and perspectives regarding what we believe to be representative of elevated cuisine. We don’t believe that making a list of everything we have cooked or can cook is an adequate approach to sharing our abilities. That being said, every chef on the team is more than happy to share a menu of items they have been wanting to experiment with, with courses recently made at other events, or even classics you might be interested in.
We encourage potential clients to view our Instagram page to get an idea of the type of food we create. We do everything from crawfish boils to seven course tasting menus and want nothing more than to make your event as memorable as possible.
Do you cater to allergies and/or dietary preferences?
This is our foremost concern as personal and private chefs under Gather & Forge. Not only do we want to make incredible food but we want to make sure everyone’s needs are catered to and payed close attention to. We don’t believe in compromising one person’s experience for an ailment that they have to experience everyday. We proudly recognize that they are dining with us and want them to remember that we took care of them.
For our personalized weekly meal prep services, we have our clients fill out a thorough questionnaire that covers all the bases concerning dietary needs and preferences. It is our priority to nourish and provide truly satisfying and convenient meals to our clients.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Square, PayPal, written checks, cash, and Venmo. You will receive an online invoice the day after your services are rendered which will provide different options for you to submit payment. Although voluntary, feel free to tip our chefs with cash after your service or event. We are enormously grateful and appreciative for your business!
Do you cater to large events?
Gather & Forge is composed of five passionate chefs. Depending on the occasion, we will often hire out other talented acquaintances within the service industry that we have personally vetted. That being said, we are capable of cooking for up to 200 if the space is appropriate and if we have a large enough window of time to formulate a game plan for the event and menu.
As for private dinner parties, we are often executing boutique style chef’s tasting menus for intimate gatherings or bachelor and bachelorette parties. We are also a fan of crawfish boils, taco parties, and cheese board/passed app. affairs. We are flexible in the services that we offer and are willing to make your event a special one.
What’s your minimum guest count?
Gather & Forge is happy to cook for an intimate couple’s dinner and date night if requested in a timely manner. That being said, we will usually charge a higher cost to offset a higher-paying event but will stay true to our margins and provide a dinner experience with the best ingredients we can. We find that for a coursed-out service, 30 guests and below is usually our sweet spot. Beyond this, we usually have to hire-on additional help which requires us to charge accordingly.
What are you cancellation policies?
We must be notified of a cancellation TWO WEEKS prior to the event. This gives us a large enough window of time to provide our services to another client who we may have passed on otherwise.
If your event takes place FEWER THAN TWO WEEKS from when you are quoted and pay your deposit, the deposit will be NON-REFUNDABLE, per our cancellation policy of a two-week notice.
If your quote expires before you approve it and pay your deposit, please reply via email so we can re-check our calendar availability and re-issue you a new quote. Keep in mind that the quote may be a different amount if re-quoted.
If you have any questions or would like us to modify the quote, please don't hesitate to reply via email with your changes. We don't recommend waiting to place your deposit; changes can always be made later, but securing your spot on our calendar is the most important reason to make your deposit a.s.a.p.
If quoted for a certain number of guests but fewer show up to the event or R.S.V.P. within two weeks of the event, we must charge for the full initial amount quoted.
What is the difference between a personal and private chef?
A personal chef has the flexibility to work both private dinner parties as well as cooking for various families in their homes to help them meet their meal-prep. needs.
A private chef is a high-end asset as well as someone who most likely started out as a personal chef and eventually came across a client who required exclusive servicing. It is common for a private chef to live on their client’s property and accompany them on excursions to ensure that their dietary requirements are met.
How did Gather & Forge start?
Gather & Forge came about during a 3AM conversation after a tiring restaurant workday. Ryan Francis and Anthony Nicaj had been working together at the Odd Duck for about a year when a mutual friend asked if they could cook up a Mexican themed dinner for some friends at an Austin high-rise. After executing the event, and vastly undercharging for their services, they began discussing the long-term realities of working in the service industry. They decided that they were worth more than the restaurant’s $10/hour and that they could execute similar events on their own terms.
All they needed at the time was a foot in the door. They created a business plan, purchased the necessary equipment, uniforms, licenses and permits with which to go canvas the affluent parts of Austin, door to door with flyers donning their mission statement and contact information. They did this for close to two months until they had their first client inquiry and the rest is history. Since then, our business leads have come primarily from word of mouth as well as through our focus on digital marketing and the google results that accompany such efforts.
What does Gather & Forge mean?
When we created this company, we wanted to bring conscientious dining and creative collaboration into the homes of our clients. We wanted Austinites and visitors to this great city to experience a truly unique dining experience that we would create based on their individual needs and preferences. The idea is that through our craft, we can bring families, friends, and co-workers together to forge or “create” memorable dining experiences.