Mark is amazing. He appears to be laid back but he handles all the stress and delivers regardless. He catered my son’s wedding 3 years ago and did amazing job in very small kitchen for 100 people. He has gotten even better since. His food is even better and he has the whole thing down from set up — chairs, tables, dish and glass ware, and excellent servers. They jumped in and did everything. This time he catered a formal dinner party for 75 on Saturday night and the wedding on the beach with full sit down dinner the next evening. Due to high tides we had a lagoon on the beach between entry and set up. The guys all pitched in but Mark made it happen with full set up across the water. Again food and service was excellent. And menus varied from Saturday night to Sunday Wedding fare. AND the overall cost can NOT be beat. I don’t even know how he does it. Thanks so much Mark for making it all work.
Mark and crew are so awesome!! So easy to work with no pretense no BS just solid food, solid service, and plenty of it!! Mark really helped us out by serving a fresh, healthy, and affordable dinner for 70 people including injured service men and women who were in Santa Cruz for the Operation Surf Event. He was really flexible when we had some last minute add-ons, and I definitely recommend his services. We will absolutely use him again and again!! Thanks Mark!!!
I cannot say enough good things about Mark and his team! Our wedding was in May 2016, but we already had him booked in 2015. He is very responsive to his emails and offers great rates on catering. His menu is more creative than your standard wedding food, and all our guests loved it! Very well executed on all the dishes, but the vegetarian lasagna and meatballs were my favorite!
The plates, silverware and napkins were beautiful and well arranged. Mark has plenty of colors to choose from and is very accommodating.
His team did a FANTASTIC job on the day of our wedding!! They knew my husband’s and my names, made sure to bring platters of food to us during pictures, and kept everything stocked to keep our buffet line moving. I was so touched that his team knew my name, and even more touched when they asked which appetizers were my favorite so they could bring more to me during pictures! I was not a hungry bride on my wedding day :)
We recently hired Mark at Affordable Chef for our Wedding Reception. Mark and his team were AWESOME! Mark did a taste testing in our home, and kept us smiling the entire time. Mark has easy online payment options, and he’s clear and upfront about the cost. Mark was very responsive by email/phone, and flexible with my changing RSVP headcount. On the Wedding Day Mark and his team arrived on time, dressed for the occasion, helped with set up, etc. The food was great! Everyone loved the meatballs and chicken. I enjoyed the vegetarian lasagna with a white sauce. During our reception Mark and his team were helpful, respectful and easily adjusted to the minor changes in the days timeline. Mark’s team worked with well with our reception coordinator to help make the night go smoothly, and keep everyone happy! Mark also prepared a Bride/Groom food/cake to go, that we gratefully ate later that night. We definitely recommend Mark!
We used Mark and his staff for our wedding in May at Roaring Camp, THEY WERE AMAZING! Our guests LOVED their meals and I’m still hearing about how good the food was! My husband and I completely missed our cocktail hour due to taking photos. I was super bummed because we had chosen to serve these delicious meatballs as an appetizer during it. Mark came over to check on us during dinner and I had told him how sad I was to have missed them and 5 mins later he appeared with my very own bowl full!! From the great communication before the wedding, setting up a tasting that was convenient for us, beautiful table settings/flatwear/glasses, attentive/friendly/professional/FUN staff and the DELICIOUS FOOD!!! We can not recommend Affordable Chef Services enough!!!
THANK YOU AFFORDABLE CHEF SERVICES!
Chef Mark and his staff did a fantastic job in catering our wedding. We could not have had such a great event without him .
We had 200 guests at our wedding and had cocktails and appetizers following by a great buffet. We chose items from his signature dishes as this is what we figured he did best. Everyone really liked the food and we got some great compliments on the cute bartender as well! His staff was courteous and helpful.
Don’t be put off by Mark’s short emails: he simply gets to the point and gets the job done.
We recommend his services if you want to have a nice wedding. He seems to have A LOT of experience and at the end of the day –this is really what you want from your caterer.
Thank you very much for the wonderful food and service you provided for my wedding. The food was delicious and many of my guests raved about it saying that it was the best food they have ever had at a wedding. I have given your name out to a lot of people. The service you provided me was outstanding and it made this special day successful. (( My family has used your catering service for four weddings )) now and we will definitely keep you in mind for future events
Can’t say enough good things about Mark and his amazing team. Our wedding was in September 2016 and Mark made the whole catering process so easy! The food was AMAZING and the staff he sent to set up and work my wedding were all GREAT! We were running behind schedule and the centerpieces needed some prep, knowing I needed to get ready, the individuals getting the tables and chairs ready very generously offered to assist in completing my centerpieces as well as filling additional mason jars with flowers all around the venue. They were all so nice and fun to have around. We got so many compliments on the food and the staff, I would highly recommend Chef Mark and his team to anyone who wants an easy, amazing catering experience.
Thank you so much for doing your part to make our wedding day so special! Everyone told me I wouldn’t have time to eat-but I had 2 plates of food :) It was THAT GOOD!
Affordable Chef Services catered my dad’s 80th birthday party. In our initial communication, I described the food my dad prefers and Mark promptly delivered a wonderful menu and quote. Throughout the planning process, Mark was responsive to questions and helpful. On the day of the event, Mark and his staff arrived early, surveyed the venue, and set things up in a way that maximized the space and allowed the guests, food, and beverages to flow. Many people remarked about the great food. Mark is cool as a cucumber under pressure which ensured that we didn’t stress about the event. His staff were amazing and extremely professional. They prepared and served our friends and family with humor and good cheer. At the end of the party, they quietly cleaned up and packed so that we had very little to do but enjoy the time together and with the friends who lingered. There were no hassles with anything which enabled my family to be able to focus on the celebration rather than the logistics and to visit with friends and family, many of whom had traveled great distances to see my family. Thank you so much, Mark, for your help with this landmark life event!
“There is much to be said about the skill level of Chef Mark and the quality of service found in Affordable Chef Services. Mark was the utmost professional, quick with his responses, helpful in decision-making, and actually MORE than made our wedding, he saved it! My husband and I were upset to discover that the reception venue had not provided adequately functioning kitchen appliances as promised, but Chef Mark creatively solved every hiccup and thrilled our guests with fresh veggies and delicious hot food. Not one of our guests knew of the behind-the-scenes stress, and we heard so many rave reviews! The wait staff were excellent and helpful, going above and beyond in preparations! Our family can whole-heartedly recommend Mark’s attentive services and delicious food, any client is sure to be pleased!”
My husband and I really enjoyed working with Mark as our wedding caterer and received many compliments on the food at our wedding (especially Mark’s veggie lasagna). In addition to catering, Mark also provided the bartending staff for our reception. The staff passed appetizers, served drinks and re-stocked the buffet like pros and with 215 guests we were no easy wedding to cater to. I was told by multiple guests how much they liked Mark’s staff and how professional they all were and Mark made us feel at ease through the whole process while also being affordable. Mark provided my husband and me with a tasting at our home, which was great, and answered all of my questions in a timely fashion. Mark also provided us with all of our linens and serving needs for the evening (plates, glasses, utensils, etc). I wouldn’t hesitate to use Mark again for a future event.
I don’t even know where to begin with how impressed I am at the job that Chef Mark and staff did for my recent wedding in May .
I will highlight just a few of the pros, but this list hardly does justice to how great this catering service is:
From the moment we contacted Mark for a proposal on the wedding, they were hands on and there every step of the way, every change of mind, every detail that needed to be incorporated. He was highly on top of everything and very responsive.
I was beyond elated when practically everyone who came to the wedding came up to us to tell us how impressed they were by the service staff at the wedding. Everyone said that the servers kept coming back asking what they would like to drink, were extremely attentive and nice . The food SOOO good. Seriously, I don’t think you can get better food at a wedding.
We got married yesterday and had to post a review immediately because Affordable Chef was so great! Chef Mark was punctual in replying to my questions before the big day, which, as an out-of-town bride, was very reassuring! At the last minute, Chef Mark was unable to attend the reception, but his on-site chef made delicious food, and the staff were phenomenal! There was one staff member in particular who took an interest in my Husband and I. She told us that we were her “celebrities for the day,” made sure we ate appetizers before we walked in, escorted us to the buffet first, and was constantly checking on our drinks. She also took an interest in our families, leading many people to tell us how amazing she was! The bartender Chef Mark sent was also lovely, knew her stuff, and made our signature cocktails perfectly! All in all, a great experience and a company we would trust our next big event to!
Wow! Chef Mark was amazing at working with us to come up with a proposal that would meet our budget. We were so impressed with Mark and his staff at the event. He made sure everything ran smoothly and in a timely fashion. The food was amazing. AMAZING! Everyone at the wedding was raving about how it was “the best food they have ever had at a wedding.” Choose Affordable chef services . You will not regret it!
Chef Mark Gallagher’s awards continue to roll in!
He was voted Santa Cruz County’s Best Caterer, Best Personal Chef, and Best Chef runner-up for 2014. These honors follow his 2013 awards as Best Caterer and Best Chef.
Whether you’re searching for a caterer for a dinner party, birthday, anniversary, wedding reception, holiday, company picnic, or other event, personal Chef Mark Gallagher of Affordable Chef Services of Santa Cruz can custom cater a menu just for you.
Our highly trained professional staff have the experience and passion to cater your special event. Multi-course plated wine pairing dinners or buffet-style meals are available; Affordable Chef Services is also available for cooking classes and team building events.
To ensure the best culinary experience, Affordable Chef uses the highest quality meats, fish and local Santa Cruz County-grown organic produce available.
Chef Mark personally caters and designs each event menu dependent on the type of event, your desired catering price range, and any special dietary or religious needs you may have.
For an event quote, please send us your information via our Event Quote form.
For other types of inquiries, please use the Contact form or give us a call.