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Oct 28, 2010 12:08 PM

Private Chef in Yosemite

We are lucky enough to spend four nights at the Awahnee over Christmas this year. I know the dining options are limited in the valley and we are group of 12 adults and 3 kids. We'll have Christmas dinner in the Mountain Room, brunch at the Awahnee on Sunday but I was wondering if anyone has ever hired a personal chef or had a catered dinner for a private dinner. I think it would be nice to have some less formal options with good food. Let me know if you have any ideas.

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  1. We found the food at the Awanhee Dining Room much improved on a recent visit last September (2010) and they do have a casual cafe at the hotel too. They also have a number of lovely private rooms and have attended a wedding there several years ago that was catered obviously, but don't know if this was put on by the hotel staff or a private outside caterer.

    And speaking of National Parks, recently also found the food at the Inn at Furnace Creek in Death Valley to be very good. Thank goodness these incomparable settings in our national parks are finally starting to offer food to match the grand historic hotels set in this one of a kind scenery.

    1. probably a question to ask the Awahnee: I very much doubt they'd permit a private caterer unless they have a preferred list and the person is on it. You'd have to get a private room, I don't think any of their rooms have kitchens (?). Unless you are talking about a catered picnic, but well, it might be sort of cold for that...If catered meals are really the way you want to go you might look into renting a house with a kitchen (there are some in the Park), and seeing if you can find a caterer in Fresno, Mariposa or Merced, the closest cities /towns. Given the relative remoteness of Yosemite (particularly in winter) and the low population (in winter) it seems highly unlikey that there are going to be a lot of available chefs (other than those employed by the Yosemite restaurants including the Awahnee) and I would think you'd have to pay a premium to get someone to drive up from up to two hours away (depending on which town and weather) to cater for you. Remember, it is very much a seasonal place as far as services and population goes, and winter, including Christmas, is very much off season, other than in the hotels.

      3 Replies
      1. re: susancinsf

        Thank you for your insights about private catering. Yosemite has sufficient dining options for a 4 day visit IMHO.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          I think I'm going to call the concierge at the Awahnee. We currently have booked two dinners at the Mountain Room and brunch at the Awahnee. I think we'll all be a little tired of the food options and it would be nice to have something like a turkey and fixings. We'll see if it makes any sense. We are staying at the Awahnee so I'm not going to rent a house for a kitchen. I'll report back if I come up with anything and after the holidays with reviews. Thanks

          1. re: Cheesy Oysters

            I found the crab cakes at the Ahwanhee to be sufficient for a main course even though it was listed as an appetizer. So this expands your menu options quite a bit if you want variety, lower expense and not so much food. Our three courses was way too much for dinner. (Dang American portion sizes)

            They also have a daily special for dinner that is "plated" with everything instead, of having to add sides to make a whole main course. So you may find more variety than it first appears reading the menus.