Over the past two-plus years of pandemic life, much has changed in the culinary industry. One big effect of Covid-19 was that with restaurants closed down, the demand for private chefs surged—and plenty of talented cooks heeded the call. Sensing the market for private chefs still remains, Michelin-starred Curtis Stone is launching a service stateside that’s meant to make them easier to find and book.
Gathar, a private chef and catering platform that Stone founded with Jodie Mlikota, is entering the Los Angeles market, with plans to expand in California and across the US. With Gathar already a hit in Australia, where it launched in 2018, the two are hoping that American gastronomes will flock to the service.
“What differentiates Gathar from any competitors in the marketplace is the quality,” Stone said in a statement. “We go through painstaking detail to vet and select the best chefs, who source only fresh, local ingredients to deliver a truly 5-star restaurant experience anywhere and anytime you want it.”
Customers of Gathar can create their own menu or select one via the platform, with a chef or caterer then arriving with everything needed to cook, serve and clean up after the meal. Thankfully, a dedicated concierge takes care of all the other details to ease the pesky logistical burdens that throwing a dinner party can create. And the services available vary, with charcuterie tables and appetizer packages on Gathar start at $50 a person, while full sit-down meals start at $150 a head.
This isn’t the first time Stone has gotten into the home-delivery game. In 2020, he launched Private Chef LA, a service that allowed private chefs and home cooks to order premium ingredients for pickup at his LA restaurant Gwen or for delivery around the city. That effort was in part influenced by the pandemic, with Stone telling Robb Report how PCLA would help chefs lower their exposure to the virus. Similarly, Gathar is taking into account the pandemic’s effect on both at-home and restaurant dining.
“As a result of the Covid pandemic, many Americans have discovered the freedom of working from home—and they like it. With Gathar, they can now enjoy on-demand, at home fine dining, as well,” Mlikota said in a statement. “Gathar also delivers a new avenue of income for chefs, many of whom have been displaced because of Covid. We’re certainly not trying to replace the restaurant experience, only to complement it, and to offer something different and unique.”