3 Lessons I’ve Learned About Exceptional Entertaining in Lake Tahoe and Truckee

Whether you own a second home, come here on vacation or live here full time, we’re glad you’re here! Lake Tahoe and Truckee are magical places and the secret’s out.
Here’s some fun numbers to put this region in perspective:

  • Truckee has a population of about 17,000 people
  • Lake Tahoe gets 15 million visitors every year
  • Truckee has only a few dozen coffee shops, fast food outlets, pizza joints and tacos stops, take out and fine dining restaurants to serve everyone
  • Our three large ski areas, Northstar, and Palisades (formerly Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows) reach capacity at about 60,000 total skiers; when the ski day ends all cars exit via Highways 89 and 267; both have just one lane in either direction.
  • Over 35,000 people shop at the Truckee Safeway on a single, peak Saturday
  • On the 4th of July over 250,000 people show up to celebrate and enjoy our lakes

To beat the Traffic, the Crowds and the Odds, Here’s 3 Tips Tips for a Great Time in this Great Place

Hiring a private chef for your time in Truckee Tahoe is just plain smart. It reduces the time you spend shopping, driving, cooking and cleaning, especially if you’re on unfamiliar turf. Food prep and eating are the most time-consuming things humans do every day (three times a day)! When you want to entertain with less stress, it makes sense to hand those duties over to a culinary professional who can make your meals and gatherings personal, distinctive and effortless.
The demands on our charming town are highest during the times when the most people want to visit and play (e.g. July4th through Labor Day, and December through March). Here’s my quick list to help ensure a stress-free experience.

1. Reserve Your Private Chef Early

Of the tens of thousands of people in town on New Year’s Eve, 4th of July and Labor Day, only a few lucky households will have in-home, private chefs and service staff.
Warning: Private chefs are different from caterers who receive reservations for weddings 12-18 months in advance, but we can’t secure exceptional staff and quality ingredients if you call us December 20th for a party on Christmas. (We actually get calls for December dates as early as August.) Do yourself a favor and plan ahead – culinary staff in your home literally transforms your vacation time and memories.
Lesson Learned: The lucky ones are those clients who plan ahead and call to make a reservation 45-90 days in advance.

2. Make a Plan for Party Rentals

Up until 2019 Truckee had a party rental company. Now we don’t. This means if you need tables, chairs, linens, silverware, stemware and china, we need to use rental companies located in either Reno, NV or Sacramento, CA to fulfill your order. Thankfully, our accounts with these vendors get you a 10% discount.
Warning: Most clients are understandably alarmed when they discover these rental companies charge a $600 delivery fee to/from Truckee-Tahoe. Gulp. Also, party rental companies tend to run out of inventory months in advance because of items reserved for large weddings.
Lesson Learned: If you entertain often and own a home here, we recommend investing in a supply of dishes, silverware and glassware to host a party of 20+ guests – it’s literally cheaper to buy than rent! For your in-home parties with up to 60 guests, rentals are a no-brainer, and upscale disposables may be an option as well.

3. Become Friends with the Weather

In December 2022 Old Man Winter delivered more snowfall than the previous record 94-inch-month of December 1970 – we got a walloping 104 inches of the white stuff. And still, the parties went on. It was epic! (Everyone, including the chef and servers, got snowed in for two days during the corporate off-site event we held in Juniper Hills… it was an exciting, delicious and memorable adventure that the executive team will tell stories about for years!)
Warning: Consider how weather will affect your ability to run to/from the grocery store, and how the weather could delay guests’ arrival at your home. When weather causes flight delays and road closures some guests might miss out on the magic of your special night.
Lesson Learned: Plan events for the days after everyone has already arrived in town. It can be problematic (and disappointing for hosts) to hold a welcome dinner on the same day three families are expected to fly in from different cities. When all your guests already have their feet on the Tahoe ground it makes for a much better party!

We Know How to Help You Entertain at Home

We’ve provided the Truckee and Lake Tahoe region with in-home culinary professionals since 1997. Our bartenders, servers, and private chefs are some of the best in the business at helping you entertain at home. At HeyChef! we take great pride in creating events that are personal, distinctive, and effortless.

Text, call, email, or contact us now,
to reserve your culinary team and be a guest at your own party.
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