Chef Cali Bergold is a dynamic, energetic, upbeat and highly creative chef and restaurateur who loves to bring her passion for good food and good cooking to everyone “around the table.” She is a cook, an educator and a writer. Cali also works as a restaurant consultant helping new restaurants with concept development, branding, organization and startup logistics and design. From working as an executive chef at fine dining restaurants to managing large staffs and organizing and implementing catering events for 500+ guests, Cali’s experience is broad and detailed. She has a journalism degree and would provide excellent public relations assistance as well together with extensive experience in all aspects of the food service industry.

Chef Cali currently manages a personal chef/catering/culinary education business,, offering private chef services for clients in the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago including cooking classes and fun in-home cooking class parties, as well as catering and event planning services. Chef Cali can also be your private chef.

Articles and Accolades …

Chef Cali was featured in the February 23, 2005 “Good Eating” section of the Chicago Tribune, “Personal Touch – A Chef Brings Her Passion for Cooking Into Other People’s Kitchens” by Kenn Ruby

Voted “Top 10 Recipes of 2005” for Butternut Squash Soup by the Chicago Tribune “This recipe rose to the top of our list,” Carol Mighton Haddix, Chicago Tribune Food Editor

“Chef du Jour” in the Daily Herald, January 4, 2006 “Chef and Mom Barely Has Time to Catch Her Breath” by Laura Bianchi

Chef Cali featured in “Hiring a Personal Chef,” Chicago Home Magazine, Fall 2006

Tip Top Bistro featured in the Dining guide of the “At Play” section of the Chicago Tribune, December 1, 2005, “Woodstock’s Tip Top Taps Bistro Cuisine” by Patrice Jones

Received critically acclaimed review from Michael Sneed (Chicago Sun-Times, Aug. ‘97) “Vice President Al Gore, wife Tipper and Mayor Daley and Maggie went nuts over the specially prepared meal by Cali Bergold.”

Chef Cali Past Experiences …

Chef Cali is a 1990 Bradley University graduate with a degree in journalism. Cali also has a degree in Restaurant Management from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute in Chicago. She holds an Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager certification (#01389902).

During the post-graduate years, Cali was the Assistant Editor and Food and Wine Critic for Today’s Chicago Woman (, a free monthly publication with a distribution of 70,000+. Also during that time, she worked as a freelance writer for Travel My Way, a travel and leisure magazine that was a supplement to the New York Times. Cali continued to hone her writing skills while working as the Public Relations and Marketing Director at Chicago’s East Bank Club.

In 1995, after years of writing about food, talking to multitudes of chefs and circling the globe in search of the “perfect meal,” Cali made a career change and began to work in the restaurant industry – with her first position at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s private dining room.

In 1996, Chef Cali started up Cab’s Wine Bar and Bistro in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. As the Executive Chef, Chef Cali created the menu, selected purveyors and maintained high standards of culinary excellence.

After opening Cab’s Wine Bar and Bistro, Cali opened her own restaurant, Café V. As Owner and Executive Chef of Café V, Chef Cali quickly established herself and the Café as Chicago’s near south side’s little gem. Café V was an intimate space serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, Chef Cali opened a catering division of Café V which was met with rave reviews.

Wanting to share her love of food and excitement for learning, Chef Cali began teaching culinary classes at such establishments as Williams-Sonoma, Café V, Whole Foods, Flavour Cooking School, The Cooking School at Amelia’s in Crown Point, Indiana and The Chopping Block Cooking School in Chicago.

Also, during this time, Chef Cali created ChefCali (, a private chef service providing personal chef services, catering and in-home cooking classes and parties.

In 2005, Chef Cali and her innovative team, created Tip Top Bistro, located on the Square in Woodstock, Illinois, which was immediately received with acclaimed reviews. The cuisine was modern American with influences from the French, Spanish and Italian. The Bistro boasted a wine list with more than 50 wines by the glass and bottle. Cali worked in the kitchen, created the wine list, developed extensive marketing and PR campaigns, ran wine dinners, cooking classes and catering events – it was a small restaurant with a big heart and guests came from all over the region including Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and Rockford and Barrington, Illinois.

In 2006, Cali continued to expand her professional experience by becoming a consultant and Executive Chef at the 200+ seat Courthouse Grill.

Personal …

Cali has traveled across the globe with culinary capers in New York, Los Angeles, Spain, England, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Jamaica, Austria, Bonaire and Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, volunteering at her children’s school and cooking big family dinners. At the present, she is working on a program to promote local farmers and their products, compiling recipes and lesson plans for a children’s culinary program and continues to research and develop new restaurant and food concepts.

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