Chicago Top Chefs

What is Parties That Cook's recipe for success?  Our team of professional chefs!  Our chefs are charismatic leaders, hand-picked for their ability to educate and entertain. Many have worked in the corporate world before transitioning to Chicago's top restaurants and catering programs such as Girl and the Goat, Big Delicious Planet, and Little Goat Diner. Their culinary expertise and teaching experience, paired with their corporate backgrounds is sure to guarantee a successful event!  


Brandy Fernow

Brandy Fernow

Chicago Manager & Lead Chef

Brandy left her career as a litigation services consultant for Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young to train at Kendall College culinary school. Brandy specializes in special event catering, in-home custom meal preparation, and private group cooking lessons. She has appeared on WGN morning news in food segments and has assisted authored chefs in food shows and demonstrations. Brandy oversees all Chicago events as city Manager for Parties That Cook, making sure guests enjoy themselves and have confidence in the kitchen.

Heidi Bottom

Heidi Bottom

Lead Chef

Heidi is passionate about how good food brings people together. After studying culinary arts in Provence and Tuscany, she was formally trained at Tante Marie's Cooking School in San Francisco. She mastered the fast paced restaurant world at Insalata's in Marin, and has provided food styling for award-winning Chefs Mario Batali, Donna Hay and Bill Granger. Heidi teaches at Williams-Sonoma, Cooking Fools, Ridge Vineyards and Le Cornue. Heidi began her culinary career at Parties That Cook in 2002 and continues to share her knowledge and passion with Parties That Cook clients.

Molly Sell

Molly Sell

Lead Chef

Molly earned a degree in Culinary Arts from Kendall College in 1999 and shortly after, was in charge of the pastry department of Big Delicious Planet, catering for music talent such as Sting, Elton John, REM and Metallica. In 2006, Molly became Head Pastry Chef of Food For Thought Catering, where she developed menus for The Field Museum and Millennium Park. In addition to Parties That Cook, Molly is now a caterer and personal chef for her own company, Tart Cuisine, which provides packaged desserts to clients throughout Chicago.

Liz Chaidez

Liz Chaidez

Lead Chef

After a few years of research at Northwestern University, Liz just couldn't shake the "food bug" and enrolled in culinary school at The Illinois Institute of Art. After graduation, she worked at the former Isabella's Estiatorio in Geneva, IL, and then landed a job as a chef consultant for a start-up meal preparation company developing recipes. Outside of Parties That Cook, Liz freelances at high-end Chicago catering companies such as cooks at City Gate Grille in Naperville and runs her own company, Sprig Catering.

David Avila

David Avila

Lead Chef

When not at Parties That Cook, you'll find David running the prep kitchen at Chicago's Girl & the Goat, a 2011 James Beard Best New Restaurant nominee and dubbed "America's Best New Restaurant" by Saveur magazine. David’s winding road, including a degree in Education, working in Finance and even a stint at Target, gave him the skills to be an even better chef. David has worked for top caterers and has cooked at the James Beard House with Top Chef winner, Stephanie Izard. He shares his intense creativity and love of food with guests at Parties That Cook.

Alissa Wallers

Alissa Wallers

Lead Chef

After receiving degrees at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute and The French Pastry School of Chicago, Alissa moved to New York to work for renowned Pastry Chef Francois Payard. Upon returning to Chicago, she worked as Assistant Pastry Chef of Sofitel Hotel and lead the pastry department in the opening of Chicago's Five Diamond rated Elysian Hotel. In addition to working for Parties That Cook, Alissa freelances as a wedding cake decorator and pastry consultant. She enjoys sharing her dedication and focus to her craft with culinary enthusiasts of all levels.


4 Cities, 15 Years, 85,000 Guests, A Million Memories