About the Chef
Ali Bonfantine, Chef and Owner
Food. Wine. Travel. People. These are the inspirations that keep me going on a daily basis. Everything I cook is inspired by different people, cultures, travels and lifestyles I have experienced along the way. I am always tying to recreate those special moments and memories through food.
I started my professional career working as a Restaurant Manager out of college. After 10 years in the service industry, I desired a more normal 9 to 5 job where I could do more corporate type work, live a more "normal" life with a normal schedule. After more that 15 years of working in San Francisco in Corporate Management roles, I found myself craving to find a job that would allow me to be more creative, physically active, and not feel like I was dying a slow death in a cubicle. I honestly could not bring myself to attend one more meeting or build one more Powerpoint presentation. The monotony was killing my soul. I wanted to go to culinary school, but I thought it was a crazy pipe dream to quit my safe corporate job and become a personal chef and caterer. But with the support and encouragement of my wonderful boyfriend, Bruce who helped me create a 5 year savings plan, that pipe dream became a reality. We sold our home in Oakland, I quit my job at the Gap Inc. Headquarters, and we moved to Columbia, CA where I could go to Columbia Community College to get my COA in the Culinary Arts, while working at Prospect 772 Winery in Angels Camp and Lila and Sage Catering in Murphys.
Four years later, it was time for me to venture on my own and start my own business. At the beginning of 2018, I started personal cheffing for a few clients to get my business up and running. And then around the back half of 2018, I got the opportunity to share a commercial kitchen space with a couple of friends. This allowed me to expand my catering side of my business. Bruce and I shortly there after moved to Murphys, where I now have a two minute commute to my kitchen. As of March 1, 2021 I bought out my friends portion of the equipment we shared, and now solely have my own kitchen. So here I am, living the life I always dreamed of doing. Starting my own business where I get the chance to play with recipes, and tap into my creative side making special meals, desserts and experiences for people, that I hope are memorable and personal to each and every one of my clients.
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