Carlyn Berghoff

Carlyn Berghoff, CEO of Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group, is a multi-faceted businesswoman committed to her work, to her family, and to her role in the community.

Author: Carlyn Berghoff wrote a best-selling cookbook, The Berghoff Family Cookbook (Andrews McMeel, 2007) and published her second, The Berghoff Café Cookbook: Berghoff Recipes for Simple, Satisfying Food, in September 2009. Her third cookbook came out April 2013 — Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love, as told from Carlyn and her teenage daughter, Sarah’s perspective.

A chef, caterer and restaurateur, Carlyn is a chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, one of six females in the class of 1982 and President of the student body. She received her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Florida International University in 1983. In 1986 she opened Artistic Events, a premier off-premise catering company that she has operated ever since. In 2006, after her parents closed the Berghoff restaurant, she purchased the assets, moved her catering company to the historic Berghoff building, and now operates the bar, dining room and café there. In 2008, Carlyn renamed her company the Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group.

Wife and mother: Carlyn is married to Jim McClure; their family consists of two daughters and a son. Despite her demanding schedule, Carlyn cooks with her children on weekends and most weeknights.

At ease with the public: A 25-year catering veteran, her company has staged events for heads of state, celebrities, and Fortune 500 companies. Carlyn is a seasoned “meeter and greeter.”

Committed industry advocate and civic leader: Raised and educated in the restaurant business, Carlyn is deeply committed to her industry and has played a lifelong role in hospitality and Chicago tourism. Carlyn understands the economic impact her field has on the city’s long-term viability and is an active member of several industry and civic organizations including: the National Restaurant Association, Culinary Institute of America, Washburne Culinary Institute, DePaul University College of Commerce Advisory Board as well as University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Advisory Board. Carlyn also serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for Choose Chicago.


  1. Jaimee Constantine

    Culinary Talent Agent and Contracts Manager

  2. Sally Ekus

    Co-owner and Literary Agent

  3. Lisa Ekus

    Founder and President


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