Inspired Catering & Events

In 2015, Karen and Gina solidified their passion for the hospitality industry by purchasing Inspired Catering & Events. This proud family tradition began with Phil in 1980 when he and his Uncle Lino opened their flagship restaurant, Stefani’s, in the heart of Lincoln Park. Over the past 35 years, Phil has created a prominent restaurant group consisting of ten restaurants, seasonal venues, managing conference and banquet facilities, airport kiosks and an off premise catering division, in the city of Chicago based on a business foundation of family values and traditions.

Today, Inspired Catering and Events prides itself on its unparalleled customer service, quality and attention to detail. Together with a dedicated staff Inspired Catering and Events brings the legacy of the company to over 100 off premise venues and Chicago street fairs, and continues to provide in-home private dining.

“You have a WONDERFUL Team!!!! I have been meaning to email you. They are always polite and go beyond to make sure things are great for me and I am TRULY grateful!”

Stephanie Moore
Associate Director of Development

Karen Stefani

The new name, Inspired Catering and Events, continues the Stefani legacy. Since joining the catering division in 2004, Karen instilled her passion of Family, Food and Fun into the business. During the past ten years, Karen and her staff have worked endlessly to transform the business into her own vision of innovative inspired cuisine and creative event planning.

Over the years, she has developed relationships with prominent Chicagoans, and catered events for clients such as United Airlines, President Obama, the Joffrey Ballet, and numerous fundraising events. She has a passion for creating spectacular events and actively works with each client to create their dream event.

Gina Stefani

Gina found the love for the hospitality industry at a young age, while assisting her father at his restaurant(s) during Summer and Winter breaks from school. As her passion for the industry grew post-graduation from DePaul University, she secured an event internship at Jasculca Terman & Associates, a public affairs firm in Chicago. Gina’s internship provided her with invaluable experiences and opportunities, which led her to begin a career in event freelancing.

One of her first events was with advance support for then Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Gina continued her event freelancing with JT, working closely with NATO Chicago Host Committee and the NATO joint spouse Chicago program. Gina has also assisted in Chicago advance airport logistics for President Obama, and the First Lady. Other accomplishments include executing events for the non-profit organization CURE, Citizen’s United for Research in Epilepsy, founded by Susan Axelrod.

Executive Chef: Elizabeth J. Tokarczyk

Chef Elizabeth J. Tokarczyk received her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu, where she received intensive and practical hands on training in classical French Cuisine. Liz began her career in the off premise catering world shortly after graduation at Limelight Catering. During her tenure at Limelight, Liz quickly worked her way up the corporate kitchen ladder until she was the Head Chef and solely responsible for creative menu development and Kitchen Management.

From there her experiences include working as the Executive Chef at Hearty Boys Catering and the Executive Catering Chef with Berghoff Catering. The culinary field is her passion – “It’s what I'll do for the rest of my life.”

Her creative culinary style is mostly Eastern European influenced from family, however Latin flavors take the forefront. She enjoys sourcing ingredients from local farmers markets and believes in local sustainability. “Shopping at these venues makes me weak in the knees!”

1300 W Hubbard Chicago, IL 60642 | 312.226.7611
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