To know Bonnie Barkley, chef and co-owner (with hubby Tom Steferak) of working kitchen and catering headquarters Cello’s Pantry on Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage, is to love her. Not only is she a kind and generous soul, the lady can cook up a sensational storm in more ways than one.

First off, you can drop by Cello’s Pantry for a delicious breakfast of freshly baked pastries and strong coffee on weekdays—or for the full a.m. menu (including the amazing breakfast pizza) on weekends. Then you can stop off for a lunch of tasty deli offerings such as sandwiches and fresh salads of all sorts. At the end of your day, you can swing by yet again to get one of her delectable Grab & Go dinners: $20. Three courses. Serves two. What a bargain! (If you live solo—as I do—you can have the second portion for lunch or dinner the next day.)

Then there’s the catering! Bonnie and her team can do pretty much anything, from an intimate cocktail party to a lavish wedding. And now that she’s invested in a brand new, portable pizza oven, Bonnie is taking pizza parties to you and yours, whether you live in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, or somewhere in between. The pricing includes the equipment, delivery, set-up, clean-up, a duo of pizza chefs, red-and-white checkered tablecloths (plus other decorative items), and two hours of pizza-making-pizza-eating fun. The service charge is $700 for 1-50 guests, and $1,000 for 50+ guests. Three varieties of pie is $12 per person, while five is $15 and six-plus is $18.

If you’re new to Cello’s Pantry and to Bonnie, you owe it to yourself to come to her and Tom’s open house on Saturday, November 12, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. There will be a huge spread of all of Cello’s appetizers plus passed hors-d’oeuvres and mocktails. Last year’s event drew more than 100 people, with many of those in attendance deciding on the spot to book Cello’s Pantry for their holiday parties.

I know I’ll be there early to cheer Bonnie on, and to thank her for sharing her bonhomie and culinary talents with me—and with so many others—in so many ways. Hungry? Let Bonnie feed you. Other than being a dear friend, it’s what she does best!

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