Jeni Bergan started Chef Jeni & Company over 20 years ago in Sioux Falls and has catered a wide range of events throughout the city and the surrounding areas. While off-site catering is the company’s bread and butter, Bergan’s company on Southeastern Avenue also has a private, small dining room for tastings and private gatherings of up to 30 guests.

The location also houses her newest meal service business venture, Dinner Birdie. Bergan says when events were being canceled due to the pandemic, she had to get creative, and that’s when Dinner Birdie was born. 

“We take old and new family recipes and make them in small batches,” she said. “It’s a different experience than restaurant food because you sit at your own table and pull a beautiful pan of home-cooked food out of your oven like you have worked in the kitchen all day.”

Dinner Birdie meals can be stored in the fridge or freezer and typically take around 30-45 minutes to heat up in the oven after being thawed. Get to know the “classic comfort food” chef.

How It Works

1. Order before 10 p.m. on Monday nights.
2. Pick up Wednesday 3:30-6 p.m. at Chef Jeni & Company.
3. Heat it up by following package instructions and enjoy.

For those who don’t know, what is your background in the local culinary industry?
After high school graduation in 1992, I moved from Webster to Sioux Falls to study theater at Augustana College (now Augustana University). To pay my way through college, my part-time catering job had me prepping food, hauling tables and chairs, and serving parties. I was hooked. The food service industry was in my blood, but I had yet to discover just how much this foray into catering would change my life.
In 2001, after a few years bored to tears in the corporate world, I stumbled upon an ad for a $300 cooking course in a magazine. With a quick loan from my mom and a few hundred hours watching the Food Network, I quit my 9-5, took a leap of faith, and opened my own catering company.

What are some ways you’ve seen people utilize Dinner Birdie?
People give Dinner Birdies as gifts when they don’t have time to make something homemade themselves. They have gifted them to a neighbor who shoveled their driveway, or a friend who lost a loved one, or a family member who had a baby!

“With Dinner Birdie, your holidays will run so beautifully and so smoothly that you will actually have time to spend with your family and friends.”

Jeni Bergan

The Gift of Grub

Whether you pair it with a meal or by itself, Dinner Birdie offers gift cards.

How would Dinner Birdie be helpful for the holidays and for events?
Our Comfort and Joy menu provides full take out meals for groups of four to 12. It includes salad, one or two entrées, side dishes, and dessert to pick up and reheat in your oven on your time schedule. We also offer a wide array of pick-up party appetizers.

What is a trend you’re loving right now with events?
I love family style meals for wedding celebrations. It’s the perfect marriage of buffet and plated service. Guests pass the food around the table like a Thanksgiving dinner. It encourages conversation and just warms my heart.

When you’re not busy coming up with creative recipes, what do you enjoy doing?
I have recently discovered that I love to paint! I am truly obsessed.

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