The BDP Family is comprised of talented and dedicated event producers, chefs, coordinators, drivers, servers and bartenders who bring energy and pride to their work.
Heidi Moorman Coudal
Owner + Culinary Director
Heidi's interest in food began with a copy of her mom's Officers' Wives Club Cookbook. Born in Munich, Germany while her family was living abroad, Heidi lived your typical military kid lifestyle, moving often and to a crazy menu of places: Germany, California, Greece, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Georgia, etc. Wherever they moved, so went the latest copy of the OWC Cookbook and new recipes for her to make with her mom for "bridge night" or dinner parties. Her favorite childhood memories were the summers spent traveling and camping around Europe in the family's red VW bus with her mom, three siblings, art books and a Michelin Guide to help them find good places to eat in the towns they visited.
After college, including a semester abroad in India, Heidi moved to Chicago and began working in film production as a production coordinator and producer, and later worked with a rock & roll caterer to help make ends meet. She noticed there was a need for catering to film sets and backstage at concerts, so Big Delicious Planet was spontaneously founded in 1994 with her older sister, Ellen (who has since moved to the UK). BDP's first job was catering backstage for the band Aerosmith at the newly opened United Center, and the company spent 19 years catering at venues such as The Riviera, The Chicago Theater, Alpine Valley, the Aragon, the venue in Tinley Park and many more. During that time, and to this day, BDP catered film and photo shoots, private events, weddings and regular corporate accounts.
Heidi constantly seeks new sources of inspiration to ensure the company's culinary and event teams are evolving and staying passionate in order to be anything but your typical "catered food". Her mantra of "just do it" inspired her to open a cafe, the Canteen, in the front of their West Town kitchen in 2011. That same year Heidi's dream of having an herb garden was realized when she planned and built an incredible urban farm on three adjacent undeveloped city lots. Most notably, in 2013 BDP became the nation's first caterer to earn 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant status, and was named "The Greenest Caterer in America," a title they still hold.
Heidi enjoys dreaming up new concepts from her travels around the world, and the diverse ethnic culture and cuisine of Chicago. She enjoys spontaneously throwing a parties for friends, hot yoga on weekend mornings, biking the lakefront on summer days, drinking wine on her back patio, and hanging out with her family. Heidi and her husband, Jim, have three young adult children, each of whom came to BDP until they were 6 months old: two daughters (Isabelle and Grace) both students at the University of Michigan, and a son (Spencer) at Lane Tech College Prep. To learn more about Heidi, check out her "Seriously Badass Women" feature and Voyage Chicago Magazine story.
Director of Weddings + Events
Grace joined BDP in 2015 and leads the Wedding + Events team. Grace works on all stages of wedding and event production, with the goal to make your gathering fun and stress-free. Coordinating with local vendors, styling tablescapes, and incorporating natural ingredients and in-season produce are all aspects that drew her to BDP after working at Catalyst Ranch, one of BDP’s top clients. With a background in natural + organic food, and venue management, Grace’s latest interests have drawn her to developing BDP’s locally focused beverage program. Grace loves to travel, and while on her adventures find other farm-to-table businesses around the world. Outside of work you’ll likely find her at local live shows, hosting dinner parties and game nights for her friends, biking around the city, practicing yoga, and sipping creative cocktails.
Tom Bronny Executive Chef
As BDP’s Executive Chef, Tom leads the culinary team in creating innovative and delicious menus, sourcing ingredients from sustainable and local vendors, and assisting in choosing crops grown in BDP’s Urban Farm. Tom joined BDP in early 2017 after working as Sous Chef at The Promontory, and Chef de Partie at Dusek’s and Longman & Eagle. He lived and cooked professionally in Door County, Wisconsin, Bellingham, Washington, and Amsterdam before settling into Chicago. When not working, Tom likes to travel, get lost in the woods, garden, eat, drink and cook for his family and friends.
BDP's hardworking kitchen staff is the core of our operation. Early mornings, late nights and many weekends, these folks are committed to cooking outstanding food for every client. Not everyone's pictured, but from left to right: Edelmira (Pantry Cook/Server), Tom (Executive Chef), Liz (Sous Chef), Juan (Lead Line Cook), Juan (Kitchen Manager/Lead Line Cook), Amanda (Prep Cook), Laura (Pantry Cook), Marcos (Lead Line Cook).
Garrett Duncan Brand + Creative Manager
Garrett joined BDP in 2018 as a recent graduate from DePaul University, where he studied Public Relations & Advertising and Photography. He manages our social media accounts and website, designs client wedding menus and signage, and is BDP’s in-house photographer. When he’s not at work, you can usually find Garrett enjoying a show at one of Chicago’s many great live music venues or biking along the lakefront.
The Canteen Team
From left to right: Sam Smith (Barista), Mike Meyers (Manager/Barista), Jackie (Breakfast Cook).
Chelsey Lange Wedding +
Chelsey joined BDP's Weddings + Events team in 2017, as a recent hospitality graduate from the University of Illinois. She produces wedding and events, including many of the events held in BDP's urban farm and Canteen. Before graduating, she'd already spent many years in the industry, from working in country clubs where she managed a small staff, to serving in Chicago restaurants like Presidio, she gained an appreciation for attention to detail and service that makes every experience unique. When she’s not working, you can find her taste (and sip!) testing all over the city or jet setting to the West Coast. Entertaining friends in her home and all things plants are where her passions lie.
Carrie joined BDP as Pastry Chef in 2015 after a three year stint as Bang Bang Pie's Head Baker and a couple years as Sous Chef at the now shuttered Birchwood Kitchen. Though admittedly not a cake decorator in the beginning, her wedding cakes are now beautiful works of art. Carrie's commitment to incorporating local and seasonal ingredients into her desserts, along with her passion for concocting innovative concepts has elevated BDP's pastry department. When Carrie's not covered in flour, she enjoys running and biking along the 606 and camping with her husband and their dog.
Liz Shizas Sous Chef
Liz joined BDP in 2018 after working as Sous Chef at La Sirena Clandestina and Head Prep Cook at Dusek’s.
Hannah Shiekh Client Services Coordinator
Urban Farm Manager
Dylan joined BDP in 2018 after spending two years with the McCormick Convention Center Rooftop Farm as farm manager. As BDP’s farmer, Dylan oversees the entire operation from seed to harvest. He enjoys giving tours of our urban farm to students and groups interested in sustainability and urban agriculture.