Top Chef S21 Kaleena Bliss

Kaleena Bliss

OCCUPATION/PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Chicago Athletic Association & Cindy’s Rooftop

Growing up in Washington State, Kaleena Bliss developed a love for the Pacific Northwest's abundant ingredients at an early age. She started cooking at 16 and earned her bachelor's degree from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. With more than 18 years of experience, Kaleena cultivated a successful career in renowned restaurants across Portland, Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region. She was named a Puget Sound Business Journal "40 Under 40" honoree in 2022, and has won several national broadcast cooking competitions. Kaleena relocated to Chicago in 2023 where she currently serves as the Executive Chef at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, overseeing the acclaimed restaurant Cindy's Rooftop and the hotel's extensive banquet and events program. Her menus showcase inspiration from her PNW roots, which encompass seasonality, locality, seafood, wild food and foraged ingredients. Beyond her culinary pursuits, she enjoys backpacking and foraging, and advocates for raising awareness about mental wellness in the industry and beyond.