The Calafia Story

About Us

The Calafia

Story

In 2009, Charlie Ayers leased nearly 5,000 square feet of space in the Town & Country Shopping Plaza across from Stanford University, realizing his dream of owning a neighborhood spot serving organic, sustainable, healthy, delicious food.

Calafia Café & Market A Go-Go was an instant hit, and today still has crowds lining up to get a seat. This casual restaurant has an energetic vibe, and serves food inspired by the incredible bounty that is available in California. Calafia continues to bring the Silicon Valley community and its visitors together around fresh, farm-to-table cuisine in an always festive atmosphere.

The Calafia

Mission

We cook and serve California cuisine, foods that are exciting, foods that are familiar, foods that nourish the body and mind.

Forward hospitality thinking comes first. We support the local food ecosystem as often as financially possible.

We are an environmentally and socially conscious restaurant g​roup​ which operates a full service restaurant and grab & go market, creating and selling high quality hand crafted foods and beverages at a reasonable price.

Working in harmony and with respect for the human spirit, we are committed to sharing our enthusiasm about the enjoyment of great tasting food and wine and spirits in today’s modern day active lifestyle.

We are dedicated to the continuous growth and development of our culture and our business. Our most valued assets are our people.

Charlie Ayers

Executive Chef/Proprietor


Chef Charlie lives by the creed “eat, drink, and be merry.” For the past 25 years, he has embodied this ideal as a chef, providing eclectically inspired food and drink in an atmosphere of music and fun.

Chef Charlie was born in Chicago, grew up in Brooklyn and ​attended culinary school in New England at Johnson & Wales University​. He worked at some of the best restaurants in the Providence and Boston areas until a desire to travel and experience new flavors led him to California.

Charlie is best known as, “the chef who fed Google.” It was a job he won in a cook-off in 1999, judged by the company’s then 40 employees. By the time he left Google in 2005, his team of five chefs and 150 employees were serving 4,000 lunches and dinners a day at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

After six years at Google, Charlie left to open Calafia Café & Market A Go-Go in Palo Alto, CA. His concept epitomizes the idea that “being green” is good for the producer, consumer, environment and local community.

A former private chef and personal chef to the Grateful Dead, Charlie continues to consult for startup companies, cater private events, and coordinate food service and backstage catering teams at open air music festivals. Charlie has published a cookbook, Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef that Fed Google, that exemplifies his culinary vision. In May, 2014 Charlie received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Johnson & Wales University, for his contributions to the culinary arts.

In his free time, Charlie serves on advisory boards for several nonprofits, enjoys relaxing at home, and cooking for friends and family.

To lean more about Chef Charlie click here.