Executive Partner and Divisional President
Marc Jacobs is the President and Partner of Antico Posto, Beatrix, Ema, Foodease, Foodlife, L. Woods and Mity Nice Bar & Grill.
Marc began his career with Lettuce Entertain You in the fall of 1991, as a banquet server and busser at Bones (now L. Woods). After being cross-trained as a server, host and line cook, he was offered the opportunity to go through management training upon his graduation from UIC in the summer of 1995.
Two years later, Marc was transferred to R.J. Grunts, and was quickly promoted to general manager where he worked side by side with Rich Melman on the re-development of the restaurant.
From 2001 to 2015, Marc was imperative in the development and re-concepting of Antico Posto, Foodlife, Mity Nice Bar & Grill and L.Woods. He also oversaw and led the opening process from beginning to end at Di Pescara, Foodease Market, Beatrix River North and Streeterville, and Bea’s Market, a fast casual market.
Now, Marc is thrilled to be combining his passion for food and design with his vast experience in restaurants in his latest concept, Ema, a Mediterranean restaurant featuring a light, California style of cooking in River North.
In his free time, Marc enjoys spending time with his wife Vanessa and their three children, traveling, and visiting new restaurants.
Michael Giles is a Partner of Beatrix River North, Beatrix Streeterville, Beatrix Fulton Market, and Ēma. With a strong passion for food and operations, Michael has worked for several restaurant groups in multiple cities including Minneapolis, San Diego, Portland and now in Chicago.
Michael started at Lettuce Entertain You in August 2010 where he was a part of the Scoozi team. He quickly became the General Manager, and just three years later, Michael led the opening team at Beatrix River North. Finding success in the concept, Michael was influential in the opening of its second location in Streeterville in October 2015. Just eight months later, Michael is now the Partner of said restaurants, in addition to Ēma, a Mediterranean and California-inspired restaurant in River North.
Michael oversees daily operations, food quality and ongoing training and development of the management team. Working closely with the chef team to facilitate new and creative ideas, Michael is constantly focused on hiring and developing his management teams and growth in all three concepts.
As a Gold Coast resident, he enjoys checking out new bars and restaurants, exploring the city and playing ice hockey. He also enjoys travel, especially visiting his native hometown in Minnesota, and spending time with family and friends.
John Chiakulas is Corporate Chef of LEYE and Chef Partner of Antico Posto, Beatrix, Ema, Foodease Market, Foodlife, Mity Nice Grill and L. Woods!
His journey with LEYE began at Ambria in 1981, rising through the ranks from fish butcher to becoming Executive Chef of Scoozi! when it opened a decade later. His experiences traveling through Italy awakened his imagination and enthusiasm for Italian cooking; these skills translated well to his extensive experience at many LEYE restaurants, including Tru, L. Woods and Wildfire.
John was instrumental in the redesign of Foodlife in Water Tower Place and pushed the envelope in developing Foodease into what he now considers a “chef’s playground” because of its diverse offerings. In 2011, he teamed up with the Lettuce Consulting Group to bring his creativity to clients nationwide.
John is now the Chef Partner of Beatrix and was here for every step of its creation. He is “hungry for more” in his leadership role, always thinking of how he can bring Beatrix and his other projects to the next level.
Rita Dever is Corporate Chef of LEYE and Chef Partner of Beatrix. A native to the Northwest, Rita grew up surrounded by an abundance of natural food and beauty. Her early years as a chef had her traveling all over the world.
Rita completed culinary school in Paris, trained with her mentor, Madeleine Kamman in New Hampshire and opened restaurants in Los Angeles, Maui, New York and Seattle as a Sous Chef at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
In 2008, she came to Chicago and joined LEYE as Corporate Chef. Working closely with Rich Melman in the test kitchen, the two collaborate daily on creating new dishes and innovating existing menus for all LEYE restaurants. It was Rita’s creations in the “Lab” that sparked the fire for Beatrix.
Now, as Chef Partner, her culinary experience has come full circle. Her Pacific Northwest whole-foods mentality drives each dish at Beatrix, bringing a “taste over trend” philosophy and healthful twist to each dish.
Susan is the Chef Partner of Beatrix, Mon Ami Gabi, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba, Stripburger and Community Canteen. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, her passion for food and travel developed early in life when she spent two years traveling in Europe and working at quaint restaurants in the Mediterranean.
After her travels, she spent time working in kitchens in Boston, Houston, Chicago, Toronto and New York. She joined LEYE in 2003 as the Culinary Director for Mon Ami Gabi and Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!
In 2012, she partnered with Marc Jacobs to build LEYE’s newest restaurant, Beatrix. Together, they created Beatrix’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus with unique ingredients and profiles with many dishes influenced by her past travels.
Associate Partner & Executive Pastry Chef
Yasmin studied Culinary Arts at the Illinois Institute of Art, and quickly realized her passion was in pastry. Looking to gain more experience, she became an intern at the Bittersweet Bakery on the north side of Chicago where she perfected her cookie decorating techniques and learned about traditional, American pastries.
In 2005, Yasmin joined Lettuce Entertain You as a pastry cook at Foodlife in Water Tower Place while also finishing school. Just two years later, Yasmin was promoted to pastry chef, where she also oversaw the pastry programs at both Mity Nice Bar & Grill and Foodease. In 2010, Yasmin furthered her education and pastry knowledge by attending The French Pastry School.
Three years later, Yasmin led the pastry team in the opening of Beatrix River North. She was instrumental in developing the bakery program and menu. In 2015, she was promoted to Executive Pastry Chef and most recently was named Associate Partner. Yasmin now oversees the pastry program at all three Beatrix locations, Beatrix Market, Foodlife, Foodease and Mity Nice Bar & Grill.
Her specialties include cupcake creation and design, coffee cakes and birthday cakes. Outside of the bakery, Yasmin enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and playing soccer.
Associate Partner and General Manager
John began his restaurant career with Lettuce Entertain You nine years ago at Di Pescara. Since then, he has gained experience at a number of restaurants within LEYE’s portfolio, including Petterinos, Reel Club, Foodlife, Foodease, and more recently, Beatrix and Beatrix Market.
In 2013, John joined the opening management team at Beatrix River North. He was instrumental in the development of the restaurant’s coffee and music programs, and also worked with mixologists to create their fresh squeezed juice cocktail menu.
In 2015, John was promoted to General Manager, and led the opening team of Beatrix Streeterville. He helped create the first Beatrix Market, a quick grab and go experience, and continues to drive the beverage culture for the Beatrix brand.
When John is not in the restaurants, he enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, Jenny and their son, George.
From Plymouth-Canton, Michigan, Joe moved to Chicago to attend the Cooking Hospitality Institute of Chicago – Le Cordon Bleu. He began his food career as a line cook in the Chicago suburbs, and since has explored many restaurant positions. Joe spent time in Florida working at Chef Allen’s, then at twice nominated James Beard Award Chef Chad Johnson’s SideBern’s. During his time at SidebBern’s, Joe was featured at Bern’s Winefest. Next in his career, Joe returned to Chicago to work under Chefs Chris Pandel and Joe Frillman at Balena. Joe is excited for his current role as Sous Chef at Beatrix, with plans to move to the new Streeterville location.
Joe comes from a long line of ‘food loving’ people. His family owns a small drive-in restaurant in Northern Michigan, Mishler’s Drive-In. He always has loved exploring the world and culture through food. He explains that through food, he can explore without having to leave the kitchen.
Outside of work, you can find Joe practicing martial arts or combat sports, exploring new restaurants with his wife, Rachel, reading books about food, and learning how to make ad hoc “at home” recipes. He believes in keeping food simple, but making it delicious.
Omar Chavez was born in Mexico, and moved to America in 1990 where he joined Lettuce Entertain You as a dishwasher and line cook at Tucci Benucch. Nine years later, Omar was promoted to Sous Chef, and quickly after to Chef at Wildfire in Chicago and Lincolnshire. Finding his way back to the city in 2011, Omar was Chef at Paris Club, Hub51, and was a part of the opening team at Beatrix in River North.
Omar’s favorite part of being a Chef at Beatrix is getting involved in cooking and teaching others, while also staying busy and focused. His favorite Beatrix menu items are the Skirt Steak Chimichurri and Tuna Crudo.
When Omar is out of the kitchen, he likes to spend time with his two sons, bike, and cook.
Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Lisandro came to Chicago at the age of 7 and found his passion for visual art, music, and food right away. Looking to further his education, he went on to attend University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts in 2012.
His passion for food and restaurants grew more when he joined Lettuce Entertain You when he began at Scoozi! in 2013. Among great co-workers and great chefs, he was motivated to take the next step in his career, and most recently joined the Beatrix Streeterville team as a Kitchen Manager. His favorite part of the job is helping the staff, working with chefs, and following the recipes to give the best experience to the guests.
Lisandro enjoys creating musical pieces, painting, and discovering new and exciting ingredients for food dishes.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Dan’s passion for the restaurant industry developed when he was in college. Dan attended Michigan State University majoring in electrical engineering. While in Michigan, Dan worked as a line cook for a local restaurant and immediately knew this was what he wanted to do for his career. He transferred to Schoolcraft College to pursue a degree in culinary arts, and graduated in 2013. Upon graduating, Dan was the Garde Manager Chef at the Detroit Athletic Club where he oversaw a large banquet facility.
Looking for growth, Dan moved to Chicago in February 2017 to pursue new culinary opportunities. He joined the Lettuce Entertain You team in June 2017 where he began as an expo and line cook at Beatrix Streeterville. Now, Dan is the Sous Chef and loves training new cooks, modernizing old techniques and developing new menu items.
During Dan’s free time, he loves to play video games and try new restaurants in Chicago
Jordan Arbus grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and found his passion for restaurants and hospitality at the early age of just 16-years-old. With his first experiences as a host and in carry-out at Wildfire in Lincolnshire, Jordan went on to complete the Lettuce Entertain You internship program at Wildfire Glenview in 2012. Upon graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Hospitality Management, Jordan was offered a management position at Wildfire in McLean, Virginia. After four years in Virginia, Jordan returned home to Chicago in July 2017 to continue his journey with LEYE as a manager with the Beatrix brand.
In Spring 2018, Jordan was promoted to General Manager of Beatrix Streeterville. Jordan is eager to bring not only his 10 years of experience in the industry to the team at Beatrix, but to also broaden his knowledge within a new concept and management team. His favorite part of the job is ensuring a positive experience for the guests, building a strong team, and maintaining LEYE’s strong reputation in which he is so proud of.
In his free time, Jordan enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching the Blackhawks, trying new beers, and exploring which restaurants have the best chicken fingers!
Hector De Leon
Hector De Leon was born and raised in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago. Beginning his career in the industry at 19, he managed and operated a local valet company all while attending DePaul University. After returning from Europe and post-graduation, Hector began bartending and specializing in craft cocktails in downtown restaurants.
Hector began with Lettuce Entertain You in 2015 as an Office Manager for Café BaBaReeba and Summer House Santa Monica. In 2017, Hector joined the opening team at Beatrix Fulton Market where he oversees the Beatrix Market, and now is happy to continue to grow the Market at the Streeterville location. His favorite part of the job is the fast pace environment, as well as learning about the operations of a restaurant.
In his free time he enjoys running, snowboarding, grilling and spending time with friends, family and his dog Leonardo.
Kathryn Sabol was born and raised in Chicago, and began her restaurant experience when she was just 18-years-old. In her position as a hostess at Bridge House Tavern, she was able to not only learn more about the industry, but also discover that this was a passion for her.
After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Hotel Administration and Beverage Management, Kathryn managed a dining room in a yacht club in Maine, and later moved back home to Chicago to continue her career as a restaurant manager at Beatrix Streeterville.
Her favorite part about working at Beatrix is being able to make a difference in a guest’s day. When Kathryn’s not in the restaurant, she enjoys reading about wine and developing her knowledge. She also likes to explore Chicago’s restaurants to enjoy all the city has to offer.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kevin Singer has been in the restaurant business since he was just 15-years-old. Working at a local restaurant throughout his teenage years, Kevin had the opportunity to experience a vast number of positions from dishwasher to host, and to bar back to server.
In 2015, Kevin moved to Chicago, and was immediately drawn to Lettuce Entertain You. With a strong interest in a growing restaurant, unique food, and a fast-paced environment, Kevin found his home as a Manager at Beatrix Streeterville. Kevin’s favorite part of the job is that it always keeps him moving, and he is constantly meeting new people every day, all while eating some great food!
In his free time, Kevin enjoys sailing, watching movies, and spending time with his fiancé who he looks forward to marrying in October 2016!
Chris Braun grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where he developed his love for food at a young age. Chris was first introduced to the restaurant industry at the age of 14 where he spent time in the kitchen. Over the years, he moved into managing restaurants and bars, which evolved into his current passion: the relationship between food and beverage and the role it takes on at every level in hospitality.
After moving to Chicago, Chris was a sommelier and bartender at The Purple Pig, and went out to oversee the beverage programs at Duck Duck Goat and Swift and Sons. Now, Chris is proud to be a Manager at Beatrix Streeterville. Aside from constantly learning more about the industry, Chris enjoys the family-like culture in the restaurant as they all pursue reaching a common goal.
In his free time, Chris likes to check out new bars and restaurants with friends. He also enjoys reading industry magazines and books to further his knowledge, as well as spend time with his family.
Divisional Training Director
Sharlene Hobbs grew up in southern California, and went to school in both Santa Barbara and San Diego with a focus on becoming a teacher. Upon graduation, Sharlene realized her true passion was in the restaurant industry, and joined the team at Rock Bottom Brewery in 2000. Seven years later, Sharlene moved to Chicago to be the Assistant Manager at Rock Bottom in the Windy City.
In 2009, Sharlene joined the Lettuce Entertain You Family as a server at RJ Grunts in Lincoln Park. Just one year later, she was promoted to a divisional trainer for various concepts including Foodlife, Mity Nice Bar & Grill, Foodease, Scoozi, Beatrix and Ema. Now, Sharlene is the Divisional Training Director for eight restaurant concepts and is vital in new restaurant openings, staff seminars and outings, and the on-going development of current employees. With a true love for building the training department as the division continues to grow, her favorite part of the job is working with new team members, and being the first impression of a company she is so proud to be a part of.
When Sharlene is not in the restaurant, she enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, traveling, visiting her family, and spending time with friends.
Divisional Marketing & PR Manager
Growing up in Long Grove, Illinois, Cara has always had a passion for food, writing, and technology, and knew she wanted to pursue a career one day that would entail all of those elements. Graduating in 2012 from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN., with a degree in Journalism and Business, she began her PR and marketing journey at a Chicago public relations agency focusing on restaurants and local businesses.
Realizing that her true passion and excitement was in restaurants, and also ready for more growth and opportunity, Cara joined the Lettuce Entertain You family in the summer of 2015. Now, Cara proudly oversees the marketing and public relations for Antico Posto, Beatrix, Beatrix Market, Ema, Foodlife, Foodease, L. Woods, Mity Nice Bar & Grill, and Rotisserie Ema. Her favorite part of the job is how every day is different, as well as having the opportunity to express her creativity across multiple different brands that she truly believes in.
In her free time, Cara loves checking out new restaurants around the city, traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with family and friends.
Sales & Catering Manager
Krista joined the Lettuce Entertain You family in 2014 as an office manager in the Lettuce Parties & Special Events department. Originally from Naperville, and a graduate of Illinois State, Krista has grown up surrounded by the Chicago restaurant scene. Krista has learned so much about what it means to find the perfect space and atmosphere for a client and is excited to be sharing her expertise in special events at Beatrix.
Being a part of the Beatrix team is very exciting for Krista. She is able to focus on some of her strongest qualities – organization, planning, and execution of special events. Krista enjoys meeting new faces, forming relationships, and creating memorable experiences for guests.
In her free time, Krista loves to weekend brunch, attend sporting events, and spend time with her friends and family. Krista currently resides nearby Beatrix, in Chicago’s River North.
Sales and Catering Manager
Originally from Oak Park, IL, Elsa Jerousek started working in the restaurants at just 15-years-old when she was a host at Avenue Ale House. After high school, she moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University where she studied English and Sociology. During this time, she continued to gain restaurant experience at Maya Del Sol, a Latin fusion restaurant in Oak Park.
Knowing that food and the restaurant industry was her passion, Elsa joined Lettuce Entertain You in 2012 as a host and office assistant at RPM Italian. In 2013, she joined the opening team at Beatrix River North as an office manager, and continued in this role at Beatrix Streeterville, Ema and Beatrix Fulton Market in the three years that followed. Now, Elsa is the Sales and Catering Manager for Beatrix Restaurants and Ema where she proudly executes and plans special events and catering for large groups. Her favorite part of the job is forming new relationships daily and making sure clients get exactly what they want.
In her free time, Elsa loves to spend time with her dog Quinn and fiancé Kevin. She also enjoys working out and running, as well as checking out new bars and restaurants in the city with her girl friends.
Angela Smurawa grew up in Appleton, WI., where her love for the restaurant industry began when she was just 15-years-old. After moving to Chicago in 2007, she managed a hair salon in Evanston for five years where she furthered her professional growth and management skills.
In August 2014, Angela knew she wanted to get back in the restaurant world where she would be surrounded by energy and excitement. After having brunch at Beatrix one morning, she found herself as their new host and then server just a few weeks later.
Now, as a Sales & Catering Manager of Beatrix and Ema, Angela loves being able to combine her passion for food while connecting and caring for people. She especially finds the positive reaction from guests, and the health conscious yet innovative menu options tremendously exciting to be part of.
When Angela isn’t at the restaurant, she loves to entertain friends and family at her home, traveling, and cooking.
Veronica was born in Ecuador and moved to Chicago in 2002. She began her career in the restaurant business at the age of 16 waiting tables and assisting with food prep at her aunt’s café in Otavalo City.
She joined Lettuce Entertain You ten years ago as a hostess at Foodlife. After earning her degree in Business Administration and General Studies, she worked her way up to become the Office Assistant for Foodlife and Mity Nice Bar & Grill. At Beatrix, she loves combining her past experience working in restaurants with her business degree as the Office Manager.
Outside of work, Veronica enjoys cooking delicious meals for her husband and daughter, watching movies with lots of popcorn, and keeping up with the latest fashion and make-up trends.