Executive Partner and Divisional President
Marc Jacobs is the President and Partner of Aba, Antico Posto, Bar Ramone, Beatrix, Beatrix Market, Ēma, Rotisserie Ēma, Foodease, Foodlife, L. Woods, Mity Nice Bar & Grill and The Dalcy.
Marc began his career with Lettuce Entertain You (LEYE) in the fall of 1991, as a banquet server and busser at Bones (now L. Woods) in Lincolnwood, Illinois. After being cross-trained as a server, host and line cook, Marc became a manager of the restaurant upon his graduation from UIC in the summer of 1995.
Two years later, Marc was transferred to R.J. Grunts, LEYE’s first restaurant, and was quickly promoted to General Manager. It was there that he first worked alongside Rich Melman on the re-development of the restaurant, which went on to launch what would become Marc’s lifelong career in restaurants and hospitality.
In Marc’s 14 years as Partner at LEYE, he has led the creation, design and re-concept of more than 16 restaurants across Chicagoland including Beatrix; a restaurant and coffeehouse located in River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market and Oak Brook, Beatrix Market; a quick and healthful grab and go experience, Ēma; a Mediterranean and California-inspired restaurant with Top Chef CJ Jacobson, Aba; the sister restaurant to Ēma, featuring a 400-seat restaurant and rooftop patio, The Dalcy; LEYE’s private event hall in Fulton Market, and Bar Ramone; a wine bar featuring Spanish tapas.
Marc’s passion lies in restaurant design, menu development, and team building. His restaurants and chefs have earned many accolades including a Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition as well as a spot on Chicago’s top restaurant lists from Zagat, Eater and the Chicago Tribune.
Marc sits on Lettuce Entertain You’s Executive Board, is an Advisory Council member and the Executive in Residence at DePaul’s School of Hospitality Leadership, often speaks on restaurant panels and seminars, and enjoys giving back to the restaurant and hospitality industry in Chicago.
Marc enjoys spending time with his wife Vanessa and their three children, Samantha, Alexandra and Gabriel, visiting new restaurants, and traveling.
Michael Giles is a Partner and operator for Aba, Beatrix, Beatrix Market, Ema, Rotisserie Ema, and The Dalcy. With a strong passion for food and operations, Michael has worked for several restaurant groups in multiple cities including Minneapolis, San Diego and Portland.
Starting with Lettuce Entertain You in August 2010, Michael worked at Scoozi in River North, and quickly was promoted to the General Manager. Just three years later, Michael led the opening team at Beatrix River North, a neighborhood coffeehouse and restaurant. After finding success in the concept, Michael became a Partner in August 2015, and has continued to rise with Lettuce Entertain You ever since.
Michael has since been influential in the opening of Beatrix Streeterville, Beatrix Fulton Market, Beatrix Market, Ēma and Rotisserie Ēma. Most recently, Michael led the opening of Aba, a Mediterranean restaurant and rooftop patio featuring a light, California style of cooking and The Dalcy, a 6,000-square foot private event hall in Fulton Market.
Michael oversees daily operations, food quality, and the 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.
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 of Edina, MN., and spending time with family and friends.
John Chiakulas is Corporate Chef of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and Chef Partner of Aba, Antico Posto, Beatrix, Beatrix Market, Ēma, Rotisserie Ema, Foodease Market, Foodlife, Mity Nice Grill, L. Woods and The Dalcy.
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 more than three dozen 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.
As Chef Partner, John is constantly testing new dishes, updating and perfecting existing items and using his creativity and skill to push the envelope with healthful, yet tasty ingredients. He is always “hungry for more” in his leadership role, and is always thinking how he can bring his current concepts and other projects to the next level.
Partner and 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 four 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.
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.
Originally from Oak Park, Illinois, Jill grew up in a family that liked to eat, which developed her passion for food and cooking at a young age. While attending Columbia College, Jill got her start in restaurants while working part-time as a bartender. Upon graduation, Jill realized her passion was in cooking and left Chicago to work in Los Angeles as a Sous Chef for City. In 1992, and after gaining experience in Los Angeles, Jill moved back to Chicago and worked at various restaurants including BigTime Productions, Ooh-La-La!, Angelina, Vinyl and many others. 10 years later, she went to work for a former server who opened a sushi bar, Sushi Wabi. She then became a partner at De Cero Taqueria in 2005 and moved on to open her own restaurant, Mana Food Bar in 2008.
Jill joined Lettuce Entertain You in 2018 after she closed Mana Food Bar. She is currently working as the Chef at Beatrix Fulton Market. Her favorite part of the job is having Beatrix and Beatrix Market under the same roof because she enjoys working on ideas and recipes for both concepts.
In her free time, Jill loves to DJ vintage vinyl records, spending time with her husband, Chris and her two small jack-a-poos.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Fred spent his teenage years in Naples, Florida, where his mother influenced his passion for cooking as she frequently prepared home-cooked meals. Fred’s first job in the restaurant industry was making bagels at New York Bagel Company at age 14, where he found he was incredibly talented in the kitchen and enjoyed every minute of it. Curious to expand his culinary knowledge, Fred attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami and earned a degree in Food Science, while working as a Pantry Cook at Bay House. Following graduation, Fred lived seasonally between New York and Florida where he worked between two restaurants from 2013 to 2017. In Long Island, Fred worked as Head Server and Manager at Ocean and The Crescent Beach Club, while in Florida, Fred built up his chef skills as Sous Chef at Quail West Country Club.
Looking to be part of the exciting food scene in Chicago, Fred moved to the Windy City in 2019 and took the opportunity to join the Lettuce Entertain You family. He joined Beatrix Fulton Market as Sous Chef in July 2019, and loves building relationships with his team within the collaborative environment.
When Fred isn’t working on a new menu, he enjoys going on picnics with his wife, staying active, and exploring Chicago’s new restaurants.
Ismael Silva is originally from Mexico, and moved to Chicago in 2000. After working a few various jobs, he quickly learned his passion was in restaurants when he joined the Lettuce Entertain You family in 2001.
He began as a dishwasher at L.Woods in Lincolnwood, and quickly worked his way through the line and up to an Expo position. After 16 years of experience with LEYE, and ready for more growth and challenges, Ismael joined the Beatrix team in Fulton Market and is now the Sous Chef. His favorite part of the job is learning new things every day!
When he’s not in the restaurant, Ismael enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors.
Originally from Long Island, New York and a graduate of The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Steven is excited to be in Chicago to continue his career with Lettuce Entertain You. Steven’s restaurant experience first dates back to his completion of the Management Internship with Restaurant Associates, to his time at La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel in New York City’s Meatpacking District. Steven moved to Chicago to begin his career with LEYE in 2013, where he was a summer intern at Foodease Market in Water Tower Place. Just a year later, Steven joined the management team at Beatrix in River North, and was promoted to General Manager in December 2016. In March 2018, Steven took his Beatrix passion and knowledge to help grow Beatrix’s third location in Fulton Market where he is currently the General Manger.
Steven is passionate about restaurants, and loves the fast paced environment and meeting new people everyday. His favorite Beatrix menu items are the Mushroom & Quinoa Burger, Oh My! Caramel Pie and the Pineapple-Habanero Margarita.
Outside of work, you can find Steven trying new restaurants, learning about music, attending concerts and of course, cooking.
Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Patrick continued his education after high school at Salisbury University in Maryland with a focus in Exercise Science. Upon graduating in 2013, Patrick moved to New York City to follow his passion for food and restaurants, and began his career with HPH Hospitality Group. He began as a bartender at Pier A Harbor House, and was quickly promoted to a manager. It was there that he learned his true appreciation for hospitality.
In February 2017, Patrick moved to Chicago and joined Lettuce Entertain You, and was a part of the opening team of Beatrix in the Fulton Market District in the West Loop. As a manager, Patrick’s favorite part of the job is interacting with new guests, and having each day bring new challenges and experiences.
As a new resident to Chicago, Patrick is enjoying exploring what the city has to offer with his girlfriend Kait, and their French bulldog, Carl.
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.
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.
Ismael Morales was born and raised in the Chicago area. He was first introduced to the restaurant industry when he was 16-years-old when he joined the Lettuce Entertain You team as a host at Big Bowl, located in Schaumburg. During his time at Big Bowl, he worked many different positions including Host, Food Runner, Server and Bartender. In 2015, Ismael had the opportunity to participate in Lettuce Entertain You’s internship program at Wildfire in Oak Brook and was promoted to Manager shortly after he completed the internship.
In October of 2018, Ismael joined the Beatrix River North team as a Manager. After learning about the Beatrix brand, he joined the opening team at Beatrix Oak Brook as a Manager for a year, and is now proud to be a Manager at Beatrix Fulton Market. Ismael is excited about working with a great team and enjoys learning from the other managers, employees and partners.
In Ismael’s free time, he enjoys playing soccer, camping, hiking and playing pool.
Sarah Kim was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Many of Sarah’s childhood memories involve being immersed in her Korean culture, which included being surrounded by good company and good food. Sarah originally went to college in Cleveland to pursue medicine, but it didn’t take long for her to see that it wasn’t her calling. She changed paths and went on to receive a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics while in Chicago. After working as a dietitian for a year she decided it was time to take the leap and enter the world she always wanted to be in, hospitality.
Wanting to learn the ins and outs of the restaurant industry, Sarah joined Lettuce Entertain You in 2017 at Ema in River North. She helped out wherever she could whether it was hosting, bussing or running food; she simply loved being in the hustle and bustle and knew this was the job for her. After completing the Lettuce Entertain You internship program, Sarah joined the Beatrix Streeterville team as a Manager in 2018. Her favorite part of the job is getting to do what she loves- providing a space for people to come and enjoy food.
In Sarah’s free time, she enjoys exploring the city and its food scene with her friends. She also likes to hike and travel with her dog and spend time on her yoga mat!
Director of Marketing and Communications
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, while also ready for more growth and opportunity, Cara joined the Lettuce Entertain You family in the summer of 2015. Since then, Cara has been a part of eight restaurant openings, and proudly oversees the marketing and public relations for Aba, Antico Posto, Bar Ramone, Beatrix, Beatrix Market, Ēma, Rotisserie Ēma, Foodlife, Foodease, L. Woods, Mity Nice Bar & Grill, and The Dalcy. 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.
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 more than ten 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.
Sales and Catering Manager
Originally from Oak Park, IL, Elsa Lucas started working in the restaurants at just 15-years-old when she was a host at Avenue Ale House in Oak Park. 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 worked 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 as Beatrix Streeterville, Ēma and Beatrix Fulton Market opened in the three years that followed. Now, Elsa is the Sales and Catering Manager for Beatrix, Beatrix Market, Bar Ramone, Ēma and Rotisserie Ēma 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 husband, Kevin. She also enjoys working out and running, as well as checking out new bars and restaurants in the city with her girl friends.
Sales and 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, Beatrix Market, Bar Ramone, Ēma and Rotisserie Ēma.
As a sales and catering manager, Krista is able to utilize 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 in West Town with her boyfriend.
Born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Michelle’s love for food and restaurants started early as she was often baking and cooking with her parents, and frequently dining at restaurants downtown. Looking to be part of the hustle and bustle of the city as she got older, Michelle attended DePaul University and graduated with a degree in Hospitality Leadership in 2019. During college, Michelle knew she wanted to be part of the restaurant industry, and followed in her brother’s footsteps who was at Lettuce Entertain You. Michelle joined LEYE in 2015 with a do-it-all attitude where she was working as a host, office assistant and prep & pastry cook at Wildfire in Glenview, IL.
Given the opportunity to grow with the company and join the restaurant scene downtown, Michelle transferred to Beatrix River North as a host and part time office assistant. Two years later, Michelle is now proud to be the Office Manager at Beatrix Fulton Market, where she brings a positive attitude, organization and a willing hand each and every day. While most of Michelle’s work is done behind the scenes, she plays a vital role in ensuring the success and collaboration of the team. Michelle enjoys helping and interacting with everyone, even if it’s as simple as exchanging a high-five or a smile.
In her free time, Michelle is an avid reader and takes control of her own kitchen, whipping up European cakes and pastries while she listens to Spanish music.