Our Team

Marc Jacobs

Executive Partner and Divisional President

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 29 years with LEYE, he has been a Partner for 14 years and has led the creation, design and re-concept of more than 16 restaurants across Chicagoland. Today, his portfolio includes 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 with five locations and growing, Ēma; a Mediterranean and California-inspired restaurant, Aba; the sister restaurant to Ēma, featuring a restaurant and patio in Chicago and Austin, TX, The Dalcy; LEYE’s private event hall in Fulton Market and Bar Ramone; a wine bar featuring Spanish tapas.

Marc is centered around his love for restaurant design, menu development and team building. His restaurants and chefs have earned many accolades including a Michelin Bib Gourmand and a spot on Chicago’s top restaurant lists from Zagat, Eater and the Chicago Tribune.

Outside of the restaurants, Marc sits on LEYE’s Executive Board, is a member of the LEYE Consulting Group and is an Advisory Council member at DePaul’s School of Hospitality Leadership. He enjoys spending time with his wife Vanessa and their three children, Samantha, Alexandra and Gabriel, visiting new restaurants, and traveling.

Michael Giles

Managing Partner

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

Chef Partner

In Loving Memory: 1963-2021

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.

 

Yasmin Gutierrez

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

Chef Partner

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 Weaver

Chef Partner

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.

Andrew Ashmore

Beatrix Corporate Chef

Andrew was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI and at age 17,  he got his first job at a mom & pop Italian restaurant washing dishes. His love for the industry grew from there as he continued to work various positions including a Prep Cook tossing pizza dough to a Line Cook preparing the dishes. To increase his skill set and pursue his newfound passion, Andrew attended culinary school in Grand Rapids, graduating in 2007 with an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and Culinary Management. To begin his career in the culinary world, Andrew moved to  Las Vegas to be the Executive Chef at Michael Mina Group. Two years later, he joined Fox Restaurant Concepts as the Brand Chef where he would go on to oversee the opening of a handful of restaurants in Arizona over the next six years.

In 2015, Andrew returned to the Midwest to raise his son closer to family. The ever-evolving restaurant scene brought him to Chicago, where he became the Director of Culinary Operations at Roti Modern Mediterranean. He then went on to join White Lodging as the Corporate Research and Development Chef, where he was responsible for the culinary innovation of new and existing concepts nationwide.

Seeking an opportunity to return to the kitchen and the service side of the industry, Andrew joined Lettuce Entertain You in 2019 and is most recently the Beatrix Corporate Chef, overseeing all four Beatrix locations. His favorite part of the job is collaborating with the Chef Partners to create new dishes and training the teams on execution.

In his free time, Andrew loves to spend time with his son by riding bikes, running out for donuts,  and picking vegetables in the neighborhood garden. Andrew also enjoys going out to eat and trying new restaurants with his wife, and of course, cooking at home for his family.

Cannon Porter

Partner

Cannon Porter’s passion for the hospitality industry began in 2004 where she worked at Texas Roadhouse in East Lansing, MI. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, Cannon was promoted to Service and Kitchen Manager.

After spending nine years at Texas Roadhouse, Cannon came to Chicago to join the opening team as a manager of Beatrix River North in 2013. After taking over as General Manager in 2015, Cannon was prepared to then lead the management team at Beatrix’s sister restaurant, Ēma, as the General Manager. In 2017, Cannon proudly went on to open and oversee Beatrix’s third location in the Fulton Market District of the West Loop, and is now an Partner of Aba and The Dalcy, a Mediterranean restaurant and private event hall in Fulton Market as well as Beatrix in Fulton Market. She continues to have a daily focus on all aspects of the restaurant including working closely with the chef and management team, while continually maintaining a high standard for food and service. Her favorite part of her job is working the floor and meeting new faces.

Cannon has a true passion for food and cocktails. When she’s not in the restaurant, Cannon enjoys running, biking, golfing, dining at local restaurants, and attending sporting events and concerts.

Steven Rosenblum

General Manager

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.

Patrick Callahan

Manager

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

Manager

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.

Jill Barron

Chef

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.

Jose Galvez

Sous Chef

Jose Galvez was born and raised in Huajuapan, Oaxaca located in Mexico. Full of rich culture, food and tradition, Jose’s passion for cooking and food naturally developed at a young age. Learning the essentials from his grandmother as a young boy, Jose continued to carry these teachings into his professional career in restaurants. In 2000, Jose came to Chicago with his wife and father, and got his start in restaurants as a dishwasher. For the years that followed, Jose went on to experience a number of positions in a variety of cuisines preparing him for his next step.

In 2014, Jose joined Lettuce Entertain You where he began at Beatrix and worked grill, sauté, pantry and prep stations. Three years later, Jose was the Kitchen Manager on the opening team of Beatrix’s fourth location in Oak Brook, Illinois. He continued on as Kitchen Manager at the Fulton Market location, and in Summer 2021 was promoted to Sous Chef. His favorite part of the job is seeing the guests enjoy their food and overall experience.

When Jose is not in the restaurant, he enjoys playing video games, working on cars, trying new restaurants, cooking in his backyard and spending time with his wife and three children.

Michelle Przewoznik

Office Manager

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.

Thomas Mizuno-Moore

Senior Beverage Manager

Originally from Champaign, Illinois, Thomas Moore found his passion in restaurants in 2002 where he was a member at Jarling’s Custard Cup. Four years later, and eager to expand his knowledge, Thomas took a position at a local wine café where he learned about beer, wine, and spirits. In 2011 he moved to Los Angeles and made the transition to restaurant management, culminating with a position for Blackhouse Hospitality Management in Hermosa Beach, CA.

Five years later, Thomas moved to Chicago with his wife, and joined the Lettuce Entertain You family as a manager at Beatrix Streeterville. After adapting to the culture and concept, Thomas was asked to join the opening team for Beatrix’s third location in the Fulton Market District of the West Loop in 2017. A year later, Thomas followed his passion for spirits and became the Beverage Manager at Aba, a Mediterranean restaurant, and its private event hall, The Dalcy. Now, Thomas is the Senior Beverage Manager for more than six restaurant concepts within LEYE. His favorite part of the job is talking with guests, and educating staff about what is new and exciting in spirits and cocktails.

In his free time, Thomas enjoys reading, going to the movies, and experimenting in the kitchen with food and cocktails. He and his wife love to explore the city and check out new restaurants.

Sharlene Hobbs

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.

Cara Yaffe

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.