Justin has been cooking since he was 15, including formal training in high school and at the Culinary & Hospitality Institute of Chicago. Justin spent nearly five years as sous chef at Atwood Cafe and South Water Kitchen, before flipping one of America's Best Burgers (according to GQ Magazine and The Oprah Show) at Poag Mahone's, where he met Molly, his future business partner and wife. Justin's food repertoire includes everything from pizza, to Mexican, to Filipino, to Indian, to classic French.
Molly grew up in a restaurant and is still remembered for sneaking chunks of blue cheese before it was made into dressing. She went to DePaul University to study marketing, but eventually abandoned a career in advertising to work in food like her parents before her. She worked as personal chef and crewmember aboard two private yachts and then resettled in Chicago where she met Justin while slinging burgers and beers. Molly's love of food and knowledge of marketing has served her well as FIG grows, but she definitely still enjoys the busyness of working behind a bar or on the floor at an event.
Elyse calls herself a West Coast girl and certainly has the proclivities of a Northern Californian including a strong connection to the farmer's market and a recycling acumen. She was actually born in Urbana, IL and made her way back there (after graduating with a degree in Drama) to work on an organic farm. After learning a little about our food production and selling products directly at the Green City Market, Elyse decided to parlay her love of food into a position at FIG that would allow her to bring good food to good people.
Michelle, like everyone at FIG, has a natural appreciation of food and the outdoors that comes from - where else - her family. Big, loud family get togethers usually involve mashed potato dumplings and her dad dispensing information about water conservation (he writes and hosts community radio and television programs about the subject). She is a right-brained woman who went to art school for printmaking and loves crafts - including
designing amazing decor for her own wedding and making her husband Halloween costumes. She's now building up her left brain muscles by making sure all of our corporate events happen flawlessly (while still having the opportunity to get her creative juices flowing creating custom menus).