The staff here at Funkenhausen is nothing if not a tight-knit group. It should come as no surprise that our favorite funk song is Sly & the Family Stone’s “Family Affair”. Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” comes in at a close second. Need more proof? Ponder our six degrees of separation. We think it would make Kevin Bacon proud.
Mark worked briefly with Joseph at The Gage before bringing him on as sous chef at Carriage House. JP was one of Mark’s cooks at Carriage House and was Joe’s sous chef after Mark left. Mark brought on Felipe as a cook at Bedford. Both Felipe and JP helped Mark open El Che Steakhouse & Bar. Rachel was Mark’s pastry sous chef at HotChocolate. Javi worked with Mark, JP and Joe at La Sirena Clandestina and El Che. Lauren worked with JP’s wife, Danica, at Portsmith before she joined us here. Daniella and Mark first met when they both worked at The Bedford and we all know how that turned out…
Chef/Owner/Director of Maintenance/Tech Support/Plumber
While Funkenhausen employees are aware of Mark’s strange ability to hear everythingeven across the room on a busy night, it probably comes as news to guests. Consider yourselves warned. But feel free to sing a few bars of Morris Day’s “Jungle Love” as he’s a big fan. What he’s not fond of are bananas, purple potatoes, snakes and clowns. He claims not to have a nickname (although we bet his staff might have a few) and counts bourbon and a Highlife as his favorite drink even though it’s technically two.
Our little Ernie has come a long way since his days as a valet porker and we couldn’t be prouder. When not working, you can find him fighting the patriarchy, working his many charms on Tinder (quite successfully, we might add) and sipping on a Hamingway Daquiri at the bar. While he swears he doesn’t dig eating swine, his favorite dish at Funkenhausen is the Piggy Plate. We won’t tell if you won’t.
With the uncanny skill to appear out of nowhere and scare the hell out of the staff, Joseph, or “Carnahandled” as he is called behind his back, has earned a special place in the hearts of Funkenhausen’s employees. Perhaps it’s poetic justice then that he’s afraid of Mark Steuer when someone drops a fork on the floor. Given his druthers, this one-time baker’s assistant would be very happy eating Funkenhausen’s confit pork shoulder—that is, as long as no forks are dropped while doing so.
Social media/event coordinator/server/plant mama/whatever needs to get done i do it
You can call Daniella “Llama Bear” or “Li’l Homie” but whatever you do don’t call her “Sweetheart.” (No, really, don’t.) Her secret power is eating her weight in spätzle. But if she had the opportunity to sit down for dinner at Funkenhausen, you’d find a medium-rare ribeye with broccolini and a gin martini in front of her. Throw in some Curtis Mayfield tunes for the win. This one-time Pita Pit sandwich artist finds joy in her doggies, friends, traveling abroad and her husband, Mark (yup that guy) but never natto, which she thinks is effed-up.
FELIPE ANDRES HERNANDEZ
Felipe, who goes by the nickname of “Larry” (yeah, we don’t get it either), has a strong aversion to grocery store sheet cake. But since he’s The Finder of Things and knows his way around the sax and drums, we don’t hold it against him. His beverage of choice is Cherry Limeade and he’s a big fan of Funkenhausen’s smoked chicken (not together, though, right Larry?). His funk song faves include “Intergalactic Love Song” by The Diddys featuring Paige Douglas and “Movin' On By” by Ray Camacho, which totally makes up for his beverage choice.
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
It’s not everyone who can claim a secret super power of turnings frowns upside down but with all honesty—and no irony!—Lauren totally can. That alone should earn her a nickname, which up to this point in her life, she has yet to have acquired. This avid shutterbug is a sucker for nice whiskey (Blanton’s if you’re looking to make her smile), preferably with a side of Chaka Kahn’s “Like Sugar.” Onions are her nemesis unless they’re caramelized, pulverized or fried.
John Paul Johnson
Chef de Cuisine
We don’t know what Aunt Judy ever did to John Paul, but he’s still afraid of her to this day (Aunt Judy, call us!). When not working, you’ll find him sleeping, avoiding tuna and listening to “Machine Gun Funk” by Notorious B.I.G. but not necessarily at the same time. When awake, JP escapes his fear of Aunt Judy with manhattans.
As someone who hates the buzzing and beeping of kitchen timers, it’s a good thing Rachel has her own super-accurate internal timer thang going on. When not not setting timers, you’ll find her hanging out with her infant son, Graham, and rehabbing a house in Flossmoor with her partner, John. While it’s debatable as to whether Bowie’s “Fame” is a true funk song, she considers it one and her favorites. (Note to Rachel: Just keep making those delicious desserts and we’ll agree to anything.)
Having the ability to juice really reallyfast definitely comes in handy for Javier, whose nickname is—surprise, surprise!—Javy. And here’s another shocker: His favorite funk song is Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.” When not behind the bar, he can be found wrestling with his kid, playing basketball, sipping daiquiris, and avoiding menudo and spiders as best he can.