Our staff is nothing if not a tight-knit group—we’d even go as far to say we’re each other’s chosen family. Most of us have known each other for years, nearly all of us have worked in restaurants together at one point or another, but we all ended up here—together—with one common goal in mind: to make your experience at Funkenhausen un-funkin’-forgettable. We’d love for you to get to know us, so when you stop in for a meal or a drink, or only for a moment to say hi, you feel just at home as we do.
Whether it’s the high-intensity, high-pressure world of cooking, or someone taking their sweet time in line ordering chicken fingers, Mark doesn’t let anything stand in the way of him and his dreams. Channeling this energy into his career, he worked his way up the restaurant ladder—from server to bartender, line cook to head chef—and he’s been running the show ever since. His secret superpower is that he can hear everything, even across the room on a busy night. A single fork dropped? Heard it. That embarrassing story you shared with your friends over dinner? Heard that too. Consider yourselves warned.
Formerly donning the walls of Asrai Garden (be sure to check out their shop!), our little Ernie has really come into his own, shining bright like a beacon of porky glory over the Chef’s Table at Funkenhausen. Always the center of attention, he’s a popular fixture in Instagram selfies and Tinder matches alike, but we try not to talk too much about his personal affairs—he’d prefer you read about them in his memoir: A Farewell to Farms. We’ll give you a few guesses as to who he’s named after. Hint: it’s Chef Mark’s favorite author.
The man. The myth. The legend. Joseph, a.k.a. Mr. Brosé, is nothing short of an in-house Renaissance man. Whether it’s churning out rapid-fire coffee drinks during a busy brunch service, sharing his expert wine knowledge with guests, or building intricate contraptions for our weird social media videos, he has the ability to “Carna-handle” anything that comes his way. This once-upon-a-time chef turned front-of-the-house wunderkind is a big part of the glue that holds this restaurant together and we are so lucky to have him!
Social media/event coordinator
This lady has held almost every job in the industry: pastry cook, server, bartender, manager, plant caretaker, vibe curator, and has since been promoted to the “Point of No Return” also known as “Being the Chef’s Wife” (yep, that guy). She spends most of her time convincing fellow staff members to be in her silly social media videos (“Do it for the ‘gram!”), but when she’s not being a ridiculous human, you can find her drumming up support for the causes she believes in, traveling abroad, going on architecture tours, or posting up at one of her favorite restaurants for some homemade pasta and a gin martini.
As someone who hates the buzzing and beeping of kitchen timers, it’s a good thing Rachel has her own hyper-accurate, internal stopwatch-thing going on. It’s true, she knows when something is ready, or not, based on this miraculous sixth sense—a priceless talent in the world of cooking, especially when it comes to pastry. When she’s not alone in the kitchen at all hours of the night listening to NPR, shouting back intermittently in response, you can find her waking abruptly from a deep sleep in a cold sweat because someone in the next town overcooked their apple strudel.
FELIPE ANDRES HERNANDEZ
Felipe. His long, flowing hair is the envy of bald men and professional wrestlers everywhere. Felipe. His dance moves, his penetrating stare say, “Come and get it, Rebecca,” but also, “Don’t try me, Brad.” He’s an absolute bizarre human (Mark’s words, not mine), and is always making his coworkers laugh, but he’s also a born teacher with unrivaled consistency, reliability, and attention to detail, making him a supreme Sous Chef and the go-to when it comes to training any and all cooks. If you happen to bring beer for the kitchen, make sure to bring it right to Felipe. He’s a big fan.
John Paul Johnson
Chef de Cuisine
John Paul, or JP as he’s known to just about everyone other than maybe his mom (Hi Laurie!), came from wrestlin’ gators in the swamps of Florida to cookin’ on the mainstage of Chicago’s dining scene. He’s a man of few words, but he doesn’t need them—he can communicate any message with a single look, which most of the time says, “Get lost, loser.” Beneath that beard, though, you’ll find a heart of gold and one of the most loyal, determined, hard-working people you’ll ever meet.
Only upon a cold day in hell would you ever find Javi without a smile on his face. He’s got a way with people that would make even his worst enemy feel right at home. With a genuine passion for spirits, an uncanny ability to juice at speeds never before seen in humankind, and a knack for creating cocktails so tasty you’ll never want to put them down, we’d say we hit the jackpot with this one. Go ahead, saddle up to the bar and introduce yourself! He likes shots of Rittenhouse Rye. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll take one with you.