Farmhouse Evanston Executive Chef
With valuable experience gathered in both the front and back of house, Executive Chef, Ian Flowers’ wide range of culinary expertise is firmly anchored in Chicago’s ever-evolving dining scene. The Indiana native moved to Illinois in 2004 to attend the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago—now formally known as Le Cordon Bleu—and is perhaps best known as the former head chef of Wicker Park‘s Lokal European Restaurant and Lounge. Flowers also spent time honing his craft as executive chef of The Bella Lounge, in addition to working in kitchens such as The Omni Hotel’s 676 Restaurant & Bar and Tessa’s Restaurant in Naperville, Illinois. Chef Flowers has also consulted on culinary projects for extremely visible hospitality collectives such as the Kimpton Group and more. From casual barbeque to classic European cuisine, Ian’s culinary background draws from a diverse mix of cultures and experiences. Flowers’ passion for the unexpected is evident in each plate he creates and experimentation plays a key role in his culinary philosophy. As the executive chef of Farmhouse, Flowers puts a contemporary spin on traditional Midwestern fare utilizing only the freshest seasonal ingredients, while sourcing all proteins from local purveyors and farms.
Farmhouse Evanston General Manager
New to the Chicago market, but hardly new to the restaurant and hospitality world, Phil Cocco comes to Farmhouse Evanston most recently from New England where he spent the last 15 years managing, consulting and owning various restaurants and hospitality venues. With more than 30 years in the business and career stops in San Francisco, Vermont, Cape Cod, New Orleans, Boston and Maine, Phil has worked in almost every type of restaurant, hotel, night club and resort. No stranger to the kitchen, Phil has a huge passion for local food and the “Honest to the Heartland” Farmhouse motto is how he lives his life. “ When I found a restaurant like Farmhouse Evanston that shared the same values and beliefs that I have, I knew I found my home”. Phil now resides in Evanston with his wife Liz and her two boys. He hopes to bring the Evanston community closer in touch with Farmhouse for years to come.
Farmhouse Evanston Asst General Manager
Jen landed in Chicago from Texas in early 2005 looking to utilize her degree in Theatre. While auditioning and navigating the theatre scene she quickly realized that the only way to pay rent was going to be working in a restaurant. After a year of paying her dues, Jen got hired at Bin 36 where she discovered her passion for wine and the industry in general. Through hard work and lots of wine education she found herself at L2O several months before they were awarded their 3 Michelin stars. After a couple of years learning everything she could from that wonderful team, Jen started her management career as opening Wine Director at Rittergut Wine Bar and from there moved on to be the Wine Director at Eno Wine Bar on Michigan Ave. Jen found her home at Farmhouse Evanston in May of 2015 and couldn’t be happier to be involved in a company that shares her values for honest sustainability. She runs a wine list that is exclusively organic, sustainable and/or biodynamic and loves teaching the staff and guests about their differences. When Jen isn’t with the team at Farmhouse she is enjoying her time with her husband, who is also in the industry, and her two energetic young daughters.
Farmhouse Evanston Events Coordinator
Shawn has over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. Through the years he has worked in many aspects of the industry. After initially moving to Chicago from the suburbs of Detroit 8 years ago, he spent two years working in the city where his passion for event management began. In late 2011 the opportunity to move to the small island of Key West arose. He worked as the General Manager for a popular bed and breakfast, and also did lighting and sound design for one of the busiest nightclubs on the island. After 5 years the windy city called him home. Shawn has been with Farmhouse Evanston since May 2016, taking over Event Sales in October 2016. His attention to detail and ability to elevate any event are sure to make your next experience with Farmhouse unforgettable.
Farmhouse Evanston Beverage Director
Mike comes to Farmhouse with close to 2 decades of hospitality experience. Originally from Urbana, Illinois Mike moved to Chicago in 2008 to pursue a career in acting. After losing a fight on his bike with a car in 2010 and a lengthy recovery, Mike decided to commit to the industry that had already given him so much. Mike used this time while working in some of Chicago’s most exciting restaurants and hotels, to further his knowledge and appreciation of all things local and craft. During this time of discovery, he found his niche behind the bar and became obsessed with the classic and modern cocktail. Determined to find the best products that mirror Farmhouse’s core values, Mike strives to bring the Evanston community the very best in local beer and cider, craft spirits, and a focused cocktail program.
Farmheads Partner/Executive Chef
Eric Mansavage, a proud product of Steven’s Point, Wisconsin is passionate about working with local farmers and growers to bring the freshest local produce, meats and dairy to Farmhouse Tavern. Eric’s core philosophy is simple, approachable and carefully crafted foods based on the culinary heritage of the Midwest. Under Eric’s direction, the Farmhouse kitchen has become known for delicious, locally sourced foods executed with tremendous technique. Eric has led our efforts to reach out to various farm-to-fork non-profits and is a member of the Green City Market Board of Directors.
Recently a Farmhouse Tavern guest asked TJ what he did before he entered the restaurant business. His response was ‘Junior High.” A career restaurant leader, TJ has done everything you can do in the business from being a fry cook and bartender, GM of a $7MM TGI Friday’s, F & B Director of a ski area to restructuring $200 MM restaurant companies. His focus at Farmhouse is finance, accounting, strategy and systems. TJ’s undergraduate degree is in hospitality from the University of Massachusetts and has a MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. TJ lives in Lakeview with his wife Molly McCombe and two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
Originally from Ireland, Ferdia Doherty was on his way to South America when he met Nora Gainer in an Irish Bar in River North. A career marketing professional, Ferdia had a successful career with Frankel and Company, Hal Riney, Euro RSCG and Publicis. Ferdia later founded Rain Communications, an integrated marketing communications and strategy firm. Ferdia’s focus at Farmhouse is front of the house operations, marketing and community outreach. Ferdia and his wife Nora Gainer live in Lincoln Park with three children, Bebhinn, Aonghus and Maude.
Diane Mulligan is Farmhouse’s Controller, and has spent time working as both a CPA and a restaurant owner. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Economics with an Accounting Emphasis and doing time in Public Accounting and Asset Management for close to a decade, she opened her first bar in San Francisco in 1998. She has been involved with numerous restaurants in San Francisco either as an owner, controller or management consultant. Diane moved to Chicago in 2007, where she met TJ through mutual friends. She is also an investor in Farmhouse Chicago, Farmhouse Evanston and spends her days keeping Farmhead’s financials in order.