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Melissa Autullo
Business Development Representative
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Melissa Autullo

1. -When did food first become important to you?
I’ve always been interested in Special Events, but my passion with food begin at Kendall College when I was introduced to new and complex menu items such as roasted bone marrow, goat cheese with a layer of ash, and pan seared duck.    
2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
I grew up eating classic American cuisine with an Italian influence.  My favorite dish as a child was spaghetti and marinara, with a side of garlic bread.
3. -What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love making new relationships with venues and vendors, and seeing the client’s overall vision come to life at their event.  I love that every day, every event, and every client is different and I’m always learning new trends!
4. -What do you do outside work?
I love to try new restaurants and travel with my husband, and go on walks with my adorable dog, Duke. 
5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
My favorite menu item from Beyond is the Grilled Tuna Wasabi Crisp, it has the perfect ratio of grilled tuna and wasabi on the crispy wonton!

Jessica Jones
Drop-Off Sales Coordinator
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Jessica Jones

-When did food first become important to you?
When I was a child, and I would watch my grandfather make pasta sauce from scratch.
 
-What cuisine did you grow up with?
Pasta
 
-What’s your favorite part of your job?
Helping clients coordinate their events efficiently, and hearing positive feedback after the event.
 
-What do you do outside work?
I like hiking, fishing, and reading books.
 
-What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
Rigatoni in Vodka Sauce

Christiane Panayotou
Event Sales Coordinator
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Christiane Panayotou

1. -When did food first become important to you?
I grew up in a big, busy family and dinner time was the only time we would get to see other and share our day.

2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
My father is Greek and he would make delicious traditional dishes every night.

3. -What’s your favorite part of your job?
The amazing and positive work environment, as well as helping our clients plan their best events!

4. -What do you do outside work?
Still cooking healthy Mediterranean dishes for my family.

5. -What’s your favorite dish BEYOND makes?
Our homemade gnocchi in vodka sauce is absolutely delectable and to die for!

John Buonavolanto
Sales & Marketing Manager
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John Buonavolanto

1. -When did food first become important to you? 
Probably in my early 20s, I started to try new things and really understand what i was missing out on! Now I pretty much plan my entire day around where I’m going to eat.
 
2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
Italian food – always steak and pasta for Sunday dinners!
 
3. -What’s your favorite part of your job? 
Well getting to taste test the food is obviously awesome, but I also enjoy being presented with a problem and then working through it and coming up with the best solution possible.
 
4. -What do you do outside work? 
Working out, going out to try new restaurants and binge watch my favorite television shows.
 
5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes? 
Either our Street Tacos or pretty much any Italian dish Chef Adam creates!
 

Tony Scheri
Executive Corporate Chef
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Tony Scheri

1. -When did food first become important to you?
Food has ALWAYS been important to me, coming from a traditional Italian family
 
2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
Italian Food – duh!
 
3. -What’s your favorite part of your job?
Working with the team – we truly have a collaborative enviroment here at Beyond
 
4. -What do you do outside work?
Spend time with family and try new food experiences
 
5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
Chicken Cacciatore – it was my Nonie’s famous recipe

Jill Gibson
Event Sales Executive
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Jill Gibson

When did food first become important to you?
I started cooking when I was about 12.  It made me more adventuresome with trying new foods
and different cuisines (EXCEPT POTATOES — I don’t eat them).
 
What cuisine did you grow up with?
We ate a lot of Polish, Czech and American cuisine growing up.  Although, I tend to cook more Italian dishes than anything (my children are half Italian)
 
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love meeting new people and watching an event come together.  There is nothing better than taking someone’s “vision” and making it a reality.
 
What do you do outside of work?
I love spending time with my family (husband, 4 children and 2 dogs), socializing with friends, cooking, playing games & reading.
 
What’s your favorite dish “BEYOND” makes?
Anything BUT potatoes, just kidding.  Love the Goat Cheese & Fig Tartlet.

Alfonso Toscano
Operations Manager
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Alfonso Toscano

-When did food first become important to you?
Food has always been an important part in my life, but it became even more  important when I started my career in the food & Beverage industry

-What cuisine did you grow up with?
Mexican/Italian  Cuisine

-What’s your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy every aspect of my job In  operations, the best part is when all of the planning and effort is recognized by our clients
 
-What do you do outside work?
Typically I try to spend  quality time with my Family
 
-What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
 
I don’t have a favorite dish, I love all of our food but if I have to pick a dish I would go with our Braised Short Rib

Courtenay Lipka
Event Sales Executive
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Courtenay Lipka

-1. -When did food first become important to you?
Growing up, gardening with my mother and helping make dinner for the family.

2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
American, polish, Italian

3. -What’s your favorite part of your job?
My biggest joy is making an event go from an ambitious thought to an incredible reality and seeing the face on her clients face when their dreams come true!

4. -What do you do outside work?
I love to go hiking and camping, as well as brewing my own beer and making my own wine!

5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
Beef tenderloin with peppercorn

Mike Iovinelli
Vice President of Catering
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Mike Iovinelli

-When did food first become important to you?
At a young age, my parents where both exceptional in the kitchen and were always entertaining family and friends.
Every Sunday there was a large group over, we had a special occasion in our house every week.
Their hospitality greatly influenced my desire to feed people great food and make them feel welcome and happy.
 
-What cuisine did you grow up with?
Italian cuisine, being from 2 different regions in Italy there was an ongoing competition between my parents and their families to which region had the better cuisine.
Also summer parties in the back yard were always a great time, my father would be working 2 grills at the same time to accommodate all of his guests.
 
-What’s your favorite part of your job?
Taking a step back at a large event and witnessing our guests enjoying our food and having a great time.
 
-What do you do outside work?
Spend time with my family, fishing, golfing and finding new restaurants and recipe ideas.
 
-What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
There are so many that I enjoy it is hard to pick a favorite, but I will say that our chefs are exceptional at preparing our pasta and seafood recipes on a large scale and they still have the quality of an intimate restaurant.

Debbie Teige
Business Development Representative
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Debbie Teige

1. -When did food first become important to you? 
When I worked in the Senior Living industry — seeing how vital good food is to long-term health was an eye-opener
 
2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
  Polish and Italian comfort foods
 
3. -What’s your favorite part of your job? 
Definitely, meeting so many people with varied tastes and helping them discover all that we can bring to their tables.  Getting their feedback is the best!
 
4. -What do you do outside work? 
The gym, friends for weekend dinners, spending time with our new little Yorkie.. that I adore!
 
5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes? 
It is a toss -up between The Wild Mushroom Ravioli and the Chicken Vesuvio

Catherine Mikottis
Drop-Off Sales Coordinator
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Catherine Mikottis

-When did food first become important to you?
Food became important to me when I moved out on my own in my early 20’s. I realized the importance of cooking and eating healthy.

-What cuisine did you grow up with?
My dad was Polish. My mom focused on making various homemade polish dishes. I enjoyed helping her in the kitchen.
 
-What’s your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy working with our customers and helping them select menus for their events. It can be over whelming. I am here to make the process easy and fun.

-What do you do outside work?
Outside of work I enjoy working out and cooking for my family. I love trying new recipes.

-What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
I love all of our slider options. They are both delicious and healthy.

Nicole Steuernagle
Event Producer/Event Sales Assistant
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Nicole Steuernagle

-When did food first become important to you?
Food became important to me when I got my first job working in a restaurant. Since then, I have gained 10 years of experience in the F & B industry and an events degree, where I learned so much about the importance of how food and events go hand in hand.
 
-What cuisine did you grow up with?
I grew up eating all sorts of things but the main dishes around my house were basic American “homestyle” comfort foods.
 
-What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love helping people plan there special events. To see all of the hard work and detail that go on behind the scenes and watch it all come to life is so rewarding and fulfilling.
 
-What do you do outside work?
I love to do outdoor adventurous activities such as hiking, kayaking and skiing.
 
-What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
I enjoy all the dishes on our menu, but my absolute favorite is the Gnocchi in Vodka Sauce!

Ivette Alvarado
Sales Manager
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Ivette Alvarado

-1. -When did food first become important to you? When I learned to cook.

2. -What cuisine did you grow up with? Mexican

3. -What’s your favorite part of your job? Putting together different menu options for my customers, and as a manager taking care of customer complaints (getting feedback to better service our customers and ensure we don’t loose future business).

4. -What do you do outside work? When the weather permits, I love to go jogging with my doggy.

5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes? tenderloin and cavatappi alfredo with chicken are my favorite dishes!

Jose Miguel Coutino
Staffing Supervisor
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Jose Miguel Coutino

1. -When did food first become important to you?
During my childhood my family owned a restaurant. Also because of my music career, I was able to taste different foods from several countries.
Therefore food has been always an important part all the time and not only to taste but to be involved in the whole process of planning, cooking, presenting etc.

2. -What cuisine did you grow up with?
Mostly Mexican, but it was influenced by Spanish and Brazilian.

3. -What’s your favorite part of your job?
People. Working with the staff, the ability to help, solve issues, and  interact with the energy that multiple people create at the same time.

4. -What do you do outside work?
Music! Compose, produce, teach and play.               

5. -What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
It’s hard to choose only one with all the tasty options! But definitely the Chipotle Beef Barbacoa.

Melissa Hanus
Drop-Off Sales Coordinator
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Melissa Hanus

1) Food first became important to me as child, since I was always in my Grandma’s kitchen with her. I would help her to cook and bake throughout the day every time that I was at her house. She was my inspiration to go to culinary school and everything. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for her.
2) I grew up eating Italian food and Bohemian food constantly, since my mother’s side of the family is 100% Czechoslovakian and my father’s side is 50% Italian. That combined with some good old mac ‘n cheese, PB & J’s, and grilled cheese sandwiches as my standard kid food favorites.
3) My favorite part of my job is helping people to put together the perfect menu that they will be proud to serve to the guests on the day of their event. I know that people take a lot of pride in providing the perfect menu to their guests no matter how large or small the occasion is and I love helping them to achieve their planning/hosting needs.
4) Outside of work my husband and I spend a lot of time going to concerts and sporting events. The majority of the time it will be a Cubs game that we are going to, whether it be a home or an away game, but we still love to go to football, basketball, and hockey games too. We also try to travel as much as we can. So far we have made it to 19 of the 50 states together!
5) My favorite dish that Beyond makes is a toss-up between the Chicken Champignon and the Wild Mushroom Raviolis. If I could eat a meal that consists of both of those items along with our Cobb Salad once a week, every week, I would be a very happy girl!

Adam Bufano
Executive Chef
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Adam Bufano

1.When did food first become important to you?
-Food first became important to me when I realized how much I liked to eat 😊
2.What cuisine did you grow up with?
-I grew up with an Italian influence but with pretty culinarily-adventurous parents. We did Chinese, polish, Mexican, etc at home regularly.
3.What’s your favorite part of your job?
-Creating new recipes and hearing people’s satisfaction with them.
4.What do you do outside of work?
-Cook & eat. HA!
5.What’s your favorite dish *BEYOND* makes?
-Hmmmm, I think lollipop lamb chops, creamy polenta, and tenderloin sliders are some of my favorites.