MEET THE TEAM

 

Zachary Molokie - Catering Chef

 

Chef Zach is a local to Chicago’s Western Suburbs and is celebrated for bringing elevated + unique  mid-western dishes to your table. He spent many years as a Boy Scout cooking over open fires and experimenting with spices/seasonings which ultimately struck his curiosity about food + its endless possibilities. He attributes his versatility + success to his time with Joe Flamm at Chicago’s Spiaggia. There, he fine-tuned his skills in scratch cooking, fine dining, and impeccable presentations. His words to live by; “Lead by Example + Take No Shortcuts.” Chef Zach lives out his career by these words, never missing an opportunity to grow + celebrate the achievements of his culinary team.
In the present, Chef Zach can be found honing his culinary aspects with seasonal ingredients
produced by local farmers, bringing you simple yet refined flavors meant to inspire.

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Kristi Blessing - Catering Director

 

Kristi Blessing is a 20+ year resident of Chicago’s Western Suburb, Elmhurst, Il.  After raising her three children and spending nearly two decades in the financial services industry with a focus in hospitality, Kristi decided to follow her passion for culinary + beverage.  The journey began in 2010 with the opening of Pints, a casual sports bar concept in Elmhurst, Il.   In 2016 and 2017, 151 Kitchen | Bar, a seasonally focused modern American restaurant, in Elmhurst, IL and Barrel House Social , a socially hip bar scene, in La Grange, IL joined the Cloud Nine Restaurant Group, respectively.  Kristi’s attention to details played a significant role in the design and style of these restaurants.   In 2019, 151 Catering was launched to support the local event market.  Kristi has spearheaded the launch of the group’s off premise event program and oversees the operational success of 151 Catering.  She takes great pride in making every guest request a reality and creating unforgettable moments. 

John Benline - Event Manager

 

John Benline's nimble abilities to recognize, innovate and deploy on-trend offerings bring favorable impact to your event experience.  Holding a Five-Star Award of Excellence by Forbes in hospitality, Johns keen ability to understand guests needs and lead a flawless event are among his many talents.  

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Lenny Girik - Beverage Director

 

Born into a family where the kitchen was the heart of the home, food and drink have played center stage in Lenny's life since day one. His fascination with the ingredients, techniques, and stories behind what, why, and how we drink and eat have become a life passion and profession. The beverage program at 151 Kitchen | Bar is an expression of his excitement and passion toward the world of beverage.   It all began at the Aviary Chicago where he quickly learned the depth of a successful beverage program.  As he progressed through his career, Lenny found himself in a leadership role at Rue Glen Ellyn, where he was able to start shaping his particular style and tasting profile.  Currently, he is working closely with the Chef of 151 to fine tune his seasonal beverage program to compliment the artisan food offerings.