Team

Every success L3 has enjoyed can be directly credited to our amazing team. We look forward to expanding on our success while bringing exciting new ideas to the Chicago food scene.

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Carey Cooper
Co-Founder

Carey is our CEO Extraordinaire. His early success as president of Redi Cut Foods, the largest regional processor of vegetables, made him a supply chain expert. His entrepreneurial spirit has only grown since then and nothing has brought him as much professional joy as becoming a restaurateur. We refer to him as Mr. Positive. He’s the go-to guy in his community and at work… not to mention he can tell you the origin of an avocado by the way it spins on the table.


Hobbies & Interests

Being a great dad and a great husband


Favorite Chicago Spot

Lyfe Kitchen Restaurant (of course)


Catchphrase

“Are we having fun?”

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Gail Taggart
Co-Founder

Gail is our President and industry veteran. She was the creative driver behind the highly successful Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and has worn just about every hat in the restaurant business from dishwasher to Chief Strategic Officer and lived to tell the story. Her knack for spotting talent is legendary and she is maniacal about restaurant service. What drives her? The belief that everyone deserves to work in a job they love.


Hobbies & Interests

Family, Fitness, and French Fries


Favorite Chicago Spot

Her own backyard


Catchphrase

“It’s cool to care.”

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Amy Edquist
Senior Director of Operations

We all know that in the end, it’s up to operations people to get the job done in this business and Amy gets it done – everyday, no matter what. She juggles manager development, store openings and daily operations like a pro. She seriously never stops checking things off her to-do list and accomplishes ten things before most of us have finished our morning coffee. Weird thing is… she’s always laughing.


Hobbies & Interests

Making to-do lists, tasting beer, hanging with her family


Favorite Chicago Spot

Lincoln Park Zoo


Catchphrase

“I’m on it”

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Emily Paulsen
Director of Marketing & Sales

Emily has built a career around two of her favorite things — fashion and food! After years in the world of corporate retail, she has found her dream job spreading the L3 Hospitality message throughout Chicago. She is passionate about all things marketing and cannot get through an outing without noticing a menu, logo, or photo opportunity. Though a horrible cook, Emily prides herself on her finely tuned dessert tastes and has yet to meet a cookie she doesn’t like — particularly those doused in sprinkles and dipped in champagne.


Hobbies & Interests

Fitness, friendship, family & festivals


Favorite Chicago Spot

Cultural Center


Catchphrase

“This is insane”

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Melissa Herman
Human Resources Manager

Melissa is L3’s designated HR and Hiring guru. She prides herself on championing the company and enhancing the employee experience. She is responsible for finding many of the hardworking, fun-loving people that make L3 so great! Lover of all things Chicago and restaurants, L3 is a place she happily calls home.


Hobbies & Interests

Music, cooking for friends, shopping local, exploring new restaurants


Favorite Chicago Spot

Logan Square Farmer’s Market


Catchphrase

“Yes, I’m the HR girl”

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Maura Denenberg
Senior Manager of Operations

Maura’s passion for the food industry started early. Before completing French Pastry School, she graduated the University of Wisconsin with an essay on banana bread. (Girl knows good baked goods.) She has worked in management roles at every L3 restaurant which led her to become the resident L3 expert on running a kitchen, sourcing local, writing recipes, training staff, and keeping track of a million other operations details everyday!


Hobbies & Interests

Country music & country concerts


Favorite Chicago Spot

The Riverwalk


Catchphrase

“No problem”

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Marco Bahena
Chef

Chef Marco brings a spark of creativity, energy, positivity, and charm to the L3 team as their culinary leader. He honed his cooking technique working throughout Europe including stints at three-Michelin-starred restaurant Martin Berasatagui in San Sebastian Spain and an apprenticeship at Bistrot des Saveurs in Castres, France before returning stateside to Nantucket’s beloved restaurant, Straight Wharf. In 2017, Marco returned to his Chicago home and joined team L3. With an infectious smile and irresistible dishes, he is truly a force to be reckoned with!


Hobbies & Interests

Bike riding, braising meat, getting lost in cookbooks


Favorite Chicago Spot

Boiler Room in Logan Square — great PB&J


Catchphrase

“You do or you don’t”

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Talk With Us

General Inquiries

Amy Edquist

Director of Operations

aedquist@L3HG.com

Press

Emily Paulsen

Director of Marketing & Sales

epaulsen@L3HG.com