Edwin Mendez is a resident of Esperanza’s CILA program and a participant in their WorkReady Program. During the day, he builds academic and vocational skills and is recently most interested in building his customer service skills with the goal of becoming a coffee shop barista. He is also a talented artist who loves to draw scenes from everyday life, including people, buildings, and cars. Edwin loves delicious food, and his favorite dishes are rooted in his love of family and his Puerto Rican heritage.
Aaron McKay began his culinary journey working at various restaurants across Chicago, previously holding kitchen roles at Moto, Le Lan, Schwa and NoMI. He most recently spent time working as a corporate executive chef at Hyatt Hotels and as executive chef at Mercat a la Planxa and Blackstone Hotel before his current role. Now as an executive chef, McKay brings vast culinary experience to his role at Filini serving authentic, seasonal Italian cuisine. He prides himself on gathering the freshest and highest quality ingredients, and preparing them in a way that make the ingredients truly shine on the plate.