Our mission is to create an unforgettable experience with exceptional service to our clients, providing close attention to details in our inventive cuisine and food presentations, all within in a unique and timeless setting.

Team Biographies

Dean Dutko - General Manager, Catering Sales and Special Events

Dean joined The Armour House at Lake Forest Academy (Sodexo Campus division) in December 2012 with 20 years of corporate, wedding and special event planning with versatile operational experience. Prior to the Armour House, Dean was General Manager with Edinburgh USA Conference facility with golf clubhouse operations in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and through effective personalized wedding planning, built a reputation overseeing an average of 90 to 115 weddings each year. He has also held management positions at several hotel properties such as Millennium Convention Hotel, Hilton, Doubletree Hotel and Resorts in Denver and Baltimore. 

Dean’s passion for hospitality services demonstrates his ability to exceed customer’s expectations when hosting their special event at the historic Armour House. His excellent customer service delivery and sales leadership through execution of effective operation planning has built a solid standing with both culinary and coordination teams to present and old world charm, personality and elegance for a memorable event.

Christine Gaither - Catering Manager, Catering Sales and Special Events

Christine’s passion for the culinary arts led her to change gears three years ago from a previous career in Food Marketing to focus solely on Event Planning. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree with emphasis in Marketing, a culinary arts certification with Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, where she also worked part-time as a catering kitchen assistant for various catering companies. More recently she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foodservice Management from Kendall College, also in Chicago. In April, 2012 she joined Sodexo Campus Services initially assimilating within several accounts like Kraft, CDW, Lake Forest Academy and Concordia University, assisting in various foodservice operational needs and providing marketing expertise. Since April, 2013 she has been forefront at The Armour House at Lake Forest Academy as Catering Manager, overseeing various catering events within Lake Forest Academy School and leading efforts in catering operations across the corporate and wedding special events. 

Her emphasis is on client relations to understand their needs to ensure their event is a success. Working closely with the chef and client, the proper menu is chosen, additional resources are identified, room layouts and décor designed to create a once in a lifetime guest experience.

Chef Mark Tylk - Executive Chef

Executive Chef Mark Tylk is very excited to join the team at Lake Forest Academy’s Campus Dining services. Chef Tylk began his culinary journey at the Cooking and Hospitality Institution of Chicago and later joined Sodexo in 2007. He has been the Executive Chef at Illinois Wesleyan University for the past six years; where his culinary themes included nutrition, health, gluten-free, allergy conscious, food-alcohol pairings, umami (known as the fifth taste) and the slow food movement “sous vide.” In addition to serving meals to the 1,800 students, guests, staff and faculty on campus Chef Tylk oversaw the high end catering conferences, events and weddings.

Chef Tylk is looking forward to sharing his passion for cooking and having others join him on his quest for culinary excellence. He is eager to provide a superior customer service experience taking clients on a journey of his seasoned knowledge of menu design.


Alisa Levey - Catering Supervisor

Alisa recently joined the Armour House Catering Sales and Special Event team, Sodexo Campus division at Lake Forest Academy.  After a long and meaningful teaching career, Alisa made a career change into the hospitality industry, where she worked in the Wine Tasting Room at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant.  Her career choice was driven by her genuine delight in hosting her own family events.  Her previous work experiences have established Alisa as someone who is service oriented and builds trusting relationships with clients. She has exceptional organizational abilities with acute attention to detail. Alisa has a proven record working collaboratively on a team, and has the skills to execute a flowing event. 

Alisa has been assisting with various catering needs of Lake Forest Academy, and participating in reception planning and table design sessions here at the historic Armour House. Alisa loves celebrations, and her goal is to make your event memorable for you and each one of your guests.
LFA logo2017 pick - the knot      Lake Forest Academy | Armour House Catering | 1500 West Kennedy Road | Lake Forest, IL 60045 | tel. (847) 615-3219 | Contact Us