foun∙tain∙head

FUNCTION: NOUN
1: A SPRING THAT IS THE SOURCE OF A STREAM
2: PRINCIPAL SOURCE

When considering a name for this establishment, the ownership group, Aaron Zacharias, Scott Morgan, and Dave & Darby Putman, a group who have been friends for the better part of 30 years, considered how the concept for the business related to their passions. Good food and drink were a given, but there was more than that. This is a group who are passionate about travel and new experiences, about understanding where the food and drink they love has come from, about getting to know the places and the personalities that produce them. Getting to understand good food and drink from the source.

At Fountainhead we strive to truly understand our food and beverage offerings from this perspective. We make it a point to get to know the producers of the products we serve – the brewers, the distillers, the farmers, both in our local community and beyond - and to present their products the way they are intended to be presented. This might mean something as simple as serving a drink in the proper glass, or offering food and drink in the appropriate season. It may mean pairing multiple items to explore the full realm of possibilities open to each of them. It may mean discussing a story about an item with a customer, or it may mean bringing a producer in for an event so they can speak to our customers directly and tell you their stories, from the source.

Aaron

Aaron Zacharias

Owner and Operator

Aaron started his career in the food and beverage industry at the age of 15 as a busboy and food runner. While majoring in German at Illinois State University, the industry called him back for good. He was professionally trained as a server, caterer and bartender at the Holiday Inn and later went on to be part of the opening team for the first Damon’s Grill in Illinois.


After graduation, Aaron entered into the employ of Town & Country Distributors, where he furthered his knowledge of fine beers and worked in merchandising and sales. Next came a four-year post at Romano Bros. in wine sales and a growing passion to open a unique bar and restaurant in Chicago.


The search began in 2001 and Aaron filled the time by working with The Beverage Testing Institute and cultivated relationships with a multitude of breweries and wineries. In 2003 he left BTI to open The Bar on Buena, now lauded as one of Chicago’s finest neighborhood establishments.

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Sean Sanders

Executive Chef

A graduate of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC), Sean has worked at some of Chicago's premiere restaurants including Green Dolphin Street, Rhapsody, Ohba, & Atlantique, to name a few.

 

Browntrout was created by Sean And Nadia Sanders while honeymooning in New Zealand. As they traveled through New Zealand they realized how sustainable life was there compared to life in The United States. The wheels began to spin and they thought of how they could do this in Chicago. "Fresh & sustainable ingredients put together in an elegant yet simple fashion." Together with his wife Nadia, Sean opened Browntrout in 2009. They won 5 consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmands from 2010-2015.

 

Although they decided to close Browntrout in 2015, the many friends created there opened opportunities. In early 2016, Sean became the Executive Chef of The Northman, Fountainhead, and Bar on Buena, and looks forward to bringing his unique vision to this group.

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Chris Chatman

General Manager
John

Jonathan Putman

Assistant Manager

Jonathan got his first job in the restaurant industry at the age of 18, while getting his BA in theater from Columbia College Chicago. After graduating, he started his own theater company, so naturally his restaurant career continued. In 2008 he returned to college for a MA in the Art of Teaching. He has taught English in South Korea, China, and Chicago.  In 2012 Jonathan joined the Fountainhead team. His 15 years of restaurant experience, as well as his performance and educational background, have been an asset in training and managing staff and creating unique experiences for our guests.

Carrie

Carrie Anichini

Floor Manager / Wine Director

At a very early age, Carrie Anichini hung around the kitchen learning to cook from both of her parents. Soon she was improvising and preparing meals that rivaled her Dad’s best and delighted family and friends. It’s no wonder that as soon as she could get a work permit, she headed to a St Louis familyowned Italian cafe, where she began as a busser. It was the perfect introduction to the joys of great cooking, fabulous food and wine and exemplary service. After attending DePaul University, she joined the Chicago restaurant scene, and as they say, the rest is history. She never looked back.


From diners to fine dining, sushi to steak, dive bars to night clubs, she has done it all in the pursuit of the perfect combination of fantastic service, scrumptious food and the best booze! Along the way, she became a corporate trainer opening new restaurants. She developed wine training programs for several establishments, and this led her to pursue a Sommelier Certification from the Guild of Sommeliers. She is excited to be part of the team at Fountainhead and looks forward to convincing more people to drink sherry.