Our Team

Maria El Bekai

Maria El Bekai managers the overall operation of Lockwood Restaurant & Bar.

Maria has been in the hospitality business for 20 years and has worked exclusively with Hilton properties since 2011. She returns to The Palmer House after working at The Drake and Hilton Chicago

Born in Brazil, she has degrees in Law, Economics and Hospitality as well as a Culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Maria has lived in a variety of locations around the world and speaks fluent Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic and English and can communicate in Italian and French.

She resides in the Old Irving Park neighborhood with her husband Georges El Bekai, The Drake’s director of banquets, and her two children, John, 15 and Nicole, 13.

Fun Fact – Maria was a professional prima ballerina for 19 years and performed on stages in Europe and the United States. Now she volunteers with Big Shoulders Fund, Feed My Starving Children and has been active at St. Bartholomew Church and School.