Purple Pig named one of best new U.S. restaurants

August 27, 2010 10:19:19 AM PDT
Chicagoans were singing the praises of The Purple Pig as soon as its doors were open on Michigan Avenue. Now the restaurant created by Jimmy Bannos Sr., Jimmy Bannos Jr. and Scott Harris has caught the attention of diners across the country. The Purple Pig has been named one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in the U.S. by Bon Appétit; it was the only Chicago restaurant to make the list.

The magazine says, "This Mediterranean-inspired hot spot brings daring favorites like roasted bone marrow, pork-neck-bone rillettes, and pig's ear to the Magnificent Mile. Communal tables, small plates, long hours, and a huge L-shaped bar (with excellent beer and wine lists) make this one of Chicago's most delicious--and easygoing--foodie destinations."

Bon Appétit explains the origins of the restaurant's name: "The owners must have known they were going to sell a lot of pork and wine. Legend has it that if a pig drinks red wine, it will turn purple."

Chef Jimmy Jr. is in charge of the kitchen at The Purple Pig. Bon Appétit singled out his Pork Blade Steaks with Nduja and Honey and Arugula Salad as especially noteworthy .You can try it at The Purple Pig, thepurplepigchicago.com, 500 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. For reservations, call 312-464-1744. Or bring a taste of the Purple Pig to your dining room, by making the recipes the chef is sharing with ABC 7 Chicago.

You can find out more about Bon Appetit's 10 Best New restaurants at http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/bafoodist/2010/08/the-10-best-new-restaurants.html

You can also sample dishes from The Purple Pig at the third annual Chicago Gourmet www.ChicagoGourmet.org celebration on Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26.The food and wine festival features hundreds of top chefs, master sommeliers, winemakers, brewers, and distillers from Chicago and across the country.

This world-class celebration of the city's rich culinary heritage, taking place in Millennium Park, will showcase the talent of Chicago's culinary community with two days of food, wine, spirits and beer tastings, celebrity chef demos, educational seminars, book signings and more. Attendees will have the chance to interact with hundreds of culinary experts, including Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild, Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton and Executive Chef Cat Cora, and learn about today's most interesting epicurean trends first-hand from the innovators who are creating them in Chicago and nationwide.

Created by the Illinois Restaurant Association, Chicago Gourmet honors Chicago's culinary achievements and highlights Chicago as an international culinary destination via its unparalleled epicurean talent.

Kicking off Chicago Gourmet 2010
On Friday, September 24, Chicago Gourmet will kick off the weekend with the Hamburger Hop, a cooking competition featuring 15 of the city's top chefs, for best burger in Chicago. Hosted by Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora and Chef Art Smith of Table 52, and presented by Allen Brothers Steaks and MillerCoors' Blue Moon, this lively, interactive event will take place at Harris Theatre's Rooftop Terrace in Millennium Park from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to the public and entry is $75 per person. Tickets may be purchased at www.ChicagoGourmet.org.

New at Chicago Gourmet 2010 Chicago Gourmet announces two new offerings for 2010: the Bon Appétit Marketplace Tent and the Foodspring.com Specialty Food Pavilion, brought to you by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). The Bon Appétit Marketplace Tent will offer guests the opportunity to meet and mingle with the magazine's top editors and Executive Chef Cat Cora while enjoying sips, bites, and special promotions from their favorite brands.

NASFT is sponsoring The Foodspring.com Specialty Food Pavilion that will feature more than 60 specialty food and beverage purveyors who will showcase and sample their products in the South Promenade Tent.

Returning to Chicago Gourmet 2010
Chicago Gourmet will continue to allow for interaction with some of Chicago's most innovative chefs and wine experts via a variety of programming. Celebrity chefs will demonstrate their personal passion for great food on the Bon Appétit Main Stage and on the Bon Appétit Culinary Stage. On-stage cooking demonstrations will offer the chance of a lifetime to sit up-close-and-personal as the chefs cook, taste, and teach.

Seminars on today's hottest gourmet food, wine, beer, spirits and other topics will be offered throughout the event, allowing participants ranging from beginner through aficionado to hone their skills, cultivate their palates and interact with worldwide experts and producers. A full schedule of demos and seminars will be announced soon.

The ultimate wine experience, the Grand Cru Tastings at Chicago Gourmet, will offer attendees the opportunity to taste some of the finest wines in the world, as selected by the master sommeliers. During these exclusive 90-minute events, taking place from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on both days of the festival, the Master Sommeliers will be on hand to present and discuss their selections. The Grand Cru is a separate ticketed event at $175 per person and requires a general admission ticket. Attendance is limited to 200 people each day.

In addition, oenophiles, beer-lovers and spirits aficionados can look forward to numerous guided tastings and seminars, led by a wide variety of master sommeliers, mixologists, winemakers, master brewers and master distillers throughout Chicago Gourmet.

Admission General-admission tickets to Chicago Gourmet, regularly priced at $150 for a One-Day Pass and $250 for a Weekend Pass, are available for a limited time price of $90 for a Sunday pass and $175 for a Weekend Pass. General admission allows full access to the festival area, which includes five culinary tasting pavilions, live cooking demonstrations presented at 30-minute intervals on the Bon Appétit Main Stage and the Bon Appétit Culinary Stage, as well as premium wine and spirits tastings and seminars. Tickets are available at www.ChicagoGourmet.org.

The Bon Appétit Chicago Gourmet Dine Around
The Bon Appétit and Chicago Gourmet Dine Around program offers a way for diners to earn a free, One-Day Pass to Chicago Gourmet by dining at designated participating restaurants. From August 30 to September 26, guests may order from any restaurant's special Dine Around prix-fixe menu (or opt to order a la carte from the regular menu); each guest who collects five receipts may present them in Chicago's Gourmet's "passport" envelope at the registration table on Saturday, September 25 or Sunday, September 26 for one free One-Day Pass. This is the second year the Bon Appétit Chicago Gourmet Dine Around program will be offered, and nearly 60 restaurants are participating.

2010 Participating Chefs and Master Sommeliers
Chefs participating in Bon Appétit Presents Chicago Gourmet 2010 include:

  • Rodelio Aglibot, Sunda New Asian
  • Ted Allen, Food and Wine Ambassador for Robert Mondavi
  • Jerome Bacle, Courtright's Restaurant
  • Jimmy Bannos, Heaven on Seven
  • Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
  • Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO
  • Carlyn Berghoff, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group
  • Graham Elliot Bowles, graham elliot
  • Frank Brunacci, Sixteen
  • George Bumbaris and Sarah Stegner, Prairie Grass Café, Prairie Fire
  • Niall Campbell, Firefly Grill
  • Gregory Carso, The Metropolitan Club
  • Michael Cisternino, Tavern at the Park
  • John Coletta, Quartino
  • Federico Comacchio, Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
  • Judy Contino, Bittersweet Pastry Shop
  • Cat Cora, Bon Appétit
  • Chris Curren, Blue 13
  • Radhika Desai, English
  • Stephen Dunne, The Paramount Room
  • Dirk Flanigan, The Gage/Henri
  • Lockwood at the Palmer House Hilton
  • Jo-Marie Frigo, Nonna Santi's Biscotti
  • Klaus Fritsch, Morton's The Steakhouse
  • Terry Opalek and Michael Frontier, Terry's Toffee
  • Dirk & Terry Fucik, Dirk's Fish & Gourmet Shop
  • Gale Gand, Tru
  • Jose Garces, Mercat a la Planxa
  • Luigi Garcia, RIVA at Navy Pier
  • John Gatsos, Tavern on Rush
  • Carlos Gaytan, Mexique
  • James Gottwald, Rockit Bar & Grill
  • Elvia Granados, Francesca's Restaurants
  • Laurent Gras, L2O
  • Koren Grieveson, Avec
  • Mark Grosz, Oceanique Restaurant
  • Kevin Hickey, Seasons, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
  • John Hogan, Keefer's Restaurant
  • Sandra Holl, Floriole Bakery & Café
  • Tony Hu, Lao Szechuan
  • Brian Huston, The Publican
  • Stephanie Izard, Girl & The Goat
  • Randal Jacobs, Elate
  • Paul Kahan and Michael Sheerin, Blackbird
  • Gene Kato, Japonais Restaurant
  • Paul Katz, Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse
  • Bill Kim, Belly Shack, Urban Belly
  • Diane Kochilas, Avli Restaurant, Pylos Restaurant
  • Eddie Lakin, Edzo's Burger Shop
  • Mariano Lanfranconi, 5411 Empanadas
  • Ryan LaRoche, NoMI
  • Bernie Laskowski. Park Grill
  • Chan Le, Le Colonial
  • Dale Levitski, Sprout
  • Joshua Linton, Aja
  • John Manion, Branch 27
  • Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia
  • Shawn McClain, Spring, Green Zebra
  • Michael McDonald, one sixtyblue
  • Jason McLeod, Balsan at the Elysian Hotel
  • Nathaniel Meads, Fritz Pastry
  • Mario Navarro, Gene & Georgetti
  • Martial Noguier, Café des Architectes
  • Chris Nugent, Les Nomades
  • Nicole Pederson, C-House
  • Chris Pandel, The Bristol
  • Ryan Poli, Perennial Restaurant
  • Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno
  • Thierry Rautureau, Rover's
  • Toni Roberts, C-House Restaurant
  • Alain Roby, Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Arun Sampanthavivat, Arun's Thai Restaurant
  • Marcus Samuelsson, C-House, Red Rooster
  • Patricio Sandoval, Mercadito Restaurants
  • Mario Santiago, May St. Café & Catering
  • Mindy Segal, Hot Chocolate
  • Carol Wallack and Alex Shalev, Sola Restaurant
  • Patrick Sheerin, The Signature Room at the 95th
  • Jackie Shen, Red Light
  • Bruce Sherman, North Pond Restaurant
  • Michael Shrader, N9NE Steakhouse
  • Kerry Simon, Simon at Palms Place, Simon LA
  • Art Smith, Table Fifty-Two
  • Mark Sparacino, Prosecco
  • Chad Starling, aria
  • Giuseppe Tentori, Boka Restaurant
  • Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolate
  • Rick Tramonto, Tramonto's Steak & Seafood, RT Sushi Bar & Lounge
  • Jared Van Camp, Old Town Social
  • Paul Virant, Vie
  • Randy Waidner, Gibsons Restaurant Group
  • Stephen Wambach, EPIC
  • Michael Wisner, Zapatista
  • Takashi Yagihashi, Takashi
  • Shelley Young, Chopping Block
  • Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia
  • Randy Zweiban, Province

Master Sommeliers participating in Chicago Gourmet 2010 include:

  • Serafin Alvarado, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
  • Fred Dame, Heirloom Wine Group
  • Doug Krenik, Loosen Bros. USA
  • Geoff Kruth, Guild of Sommeliers
  • Alpana Singh, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

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