WCL: Modern Italian Cuisine at theWit Hotel: cibo matto Executive Chef Evan Percoco

Cibo matto's Executive Chef Evan Percoco whips up some appetizing fare in the kitchen with Val today on "Windy City LIVE."

Bio Info:
Upon his return from a six-month culinary exchange program in Italy in 2000, Percoco served as executive chef of the AAA Four Diamond Hard Rock Hotel Orlando for five years, before moving to Loews Lake Las Vegas. In June 2008, he opened BOKX 109 American Prime, a modern American steakhouse in Newton, MA, that introduced a revolutionary dining concept to the Boston market. For his work at BOKX 109, Percoco was lauded with an array of awards, including Best New Restaurant and "Best of Boston" from Boston magazine, among others, and was featured at the James Beard House.

Evan Percoco has been appointed Executive Chef of cibo matto, the modern Italian hotspot at Chicago's AAA Four Diamond theWit Hotel. In his new position, Percoco will drive the culinary direction of the property's award-winning signature restaurant, as well as oversee menu development and chef management of theWit's additional unique dining concepts, which include ROOF, a 27th floor rooftop lounge; State and Lake, a lobby-level gastro-American restaurant; and Phoenix Lounge, a sophisticated cocktail destination. "I am absolutely thrilled that theWit chose me for this dynamic role in such a spectacular showplace. I've loved Chicago since I was 5 years old, and, even after working in as many cities as I have throughout my career, Chicago has always been at the top of my list," said Percoco. "I'm looking forward to a lifetime of great memories in this city that my wife and I can finally call home."

Chef Evan Percoco, Cibo Matto Recipes

Gremolata Shrimp, San Marzano Tomato, Basil oil

For the Shrimp:
4 each U-10 Shrimp
1/4 bunch Italian Parsley Minced
1/4 each Lemon Rind - grated
2 tablespoons Pine nuts- roasted and chopped
2 cloves Garlic- Minced
To taste Kosher Salt
To taste Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Tablespoons Albarino

Shrimp Procedure
For the Gremolata: Combine parsley, lemon rind, pine nuts, garlic and white wine. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, mix and reserve.

With a sharp knife carefully cut through the back of the shrimp shells. Leave the tail whole and intact. Remove the dark vein. Wash in salted water. Pat with a paper towel. Carefully lift shrimp meat from the shell and coat the shrimp meat with the gremolota mixture. Place shrimp back in shell, reserve.

San Marzano tomato sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups, more or less, fresh tomato, chopped
4 tablespoons canned San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Fresh Basil and Parsley

Tomato Sauce Procedure
In a small saucepan, over low heat melt unsalted butter, add shallots and garlic. Simmer without burning. Add fresh and canned tomato and cook at medium heat. Constantly stir until all tomato juices have evaporated. Season with salt and pepper; add parsley and basil just before serving.

Basil Oil
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil

Basil oil Procedure
Blanch basil in medium saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Pat basil dry with paper towels. Transfer to blender. Add oil; puree until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.)

WindyCity Gimlet

1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/ 2 oz Domaine de Canton
Shake and dump into a rocks glass top off with ginger ale garnish with cucumber

Coming up at theWit this Summer:

Experience Perfect Pairs - every other Wednesday at 6:00pm for $20
4-5 different wines
Paired "perfectly" with small plates by Chef Evan Percoco

Experience cibo matto's "Race to the Mac" dinner with Veuve Clicquot on July 15th at 7pm
Private dinner paired with Veuve Clicquot champagnes in honor of the Race to Mackinac-the oldest, longest, fresh water sailboat race
Meet representatives from Veuve Cliquot
$103.00 per person

Experience Chef's Table - HOW TO WIN
Experience an up-close and personal look at cibo matto as Chef Evan Percoco personally guides you through a culinary journey with your friends
You can always book it while making a reservation: 312.239.9588

For reservations and more information about cibo matto: http://www.eatcibomatto.com/.