Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth-generation restaurateur, was born and raised in Chicago. He developed his passion for cooking and the restaurant industry at a young age, knowing he was destined to work in the culinary world. After graduating from the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University, he worked at the critically acclaimed Al Forno restaurant as well as completed an internship with friend, Chef Emeril Lagasse, at Emeril’s in New Orleans. Jimmy worked for other nationally renowned chefs in Italy and New York City (Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich) and furthered his training by traveling through Italy, Greece and around the United States. This has cultivated his culinary approach by studying the people, the culture and the food from regions that inspire him.
Since opening in 2009, The Purple Pig has received numerous accolades. In 2014, Chef Jimmy received his first James Beard Award for “Rising Star Chef”. The Purple Pig has been a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand recipient since 2011 and has collected numerous culinary and wine awards nationally.
Dubbed the “Prince of Pork” by Dana Cowin (former Food and Wine Editor-in-Chief); Jimmy Jr., his Executive Chef and business partners brings their love for Mediterranean food to the Windy City in fun, inventive ways – at this rustic sharable plate restaurant, conveniently located on the Magnificent Mile.
At 444 North Michigan Avenue, the restaurant offers cheese, swine and wine, among other standout dishes, showcasing the flavors of Italy, Greece and Spain.