Jimmy Bannos Jr. » Chef/Partner, The Purple Pig
Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth generation restaurateur, was ‘born and raised’ in Heaven on Seven. Put to work bussing tables for his father at age five, Jimmy learned the trade first hand while spending days at the family owned Louisiana style restaurant. Jimmy quickly discovered that he shared his father’s passion for people and food and made the decision to attend the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. While there, he worked at the critically acclaimed Al Forno restaurant, located near the university in Providence. As part of his studies, Jimmy also completed an internship at Emerils in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Upon graduation Jimmy returned to Chicago to assist Gabriel Viti with his opening of Miramar Bistro in Highwood, Illinois. He also teamed up with Scott Harris for the opening of one of the Mia Francesca locations. Although raised on gumbo, Jimmy let his passion (and his palate) guide him to more Mediterranean styles of cuisine. He soon embarked on a six month excursion to Italy, in order to immerse himself in the culture and cuisine. Upon his return to the states, he made the move to New York City. There he spent three and a half years working under Mario Batali at his Del Posto, Lupa Osteria Romana and Esca restaurants.
Jimmy has returned home to Chicago, bringing his love for Italian food, the restaurant business and his family to become Chef/Partner of The Purple Pig, offering cheese, swine and wine at 500 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.