James Beard Award Winning "Rising Star" Chef, Jimmy Bannos Jr.

James Beard Foundation Awards 2014

About Us

About The Purple Pig

Cheese, Swine & Wine

Experience the exquisite cuisine of James Beard, Rising Star Chef 2014 – Jimmy Bannos Jr. As a fourth generation restaurateur, he was mentored by his father, Jimmy Bannos (Chef/Owner of Heaven on Seven) and catapulted his expertise through training by nationally renowned chefs.

Since opening in 2009, under the leadership of Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig has received numerous accolades, including being named one of 2010’s “10 Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit magazine; and a Bib Gourmand recipient from the Michelin Guide Chicago in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; among other honors.

Dubbed the “Prince of Pork” by Dana Cowin (Food and Wine Editor and Chief); Jimmy Jr. brings his love for Mediterranean food to the Windy City in fun, inventive ways – at this rustic sharable plate restaurant, conveniently located on the Magnificent Mile.

Located at 500 North Michigan Avenue, the restaurant offers cheese, swine and wine, among other standout dishes, showcasing the flavors of Italy, Greece and Spain.



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Jimmy Bannos Jr.

Chef/Partner, The Purple Pig

Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth-generation restaurateur, was born and raised in Chicago’s Heaven on Seven. Put to work bussing tables for his father at age five, Jimmy learned the trade firsthand while spending days at the family-owned Louisiana-style restaurant. Once realizing he shared his father’s passion for food and the restaurant industry, he decided to attend the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University. While there, 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.

After, he embarked on a six-month excursion to Italy where he immersed himself in the culture, food and wine. When he returned to the U.S., he worked in some of New York City’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Chef Mario Batali’s Del Posto, Esca, and Lupa.

Bringing together his love for Italian food, the restaurant business and his family, Jimmy returned to Chicago in 2009 to open The Purple Pig.

Since, Jimmy has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Wine Spectator, Chicago Tribune, Delta Sky, Time Out Chicago, and Eater, and more. He was named a Rising Star Chef by CS magazine in July 2010, selected as one of StarChef’s Rising Star Chefs of Chicago in 2011, one of the 2012 class of Chicago’s 30 Under 30 from Zagat and was included in Food & Wine’s latest cookbook “America’s Greatest New Cooks,” where he was hand-selected to feature the restaurant and his recipes among 11 other emerging chefs from across the country. Jimmy was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef in 2013 and 2014, winning the prestigious award in 2014. Most recently, Jimmy won the MenuMasters 2015 “Innovator Award”.

Liz Martinez

Head Sommelier

Liz’s restaurant career really started in Denver, Colorado where she’s from at a family style Italian restaurant, Carmine’s on Penn.  It wasn’t her first position in restaurants but this is where Liz’s love for wine grew, specially Italian wine.  Working there also exposed Liz to what it took to run the hotest restaurant in town which it was at the time. She then moved to San Francisco in 2000, exposing her to an even more elevated level of dining. She recalls Boulevard as most impressionable for her in part because of their fantastic Sommelier, and their James Beard award winning chef and restaurateur. Reading, studying, and talking about wine quickly became Liz’s new greatest passion.  It was there that she decided that she wanted to work towards being a sommelier. After moving to the Windy City, Liz was humbled to be brought on at Rick Bayless’ restaurant, Topolobampo. First as a server, a few months later as the assistant sommelier and then dining room manager.  She maintained her responsibilities as assistant sommelier while supporting managing the restaurant which certainly helped to prepare her for what was to come. It was at Topolobampo that Liz’s mentor at the time, the wine director, showed her a more in depth understanding of the relationship between food and wine. Sitting for her sommelier certification in 2010 set in her realization that she would indeed be a career sommelier. She went on to be the head sommelier at The Florentine restaurant to run her first wine program on her own.  However, The Purple Pig’s rare and extensive wine program attracted her to us.  Liz first came on to work collectively with the talented team in place and has since adeptly taken the lead on running the best wine program The Purple Pig has had yet with a vast list of Mediterranean and hard to get old world wines. Liz enjoys working with our like minded, driven group of Culinarians and Hospitality professionals who are always pushing themselves and each other to be better and better.


2015 Chicago Tribune Dining Award: The Purple Pig’s Jimmy Bannos Jr.

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Quarter Zip Pullover


Ultra comfortable, quarter zipper pullover.

Tank Top


Purple Pig 100% Cotton Womens Tank Top

Steak Knife

$25.00 Price excluding tax

Purple Pig Stainless Steel Steak Knife

Water Bottle

$25.00 Price excluding tax

Purple Pig Glass Flip-Top Water Bottle

Bamboo Cutting Board

$25.00 Price excluding tax

Beautiful, durable 12″ x 5″ bamboo cutting board.

Gift Card

From $50.00

For a friend, family or colleague, The Purple Pig Gift Card is perfect for the holidays or any occasion. The Purple Pig offers a convenient way to order your gift card online.

Your gift card will be mailed within 24-48 hours of receipt. If you would like to add a gift message to any gift card order please do so in the “Comments” field upon checkout.



Purple Pig 100% Cotton T-Shirt


$12.00 Price excluding tax



We welcome your feedback & questions!


Please note, we do not take reservations.  Seating is first come, first serve.


All menus provided on our website are simply samples of what we have to offer.  Please contact us directly with questions.


Please inquire below regarding our pick up/drop off Catering options for your next meeting or event.


Applicants, please see our jobs section for more information regarding opportunities at The Purple Pig.