Raised in a restaurant, Bannos aspired to be a chef from a young age. After receiving his culinary arts training at Johnson & Wales University, Bannos made his way across the globe, traveling to Italy to immerse himself in the country’s culture and cuisine, then working under renowned chef Mario Batali in New York City before returning to his hometown of Chicago. Bannos sits at the helm of the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, The Purple Pig, where he collaborates with his father, Chef Jimmy Bannos, Sr. of Heaven on Seven, Chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, and Chef Scott Harris of Mia Francesca.
Also honored as nominees of this year’s James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award Presented by S.Pellegrino are Chefs Katie Button of Curate, Asheville, NC; Jessica Largey of Manresa, Los Gatos, CA; David Posey of Blackbird, Chicago; and Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Innon Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA.
The James Beard Foundation Awards are presented each spring at Lincoln Center in New York City. The Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will take place on May 2, 2014. The Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony will be held on May 5. For tickets and information, visit the James Beard Foundation website.