Chris Pandel, Executive Chef of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Balena
Take everything that connotes Midwestern charm—effusive goodwill, love of community, and a killer work ethic—and you will find its embodiment in Chef Chris Pandel, Executive Chef of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Balena. His food is just as appealing: rooted in classic French technique and predominantly local Midwestern ingredients, Pandel's cooking is rustic, yet refined.
Balena, an ode to Italian influenced simplicity, opened in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in March of 2012, with a menu consisting of handmade pastas; pizzas from the wood-fire oven; and locally sourced, farm-fresh meats and produce. Balena was a James Beard semi-finalist for “Best New Restaurant” in 2013 and was listed as one of the 50 “Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appetit. Most recently, Balena’s pizza was named one of the best 26 places to get non-thin crust pizza in Chicago by Eater.
In October 2015, Pandel, along with Boka Restaurant Group and B. Hospitality Co. opened Swift & Sons, a retro modern steakhouse that celebrates the history of Chicago’s meatpacking district. At Swift & Sons, Pandel provides the restaurant with his signature focus on high quality, locally sourced ingredients and classic cooking techniques presenting a menu of reinvented steakhouse classics, “boutique beef,” thoughtful vegetarian dishes and seasonal sides. Swift & Son’s Beef Wellington was named one of 66 reasons “Why We Love Chicago” by Chicago Magazine. Most recently, Pandel opened Cold Storage, located adjacent to Swift & Sons, in December 2015. The casual seafood concept offers an approachable menu of fresh seafood, salads, and sandwiches, along with fish-friendly wines and a Chicago-centric draft and beer bottle selection.
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