The Bristol and Balena, Chicago, IL


Chris Pandel’s food is rooted in classic French technique highlighting seasonal, local ingredients. An Illinois native, Pandel began his culinary career working at a restaurant in his hometown of Riverside. From there he moved on to Courtright’s in Willow Springs, a favorite fine-dining spot for Chicagoans. Next, Pandel attended Johnson & Wales University, during which time he interned at Chicago’s Tru for Chef Rick Tramonto. Pandel then headed to New York where he worked at Café Boulud under Chef Andrew Carmellini. He eventually returned to Chicago, and to Tru, which eventually led to a position as corporate chef for three Tramonto restaurants. Of his mentors, Pandel says Carmellini molded him into a cook, and Tramonto, gave him a “sense of self” in the kitchen and the know-how needed to run a business. In 2008, Pandel opened The Bristol with partners John Ross and Phillip Walters. His menu focuses on locally-sourced, seasonal dishes with a Mediterranean influence.

Chef Chris visited the Skuna Bay farms in November, 2012