Chris Pandel

Chris Pandel

Chef/Partner: Swift & Sons, Balena


In 2008, Pandel opened neighborhood eatery, The Bristol. Located in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, Pandel's menu features handmade pastas and charcuterie; farm-fresh, locally sourced produce; and a nose-to-tail approach to cooking.

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.

Pandel opened Formento's on Chicago's West Loop "Restaurant Row" in January 2015. Formento's is an Italian-American heritage restaurant with warm hospitality and polished service, reminiscent of a 1950's "red sauce joint," featuring classic Italian-American fare grounded in tradition.

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. Most recently, Swift & Son's was ranked #2 in Chicago Magazine's 2017 list of the top 10 steakhouses in Chicago. Swift & Son's Beef Wellington was also named one of 66 reasons "Why We Love Chicago" by Chicago Magazine in 2017.

In December 2015, Pandel also opened Cold Storage, located adjacent to Swift & Sons. 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.