Chicago certainly has its share of culinary talent, from French-trained masters to self-taught geniuses. And, while we're firm believers that the family-run BYOB can be just as charming as the top table in town, we can't help but perk up our foodie ears when the James Beard Awards are announced each May.
So, as an ode to this year's winners (and a little pre-celebration in anticipation of the awards being held in the Windy City next spring), we spent a little time with Jimmy Bannos Jr. (Rising Star Chef, The Purple Pig), Dave Beran (Best Chef: Great Lakes, Next), and Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality Group), a "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America" recipient. Along with getting to know these gentleman a bit better — from their go-to late-night nosh spots to their favorite kitchen tools — we also scored three incredible fresh and light salad recipes that are guaranteed to perk up your next dinner party. So, bust out that apron and get ready to take notes. Serious summer dinner inspiration lies ahead.