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. His food is just as appealing: rooted in classic French technique and predominantly local Midwestern ingredients, Pandel's cooking is rustic, yet refined.
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. Balena's menu consists of handmade pastas; pizzas from a wood-fire oven; and locally sourced, farm-fresh meats and produce. Balena was included in Bon Appetit's list of 25 best new restaurants in 2012, and was nominated for a James Beard "Best New Restaurant" Award.
Beginning in October 2015, you can find Pandel in the kitchen at Swift & Sons. The Swift & Sons menu displays Pandel's signature focus on high quality, locally sourced ingredients and refined cooking techniques with an elevated twist on steakhouse classics, a "boutique beef" program, thoughtful vegetarian dishes, and seasonal sides.
Meg Galus graduated from Illinois Weslyan University with a bachelor's degree in Theater Arts. With an affinity for sweets and a passion for creativity, Meg decided to continue her education in the culinary arts and graduated from the French Pastry School in Chicago in 2005.
Meg's time as executive pastry chef at Park Hyatt Chicago and NoMI Kitchen garnered her many accolades, including StarChefs Rising Star award in 2011, Tasting Table's Top 10 Best Pastry Chefs in 2012, and four Jean Banchet nominations. In 2013, Meg took home top prize at the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition.
Today, in addition to overseeing the pastry programs at Boka Restaurant and Momotaro, Meg serves as the Executive Pastry Chef for Boka Restaurant Group's newest concept, Swift & Sons. Meg's menu at the steakhouse will represent her take on modern desserts with an American sensibility rooted in French technique.