Paul Virant named new chef at Perennial
Wed Feb 23 2011
After a week of anticipation, we have learned that Julia Child will, in fact, not replace Ryan Poli at Perennial. After Poli announced his departure for Mercadito's new project, Tavernita, owners Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm hinted that they would be making a big announcement about who would be filling Poli's shoes. The answer came in the form of a very short YouTube video announcing that Paul Virant, the acclaimed chef of Vie in Western Springs, would be joining the Boka group. (The video also suggests that Perennial will now be called Perennial Virant.)
This is a notable but not totally unsurprising move for Virant, who has long been rumored to have been looking for a space in the city. Although Virant is already a chef-owner, Stephanie Izard's Girl & the Goat has demonstrated the runaway success that teaming up with the Boka guys can lead to. I also wouldn't be surprised if Nathan Sears, Virant's longtime standout sous chef, steps into the spotlight as Virant splits his time between the two restaurants.
All this adds up to quite a busy season for the Boka guys, who are opening GT Fish & Oyster with Boka chef Giuseppe Tentori (read all about it in this week's cover story) as well as another project with Izard.