Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) in Louisville, Ky., honored Chef Paul Virant of Chicago’s Perennial Virant with the prestigious Distinguished Visiting Chef award on Aug. 9. As recipient of the award, Virant presented on-campus cooking demonstrations in addition to a question-and-answer session held exclusively for Sullivan University students. He also signed copies of his book, The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux.
Designed to connect today’s aspiring culinarians with industry leaders, the Distinguished Visiting Chef series has been recognizing three top chefs annually since its inception in 1988. Virant was the 52nd recipient of the award, joining an impressive roster of chefs that includes Bob Kinkead, Emeril Lagasse, Louis Osteen, Rick Tramonto and Marcel Desaulniers.
Virant is the chef and owner of Michelin-star restaurant Vie in Western Springs, Ill., and Perennial Virant in Chicago. His philosophy of local, seasonal eating stems from his childhood spent on his family’s farm in Missouri. He credits his grandmothers, both avid canners, for instilling in him a reverence for local ingredients and serving as the inspiring force behind his becoming a chef.