Executive Chef Randy Zweiban has become apioneer of many things in Chicago.  He is leading the way in eco-friendly practices in an industry that strives to do so as a whole.  Chef Zweiban is responsible for bringing Nuevo Latino cooking to The Windy City, first at Nacional 27 and now in his own way at Province.  Province is the first in Chicago to be a Gold Level LEED certified restaurant.  From the cork floor to the regenerated leather chairs, it is a beautiful blend of sustainability and Mexican inspired architecture.  Province offers small plates and sharing is encouraged. These practices allow Zweiban to showcase his love for Latin cuisine that he developed in Miami and to stay true to his locavore philosophy.  So what makes Province the kind of restaurant that could revolutionize Chicago in more ways than one?  We caught up with Chef Randy Zweiban at Chicago Gourmet to find out.

CB: What is the most important thing that people need to know about Province?

RZ: I think that people need to know that we are first and foremost an eco-friendly restaurant that loves our town of Chicago and supports all the great farmers and all the great people in this great city and we are really lucky to be a part of this city.

CB: How do you incorporate the green aspects of your restaurant into daily service?

RZ: We are a gold level LEED certified restaurant. We built the restaurant with that in mind and we wanted to take the eco-friendly green aspect of building a restaurant and sort of carry it through to the day to day operations of a restaurant.  We don’t serve bottled water, we serve filtered tap water which is flat and sparkling which we give gratis to our guests.  We don’t serve bottled beer, we serve three tap beers from 3 Floyds Brewery out in Muncie, Indiana. So not only are we serving great beer but we are reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.  90% of our wine list is all biodynamic, organic and sustainable.

CB: Do you think opening a new restaurant in Phoenix will make it easier for you to use local products in your Latin cuisine?

RZ: You know it is interesting because there is this great sort of Spanish and South American and Mexican influence to the Southwest cooking that goes on in Phoenix so it is something that is really kind of right up our alley.  At the same time it gives us an opportunity to source new farms, find new ingredients, and find a lot of local producers that will not only benefit our new restaurant but will benefit us here in Chicago as well.

CB: How do you and Province try to give back to the Chicago community?

RZ: We are on CelebratedChefs.com, we totally support “Meals on Wheels” and “Share our Strength” are two big ones that are both near and dear to our heart and then the “Healthy Schools Campaign” is something that I’ve been working with over the last two years since we opened Province.

Website / 161 N. Jefferson St. / Chicago, IL 60661 / phone 312.669.9900