Paul Virant of Vie is one of Food and Wine's best new chefs of 2007. Sad to say, I've never made the trek to Western Springs to eat at his restaurant. A vet of Trotter's, Everest, and Blackbird, he's all over the local/seasonal produce action--but he's taken it a step further by becoming an avid pickler, putting up his farmers' market finds to carry his kitchen through the off season.
You don't see a lot of pickles in fine dining. But maybe that's about to change. A girl can dream.