Mike Sheerin, Blackbird's celebrated chef de cuisine and Food & Wine 2010 best new chef will become the restaurant’s private dining chef while he concentrates on opening his own project. Alinea vet David Posey, who has been Blackbird’s sous chef, has been promoted to chef de cuisine starting immediately.
Sheerin has been credited for bringing a bit of his molecular gastronomic training under Wylie Dufresne at WD-50 to the restaurant known for reinterpreting classic recipes with a modern twist and a focus on seasonal ingredients.
Yesterday we attended our friend Steve Dolinsky’s annual Pig, Pinot & Pints party where he (along with his wife, Amy, and pal, Rick Cooper) blocks off the entire alley behind his home, sets out a number of tables, lays down some astroturf (who wants to walk on the ground in the alley?), got a live band and served up a whole mess of grub. The pigs, which were grilled and smoked in La Caja China wood boxes over super hot coals, came from Birky Family Farms and a number of chef friends brought side dishes like a tasty vinegar-based cole slaw, wonderful beet salad, baked beans and a gooey, spicy mac-n-cheese courtesy of Rick Bayless.
As guests, we were asked to bring a bottle of wine to share (dozens of amazing Pinot Noir flowed) and Goose Island set up some taps to serve their delicious summer Belgian white ale Sofie and their latest pale ale, Green Line. Who all indulged? Our friends at Feast were there, as was the 312 Dining Diva, Bill and Yvonne Kim (Urban Belly), Donnie Madia and Mike Sheerin (Blackbird, avec), Jason and Lea Hammel (Lula Cafe, Nightwood), Carol Wallack (Sola), Greg Hall (Goose Island), Randy Zweiban (Province), Adam Seger (Hum, Nacional 27), Mike Roper (Hopleaf), Steve Edwards (WBEZ), Ben Bradley (ABC news), Peter Sagal (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me), Amanda Puck and many more.
Want to roast your own pig? Dolinsky says it’s pretty easy.
Cambridge Bay Wild Arctic Char is a rare delicacy that only comes around for a short time each year and Chicagoans have been blessed with not one, but two unique dinners. If you missed last night’s dinner at Blackbird don’t fret, another is happening next week at Kith & Kin. And we’re giving away a pair of tickets.
The Aug. 25 dinner, featuring David Carrier and Andrew Brochu of Kith & Kin, Ryan Poli (Perennial), Paul Virant (Vie), Chris Pandel (Bristol), Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle) and Paul Fehribach (Big Jones), will start at 6:30 for apps and special cocktails. The dinner, a seven-course meal with beverage pairings, will start at 7.
Sometimes we eat because we’re hungry. Other times we eat because the food in front of us looks too good to pass by. And then we eat because we want to support a good cause. Such is the case with the Speakeasy Throwback, a benefit for the Shawn Koch Foundation that will return the historic Palmer House to its Prohibition-era sizzle.
Join Chef Phillip Foss on Aug. 5 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. as he gathers some of Chicago’s favorite chefs in the ornate Empire Room for an evening pairing local distilleries with a plate from a well-known Chicago chef. Participating distilleries include Koval, North Shore, Death’s Door Spirits, Templeton Rye, Hum Botanical Spirits, Rare Tea Cellars, the Paramount Room and La Colombe, which will provide coffee.
A group of Chicago chefs traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to attend an event headed by First Lady Michelle Obama for the Share Our Strength campaign to end childhood hunger. As it’s been widely reported, Mrs. Obama has made battling childhood obesity her main concern and has teamed with Share Our Strength to help bring awareness to both causes through the new initiative Chefs Move to Schools. She invited more than 600 chefs from across the country to join her on the lawn of the White House to learn about what they could do to help in our school and communities.
The Chicago chefs, Paul Kahan (Blackbird), Koren Grieveson (Avec), Ryan Poli (Perennial), Todd Stein (Cibo Matto), Nick Lacasse (Drawing Room), Jason McLeod (Balsan/Ria), Gale Gand (Tru), Della Gossett (formerly of Charlie Trotter’s), Chris Koetke (Dean of Culinary Arts at Kendall College) and many others traveled to D.C. for a series of speeches, gatherings and seminars. While the purpose of the event was to encourage chefs to adopt schools in their communities to help foster change in dining habits, many chefs feel overwhelmed with their limited time already to take on such a huge endeavor. The Chicago group proposed launching or teaming with an existing food-focused non-profit group to tackle the issues, since it’s such an important situation.