Just three months ago, Michael Sheerin was soaking up the accolades in the mountains of Aspen, having been named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs in America for his work at Blackbird.‚ But today, the restaurant announced that David Posey - the guy who's been Sheerin's Sous Chef - is taking over the helm as Chef de Cuisine.
"One of‚ my ultimate goals in my career is to help and promote talented people, and Mike Sheerin is an extremely talented guy," said Blackbird Co-owner and‚ opening chef Paul Kahan.‚ "He's going to move upstairs to be our private party chef,‚ which isn't everyday of the week, and doesn't require as much time on his part." Part of that reason could be that Sheerin is looking to open his‚ own place,‚ and the path is‚ similar to the one Paul Virant had several years ago: move upstairs, work the private parties, then go out and open up your own‚ restaurant (in Virant's case, Vie in Western Springs).‚ Sheerin‚ was Kahan's first Chef de Cuisine, but his food more recently seemed to‚ reflect his‚ avant-garde experience at New York City's wd-50, rather than the clean, simple preparations rooted in locally-available produce, a big part of Kahan's original vision for the restaurant.
As for Posey, the Culinary Institute of America grad "is just an amazing, natural cook," said Kahan.‚ "I think his flavor combinations are a little more straightforward than Mike's, but he's worked with Grant‚ [Achatz, of Alinea], and he has a real focused, clean aesthetic."‚ Kahan‚ stresses Sheerin is still a big part of the Blackbird team for now.‚ "In no way are we parting yet," he said.