Nine months in and there are major changes in the kitchen at Cicchetti. The well-regarded and trendy Italian spot opened last December with a veritable all-star team in the kitchen—former Food & Wine best new chef Mike Sheerin at the helm and longtime Chicago chef Phil Rubino and award-winning pastry chef Sarah Jordan as co-sous chefs. Now, Rubino is the only one left and has stepped into the executive chef role vacated by Sheerin.
Sheerin, who left the restaurant he co-helmed with his brother Pat (Trenchermen) before this gig, adds to his reputation of wanderlust with this latest news. "I decided to part ways, I felt like it was time," Sheerin, reached by phone, says. "It's just one of those things where I'm a little impulsive sometimes. I enjoyed working there and with Dan (Rosenthal, owner) but I have some things I want to figure out."
Jordan, a former Jean Banchet winner and Food & Wine best new pastry chef (Boka) could not be reached by press time. The Ireland native, although she also did pastry at Cicchetti, hoped that the gig was part of a path that would lead to her own restaurant.
Rubino, an acclaimed chef in his own right (Spiaggia, L20, Moderno, Acadia), will steer Cicchetti in the same direction it's been going since opening. Don't expect many things to change there for the time being.
Owner Dan Rosenthal issued a statement, which you can read below. Sheerin says he has no immediate plans for his next move, stay tuned to see what he and Jordan do next.
"Mike Sheerin & Sarah Jordan took Cicchetti to a culinary level that none of us really imagined was possible when we started. They are certainly two of the best cooks I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, and all of us at the Rosenthal Group wish them both nothing but the best as they continue on in their respective careers.In addition, we're absolutely thrilled to announce that Phil Rubino will now be taking on the role of Executive Chef of Cicchetti. Phil has been an integral part of each and every aspect of menu development as sous chef of Cicchetti since it launched last December. Prior to joining our team in 2013, Phil gathered an extensive roster of experience at many of Chicago's most respected restaurants--including
Spiaggia, A Mano, L2O, Café des Architects, Moderno & Acadia--which has properly equipped him with the experience necessary for this very deserving new role."