The mystery behind the chef who's taking over the Embeya kitchen is over. Mike Sheerin, the oft-traveled, creative, former Food & Wine best new chef, is the man who'll replace ousted executive chef Thai Dang when the acclaimed West Loop upscale Asian restaurant reopens on April 15, according to a statement released today by Embeya owner Attila Gyulai and confirmed by Sheerin.
Gyulai is still unwilling to comment much on the Sheerin hire itself or when it happened, the dramatic firing of Dang, or the specific concept changes in the food program going forward, only saying through reps that "we tapped Mike for his experience, creativity, and passion for the hospitality industry. Komal and I are thrilled to see Embeya evolve, and we look forward to sharing Mike's excitement and his incredible inspiration with our guests." Sheerin confirms the new gig but also declines to reveal what he'll cook there or when he was hired. It's possible that neither knows what will be on the new menu yet.
Sheerin, who made his name at Blackbird, wd~50, Trenchermen, and Cicchetti, carries a reputation as a creative chef and critical darling with streaks of wanderlust. He's also working to open the casual dumpling restaurant Packed in Hyde Park, yet said in February that he wouldn't be exclusively tied to that concept. Now he'll also helm the ship at an acclaimed upscale Asian restaurant that's had its share of drama in recent days—stay tuned to see what he does at Embeya when it reopens on Wednesday.