Chicago’s La Sirena Clandestina, the Latin-local restaurant from Chef/Owner John Manion announced Eric Michael as the restaurant’s new Chef de Cuisine.
The self-taught chef started in the Chicago restaurant industry as executive chef at The Southern in Wicker Park before moving to acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant Longman & Eagle. Michael continued his career as Chef de Cuisine at Dusek’s Board & Beer in Pilsen where he helped earn the restaurant their first Michelin star, before joining the culinary team at La Sirena Clandestina. At La Sirena Clandestina, Michael plans to stay true to the restaurant’s South American roots, applying them to an upscale American palate.
No foreigner to South American cuisine, the chef has been experimenting with Brazilian fare for years and surrounds himself with the culture, as his longtime girlfriend is a Brazilian citizen from Vassouras. “At La Sirena Clandestina, I want to focus on local ingredients and highlight the beauty of nature, while paying homage to traditional South American dishes and techniques,” Michael explains.
Diners can get a taste of some of Michael’s new menu options including the Smoked Chicken Coxinha with compressed melon, country ham, feta, arugula, and cashew vinaigrette. Kicking off August 5, just in time for the Rio Olympic Games, Michael has crafted a menu of dishes inspired by the games including Grilled Confit Octopus with black popcorn puree, chile-grapefruit vinaigrette, butter poached heart of palm, and chicharrón as well as a BBQ Goat Crepinette with boiled yuca, cabbage, and jalapeno slaw, lime yogurt and mint ash.