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Mike Sheerin to pop up at Chalkboard; has eye on River North

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In keeping with the collaborative spirit of Chicago's chef community, Gilbert Langlois on Dec. 21 will lend his Chalkboard restaurant for the night to Blackbird's Mike Sheerin, who will cook a preview of his restaurant in the works, tentatively named the Trencherman.

"A trencherman is someon who enjoys eating and drinking in excess. That's kind of like me," says Sheerin, who now hopes to open next fall. "I want everyone to be a trencherman."

Sheerin says he's "partial" to the River North gallery district for his new venture. "I think Graham Elliot has a great thing going on down there, and there's some nice big spaces there," he says.

The pop-up dinner, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $70, will offer a platform for Sheerin, who is slowly and surely embracing the public's fascination with chef as celebrity.

"It's funny, chefs have to be public figures," he says. "People want to know what we're up to, what the food is about."

And the food? Sheerin aims for inventiveness but in a casual atmosphere. On the proposed menu for the pop-up, for example: Pork belly braised in a broth made from sauerkraut with pumpernickel noodles, and a pumpkin churro with sake sorbet.

For his part, Langlois hosted his first pop-up, with chef Roxanne Spruance of New York's WD-50, in November.

Chalkboard is at 4343 N. Lincoln; for more details on the event, go to chalkboardrestaurant.com or call (773) 477-7144.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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