You might say we’re fans of James Sherrill around here. You might say that because Kathryn Robinson and I named him one of our five chefs to watch in 2013. At the time, Sherrill was running the kitchen at Restaurant Zoe. These days you’ll find him quietly revamping the menu as executive chef at Re:public in South Lake Union.
It seemed like a surprising jump until Sherrill explained that he has long been friends with partner Ruadhri McCormick and Stacy Paczan, who runs the front of house (she and Sherrill worked catering at Crush). He almost worked with them once before, says Sherrill, but at the time he was fixated on “more Michelin star–type shit.”
Now Sherrill is adapting to life in the Amazon, where the dining room has 150 seats, including the bar, and lunch, brunch, happy hour, and dinner all have distinct menu personalities—though people might come in three times a week and order the exact same thing.
He’s changing the food gradually, finding the sweet spot between his high-end background and new, more casual environs (a brisk bar business gives Sherrill some financial latitude to get creative). Early successes, he says, include happy hour banh mi sliders stuffed with sous vide duck confit, tamarind barbecue sauce, and sriracha aioli, and a diver scallop dish with emmer, jerusalem artichokes, and grapefruit sauce.
So keep an eye on Re:public. I'm eager to see what Sherrill does here.