Chef Michael Perez dreamed of traveling the world, but not necessarily as a cook – he wanted to be a flight attendant. While taking a hospitality class in high school, a guest chef from Johnson and Wales University-Miami spoke of his extensive travel abroad and inspired Perez to change course. After graduating, Michael applied to Johnson and Wales University-Miami’s culinary program and was able to enroll without the necessary prerequisites after sharing his passion with the culinary instructor.
Following college, Michael moved to Hawaii and cooked aboard two Norwegian Cruise lines. After his cruise ship tenure ended in 2007, he returned to his hometown of Portland, OR, to stage under a French-trained chef at the Timberland Lodge. Michael’s next role was Sous Chef at Ten 01, which was named “Restaurant of the Year” under his direction. In 2008, he became Sous Chef at Tabla Mediterranean Bistro in Portland, which received the award for “Best Pasta Dish” by Willamette Week’s Annual Restaurant Guide. Michael moved to California in 2010 to assume the role of Sous Chef under the Food Network’s acclaimed chef Scott Conant at his award-winning Beverly Hills restaurant Scarpetta. He also served on the opening team for Scarpetta inside The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Michael then became Executive Chef at the Deep Creek Fishing Club in Ninilchik, Alaska where he successfully developed a new menu at the full-service luxury lodge.
After journeying to Charleston, SC in 2011 to further his career, Perez joined the Indigo Road family where he later became a part of the opening team for Indaco, the group’s Italian concept located in Charleston. In 2015, Perez relocated to Atlanta where he opened Colletta, Indigo Road’s second Italian outpost located in Alpharetta’s premier Avalon development. This summer, Indigo Road will open Donetto, a Tuscan-inspired restaurant on the Westside, where Perez will serve as the executive chef serving Tuscan fare, popular staples from the regions of Sienna, Umbria and Rome, an array of meat-centric dishes and a rotating pasta menu.
Accolades & Publications
- Jezebel – 100 Hottest Restaurants (Colletta, 2016, 2017), Best New OTP Destination (Colletta, 2016)
- Taste of Atlanta – Best Meatball in Atlanta (Colletta, 2015), Best Bite (Colletta, 2015)
- The Atlantan – 5 Best OTP New Restaurants (Colletta, 2015), Best OTP Dining Destinations (Colletta, 2015)
- USA Today – #5 of 10 Best Pizza Places in Atlanta (Colletta, 2015)