A native of Houston, Texas, Michael grew up striving to be a professional golfer but became interested in cooking while working at a golf club in high school. Instead of pursuing a golf career, Michael received a scholarship to attend an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship hosted through North Carolina’s famed Pinehurst Resort. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he worked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, and shortly after landed at Mario Batali’s Babbo as a sous chef at the young age of 21. After four years at the renowned restaurant, Michael was made the executive chef of Eataly’s Manzo, the Italian food mecca’s fine-dining restaurant.
In 2012, as Chef and Owner, Michael opened Perla, a modern Italian restaurant located in Greenwich Village, which received many accolades including: Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America, two stars from The New York Times and Time Out New York‘s Best Italian Restaurant. Michael later took over the kitchens at the seafood focused Jeffrey’s Grocery and Montmartre, a contemporary French bistro, both part of Happy Cooking Hospitality. Michael was named a “New York Rising Star” by Star Chefs, Zagat 30 Under 30, James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef semifinalist and he was selected to be part of the Williams Sonoma’s Chefs’ Collective.
In the summer of 2015 Michael and his wife Caitlin moved with their two children, Julian and Marley, to Charleston, South Carolina. The duo opened their Italian osteria, Le Farfalle, in the summer of 2016.
Accolades & Publications
- James Beard Foundation – Rising Star Chef Semi-finalist (2013)
- Star Chefs – New York Rising Star (2013)
- Zagat – 30 Under 30 New York City (2013)
- Williams Sonoma’s Chefs’ Collective – Member
- Esquire – Best New Restaurants in America (Perla)
- The New York Times – two stars (Perla)
- Time Out New York – Best Italian Restaurant (Perla)