Executive Chef and Owner
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 as a sous chef at Mario Batali's, Babbo 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 the Chef/Owner he opened Perla, a modern Italian restaurant located in Greenwich Village, which received many accolades including: Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America, New York Times Two Stars, and Time Out New York 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 StarChefs.com, Zagat 30 Under 30, James Beard “Rising Star Chef” semifinalist and 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 to start the next chapter of their life.