Michael was raised in Kansas City, working in restaurants through his teens, before moving to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 1998. While earning his degree in culinary arts and restaurant management he met his future business partner and friend, Kyle Ketchum. The two stayed in close contact over the next two decades despite living thousands of miles away from each other at times. After graduating from culinary school at the top of his class, he travelled the world working with the best in the business including Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington, Joël Robuchon at l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in New York City, Joachim Splichal at The Patina Group in Los Angeles, and Jonathan Wright at The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. Along the way he picked up an Advanced Diploma of International Restaurant Business from Le Cordon Bleu in Adelaide, Australia. In addition to working with established chefs Michael has helped develop and open luxury properties on both coasts – The Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, as well as The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley. Both properties have received top honors from Forbes Travel Guide, AAA, and the Michelin Guide (for Meadowood). His specialty is going into distressed properties and turning them around. Twice he has helped hotels turn around their flagship restaurants which were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year by making them profitable while earning the Forbes Five Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award.
If Michael’s passion is hospitality, then his hobby is wine. He has passed the Advanced Exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers and has sat the Master Sommelier Exam a number of times. He has developed world-class wine programs for a number of restaurants around the world and holds a number of certifications related to wines and spirits.