Born and raised in Bettendorf, Iowa, Michael became interested in cooking as a teen when he was a fry cook at McDonalds. After, he attended the University of Iowa, but decided he wanted to be a chef and enrolled in the Culinary Institute (CIA) where he met his future wife and business partner, Wendy.
Graduating in 1989, they traveled throughout Europe and upon returning to the U.S., he joined Emeril Lagasse at his new restaurant. He became the sous chef at Emeril’s second restaurant, NOLA, and was appointed as executive chef for Emeril’s third restaurant in Las Vegas, New Orleans Fish House, in the MGM Grand.
Four years later, he and his wife opened up their own restaurant in Vegas on west Sahara in a strip mall. They called it Rosemary’s Restaurant. Great Chefs taped him in January 2000 for their Great Chefs of America television series. They opened their second restaurant in 2002 in the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. In 2007, they were voted as “Restauranteurs of the Year” by the Nevada Restaurant Association. Eventually they closed down both restaurants when the Las Vegas economy went bad, and moved to Seattle.
Michael joined the faculty at the Seattle Culinary Academy, a part of Seattle Central College, and assisted the Nimitz Food Service aboard the old USS Nimitz for awhile. There were also rumors in 2014, that he might return and reopen Rosemary’s in the Reed Whipple Center in downtown Las Vegas, but that never happened. Stay tuned . . .