Michael’s passion for gastronomy began in his earliest years but he didn’t commence his professional career until 2001, when he spent all of his free time learning the ropes at Truffles of Southsea brasserie whilst studying for his BA in Business & Marketing at the University of Portsmouth. Upon graduating, it was clearly apparent that his vocation lay in the culinary arts, so he headed for the bright lights of London where his illustrious career as a chef took wing. It wasn’t long after he secured an apprenticeship at The In & Out club in St James that Michael began working in the kitchens of the Royal Air Force Club.
Following this, he trained in two of London’s definitive fine dining restaurants. It was a period of his workplace education that was deeply informative, ingraining him with sound fundamentals and savvy intuition. These were Le Gavroche and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where his skills were honed under the tutelage of celebrated chefs Michel Roux Jr, Simone Zanoni and Mr Ramsay himself.
In April 2007, Michael’s career leapt forward as he joined the team at Gaucho restaurants, swiftly earning himself a position as Head Chef. He ran both the Richmond and O2 sites before receiving a promotion to the Executive Chef position for the entire Gaucho Group. In his day-to-day, he was responsible for overseeing all food aspects of the business, running the gamut from menu development to training and recruitment to overseeing the entirety of Gaucho’s notorious events. From 2011, he also developed and supervised the burgeoning CAU restaurant franchise.
In 2013, Michael left London to rattle the pans in Australia’s thriving restaurant scene, spending six months undertaking stages at a number of Melbourne’s most celebrated restaurants. These included a stint working with world class chef Ben Shewry in Attica, which in 2015 was ranked number 32 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He then worked in Andrew Macdonald’s 2 Hat restaurant Cutler and Co, which offered him deep insight into Modern Australian cuisine and its many Asian influences.
Michael was first introduced to Shannon Bennet at the ATP World Tour tennis tournament. They began discussing their work in kitchens of the world, immediately developing mutual respect for one another. Soon after, Michael started work with Shannon and had the opportunity to become friends and cook for some of Australia’s finest chefs, including George Calombaris, Curtis Stone and Peter Gilmore. He also cooked alongside Heston Blumenthal at The Skinny Duck, a charity event for FareShare Australia which raised funds for disadvantaged children.
2014 was a bumper year for Michael, in which he opened two restaurants on either side of the globe. In Melbourne, Micahel worked with closely with celebrity chef Shannon Bennet and his Vue de Monde Group to open Jardin Tan. He played an instrumental role in developing the unique French Vietnamese concept.
In September 2014, Michael returned to the United Kingdom to open one of London’s most interesting restaurants of the year – M, followed by the second M in Victoria Street in September 2015. His first cook book was released in early 2016.