A native of Houston, Texas, Michael grew up on track to become a professional golfer but became interested in cooking while working at a golf club in high school. In his senior year, he decided that rather than attending college to play golf he would instead pursue an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship hosted through North Carolina’s Pinehurst Resort and a local culinary school. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he honed his skills at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and eventually 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, he opened Perla, a modern Italian restaurant located in Greenwich Village. As the chef and owner of Perla, Michael received a nod from Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America, and 2 Stars from the New York Times. He is a James Beard Semi-finalist, “New York Rising Star” by StarChefs.com, Zagat 30 Under 30, and was selected to be part of the Williams-Sonoma Chefs' Collective.
Michael and his wife Caitlin moved to Charleston, South Carolina in the Spring of 2015 with their son Julian and daughter Marley. Michael and Caitlin will open their Charleston restaurant in the Spring of 2016.