Michael’s career began at Willow Creek Golf Club in Houston, Texas as a dishwasher at the age of 16. By 21 he was living in New York City and was a sous chef at Babbo. 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/Partner, he opened Perla, which received many accolades including: Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America, two stars from The New York Times, and Time Out New York Best Italian Restaurant. Michael was named a “New York Rising Star” by Star Chefs, 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. The duo opened their Italian osteria, Le Farfalle, in the Summer of 2016. This winter, the pair returned to the city to open their second solo project, da Toscano, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Da Toscano is the culmination of Michael’s creative interpretations of regional Italian cuisine; a full-service, modern Italian restaurant offering lunch and dinner.