I first met Chef Michael Young at Sur la Table, when he was my instructor at a Molecular Gastronomy class, and he’s the one I credit for kick-starting my “molecular cooking” obsession. If he didn’t make it seem so fun and attainable, I would have never been able to make fruit “caviar” at home.
Before arriving to the class, I imagined that Chef Young would be an older “scientist-looking” gentleman, or maybe an aloof “know-it-all”, arrogant chef. I couldn’t have been more WRONG. Chef Young was friendly, knowledgeable and I just have to say it… super cute!
My husband just laughed when I made a comment about our “hot” instructor (because I’m old enough to be his mother, well maybe his aunt, okay I’m settling for big sister!), but I thought it was perfect that the teacher showing us how to make molecular candy, was in fact a piece of eye candy himself. And in case anyone is thinking of taking his class for non-molecular reasons, Chef Michael Young does indeed have a beautiful girlfriend.
A few weeks after the class, Peter and I invited Chef Young out for a bite to eat. It turns out that he lives near us in Studio City, so we met up at Max Restaurant on Ventura. I love the angus burgers and potted chicken liver (that I eat with french fries), and Chef Young hadn’t been there since they remodeled the restaurant. Over dinner (and bottles of wine that he graciously brought to share), we learned that Chef Young graduated (with honors) from Boston College, and holds a degree in Italian Literature. Needless to say he is fluent in Italian and is certified by A.I.S., the Italian Sommeliers Association.
As he was telling us about his cooking experiences in Italy, I realized… he is NOT just a cute, young, up-and-coming chef… he is so much more. Articulate and highly experienced, he is currently preparing for the opening of Domenico Ristorante (as Executive Chef), which is scheduled to open next month in Silver Lake.
While writing this post I couldn’t remember the details of his work in Italy so I asked Chef Young for a copy of his bio. I blame it on the wine, but it was all so interesting that I wanted a recap :
“While his name may be misleading, Michael Young is an American chef of Italian descent. He speaks Italian fluently and has traveled and worked extensively throughout Italy, including the 2-star Michelin “Ristorante Ambasciata.” He lived in and frequently revisits Parma, the gastronomical capital of Italy. “While I am Southern Italian in my heart, living in Northern Italy gave me a whole different perspective.” Michael attributes his skill at making homemade pasta and his never ending love and appreciation of charcuterie, cheese and mostarda to his time in Parma. Michael has worked in many of the top Italian kitchens of Los Angeles including Valentino, Il Grano and Drago. “My proudest moment was opening Piccolo Cipriani (now Piccolo) with Stefano DeLorenzo and Antonio Mure`. It was wonderful to see a restaurant so true to its ideals open and blossom.” Most recently, Michael served as a Chef Instructor at the Le Cordon Bleu program in Pasadena, where he taught International Cuisine and helped run the school restaurant. He also served as a point person for guest chefs from Italy and France. “The highlight of my teaching experience was to work side by side with my idol and close friend Daniel Rossi (former chef of Citrus).” Michael identifies his role models as Piero Selvaggio, Angelo Auriana and Salvatore Marino. “Piero showed me what it means to be the constant professional and to remain sincere in all things. Angelo (longtime chef of Valentino) taught me how to run a kitchen. Finally, Sal demonstrated that if you do things the right way and work as hard as you can, people will eventually take notice.”
I’m so looking forward to the opening of Domenico Ristorante because I haven’t yet tasted Chef Young’s cooking, and you can bet my husband and I will both be there as soon as it does!
1637 Silver Lake Boulevard
Los Angeles 90026
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