Michael Chernow: 10 Things You Didn’t Know


If you are a foodie or you love to watch cooking shows, chances are you know who Michael Chernow is. Not only has he appeared on a variety of television shows, he is also the co-founder of The Meatball Shop and more recently, Seamore’s fish restaurant. If you haven’t seen Michael on television and if you have never heard of his eateries, you should continue reading on. There are plenty of things about this celebrity chef that you may not know.

Michael’s Early Years

When Michael was a teenager, he worked as a delivery boy with his now partner, Daniel Holzman at a New York vegan restaurant called Candle Cafe. After working in the restaurant and seeing the food that was being prepared, Michael realized that he had an interest in cooking. After high school, Michael quit his job at Candle Cafe and attended the French Culinary Institute. He studied hard and worked hard, and he earned degrees in culinary arts ad also in restaurant management. After graduation, he began working at many restaurants all around Los Angeles and New York.

Opening the Meatball Shop

After working at a variety of restaurants, Michael realized that it was time to open up his own. He teamed up with his former co-worker from Candle Cafe, Daniel Holtzman. Daniel also found a love of food and cooking when he was working at Candle Cafe, and he went on to study at The Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, he worked at places like Le Bernardin, San Francisco’s Fifth Floor, and Aqua.

When the two men joined forces to open the Meatball Shop, they decided that Daniel would be the executive chef and Michael would use his business training to handle the branding and marketing for the company. Since the two men had roots in New York City, they decided to pen their first restaurant there. Today, there are 6 Meatball Shop locations in New York. They are located on the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, the West Village, Chelsea, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side.

He Wrote a Cookbook

Michael and his business partner, Daniel released a cookbook on November 1, 2011. The book is called The Meatball Shop Cookbook, and you can find the recipes for all of the dishes that The Meatball Shop has to offer. The book was co-written by Lauren Deen, and it was published by Ballantine Books. Since the book’s release, it has been quite successful.

Michael Married a Model

Michael met his wife, Ford model Donna Hemmingsen while she was on a date with another man. At the end of the date, the man left her to meet a friend of his to go to a concert. As soon as Donna’s date got up and left, Michael swooped in and swept her off her feet. According to Michael, he knew that very night that he was going to marry Donna.

Micheal Did Some Modeling Himself

In February 2012, Michael was featured on the cover of the J. Crew catalog and he was also featured on J. Crew’s website. Not only did he show off J.Crew’s latest styles, he also talked about his love of vintage boots, suits, and of all things, meat grinders. Of all the people asked to be a part of the campaign, Michael was the only restaurateur.

Michael Loves Design Foraging

Both Michael and his wife Donna love visiting flea markets and yard sales to find fantastic and unique pieces to display in their home.

Michael is a Homeowner

When Michael and Donna first married, they were living in Manhattan’s East Village and they were paying $3,000 per month for rent. They decided to take that money and spend it on a mortgage of their own rather than someone else’s. They ended up buying a beautiful home where they added a few of their own personal touches, such as shelving, new furniture, and French doors. According to Micheal, the home has plenty of space with a wide open layout. He also stated that the home gets plenty of sunlight.

Michael Has a Dog

According to Michael, one of the most important things in his home is his dog, Riley. He says that Riley is the most affectionate and lovable dog you will ever meet. He says that many people are put off due to Riley’s large size, however, in reality, he is just a big baby.

Michael is a Regular Fixture on Television

Anyone who watches cooking shows or even late night television may have seen Michael a time or two. Most recently, He guest starred in both CBS the Morning and Weekend Today. He also hosts his own show called, Food Porn and he co-hosts another series called FabLife. He has been on a variety of television shows that were based on The Meatball Shop. Some of these include Consumed: The Real Restaurant Business, Barefoot Contessa, The Chew, and Unique Eats.

Micheal has made such a name for himself and his business that he has been invited to appear on a variety of late night shows, including The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, World News Now, and Larry King Now. Any chef who has truly made it is invited to daytime talk shows and Michael is not the exception. He has guest starred in shows such as The Talk, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning. Finally, he has been asked to be a celebrity judge on a few cooking shows, including Beat Bobby Flay and Chopped.

Michael is a Snowboarder

Michael loves to spend his free time snowboarding. A friend of his gave him a Snurfer, which is the first snowboard ever made. His is an original. Currently, it is on display in his home and he has never used it. He is considering changing that soon.

Michael Chernow discovered his love of cooking when he was just 13 years old. Since then, he had made a name for himself in his restaurant and on television. He took his love of cooking to teach others by writing a book. He is a force to be reckoned with and we can expect to see more great things from Michael in the future.

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