Michael Martin was born into a world of good food.
Growing up at the apron strings of his grandmother Thelma in her tiny kitchen full of wonderful tastes and smells or sitting on his mother’s kitchen counter sniffing spices and pinching herbs to season this tomato sauce or that chicken, it all meant one thing: family sharing a meal together, love.
Michael brought the passion and sensibility of this into the
professional kitchen at an early age. Becoming one of the youngest head chefs in
Nashville, he took over the top spot at the then fledgling, Sunset Grill at age 20.
Surviving that he moved on to New York and then across the Atlantic.
After working and traveling his way around Europe, Michael landed in Prague, Czech
Republic in 1993, where he was tapped to become the first American chef to the U.S.
Ambassador Adrian Basora. After his work at the Ambassador’s Residence, Michael
went on to open Restaurant no.89, a casual fine dining restaurant acclaimed by the
Czech elite, the media and locals alike.
Among many of the other highlights of his work in Prague was the opportunity to
work on location for the filming of Last Holiday staring Queen Latifah and
Gerard Depardieu. Working side by side with Susan Stockton, VP of Culinary
Production and food stylists Jay Brooks and Krista Ruane, from the Food Network,
Michael cooked and styled much of the food seen in the film.
The Food Network eventually led him back home to Nashville, close once more to
mom and grandma, where he joined the team at Shop at Home, a television shopping
network. At Shop at Home, Michael ran the culinary production of “From Emeril’s
Kitchen” and became an on-air chef himself in the process.
Currently Michael is the Cooking at Home Specialist at Whole Foods Market and
continues to work with Chef Emeril Lagasse at the QVC Channel in Philadelphia, PA.
He lives and cooks with his wife and two children in Franklin, Tennessee where he also
gardens and repairs vintage motorcycles.
He has recently launched the locally focused catering company South Fork.