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March 25, 2009


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FYI: The James Beard Organization is at jamesbeard.org (the URL you listed above -- jamesbeardfoundation.org -- is just a squatter page).


Congrats on being a James Beard finalist. Glad you had fun at the housewares show. I went last year but couldn't make it this year. I need to get to The Publican soon. We just love Blackbird!


Congrats on being selected as a finalist, hope you walk away with the award!

Michelle Venorsky

Congrats, Michael! Fingers crossed for you. I love Avec, too - eaily my favorite restaurant in Chicago. This is the first time in 7 yrs I haven't gone to Housewares; glad it was a success for you.


Chicago loves you, MS (AND we love to eat) . . . time to open an outpost here!


Hi MS,

I just want to say that I am truly inspired by your passion for what you do.. I enjoy cooking that in this time of my life have entered in what has been up until not to long ago a dream. Thank you and congratulations on being a finalist and Im sure that you will walk away with the award. Thank you very much!

JoP in Omaha

Congratulations! Your enthusiasm is awesome. I'm so looking forward to the release of your book later this year.


Thanks for all you are doing for Cleveland. I was a cook all through HS and was accepted to Johnson and Whales. Decided the lifestyle was too hard on a family and changed careers. Kids now almost grown up. Don't regret the decision, I have great kids, but your excitement is infectious. I remember heading in to work at 3:00am for Sunday Brunch prep, and loving it. Don't do that with the current job. Maybe it is time to find a restaurant I can work part time at, at this point I think I would even volunteer.. lol. Thanks for the bug.


Congratulations on the nomination and best of luck. Now I'm off to the Calphalon Warehouse sale here in Toledo!!

Karen Anderson

We visited Lolita this past Tuesday. Michael was there and he was the perfect host. He took time to visit everyone and he was awesome. He took pictures, signed autographs and was so down to earth. The roasted pig was awesome, the gnocchi w/pork ragu was to die for, seriously, but the brussel sprouts were the BOMB baby!! We HIGHLY recommend Lolita if you are ever in Cleveland or anywhere near (within 1000 miles). Thank you Michael for being so hospitable. You are awesome and we will forever be huge fans. Much Love


i congratulate you on being a finalist. that's a honor! i just about a week ago got denied my loan for International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute and i was terribly torn apart and frankly i still am. i wish i had the chance to even learn the skills and be as talented as you are. i have watched you since day one and actually you are really good friends with my aunt Crissa and her husband Todd Krupa. i wish i had the chance to go to culinary school, but i just cant seem to get the loans that i need to fulfill my dreams and its extremely devastating. i think your awesome and your restaurant is absolutely amazing, i'm hoping someday to become at least half as talented as you are. keep up the good work and ill keep fallowing it! maybe someday i will be working for you!


Congratulations on your nomination. I think you're amazing because you always seem to "keep it real" so to speak. I hope you win!

Keith Bolek

Congratulations on your nomination. I'll be pulling for you because I think you deserve the award.

Bite Buff

Congrats on the nomination, you certainly deserve it! Cleveland is lucky to have you representing this city on the national level of the culinary industry. Your food is out of this world, and it is a pleasure to watch your career grow.


Mike won for best chef Great Lakes region and LOLA was voted one of the best restaurants in the country. Congrats Mike and hope you are at the Lamb dinner tomorrow at Lolita!

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