Michael Chiarello is an award-winning chef and owner of critically acclaimed Bottega restaurant in the Napa Valley. He made his mark by combining his Southern Italian roots with the distinctive hallmarks of Napa Valley living. From his earliest childhood experiences – created around his mother’s California kitchen with his extended Italian family of butchers, cheesemakers and ranchers – Michael Chiarello dreamed of becoming a chef one day. Decades later, he has realized his dream, and much more.
Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Michael began to shape his career into what he would become: an acclaimed chef, highly-rated vintner, culinary & lifestyle trends pioneer, noted author, and Emmy®-winning television host on Food Network and Cooking Channel. Throughout his achievements, he incorporates his passion for seasonal, sustainable living – and the artisan purveyors who make it possible – into his endeavors. His unique perspective on good food & healthy living, spiced with a dose of old-world charm, inspires friends and family to create meaningful memories around their table. His passion for a food-centric life is shared with his fans, restaurant guests, television viewers and Napa Valley visitors alike.
Michael was named Chef of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 1985, just three years after graduating from the CIA. He received the CIA’s Chef of the Year Award in 1995, and was just named CIA’s 2011 Alumni of the Year. Michael’s books have received awards and nominations from both IACP and James Beard Foundation. In the mid-90’s, his specialty food innovations earned his olive oil business, Consorzio Flavored Oils, the Best Product Line Award at the International Fancy Food Show. After turning his enthusiasm for sustainability to his own vineyards in 1999, he created Chiarello Family Vineyards, and his small-production wines are consistently high-scoring. And since 2000, Michael has been the tastemaker behind the NapaStyle retail line of artisanal foods, kitchenware and home decor. Most recently, Michael was nominated for the 2012 “Best Chef: Pacific” award by the James Beard Foundation.
Michael has been a national television host of his own shows for over a decade on PBS, Food Network and Cooking Channel, and has appeared on the highest rated food competition shows on television as well. His Emmy Award®-winning show Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, began in 2003 and still airs daily. In 2009, he took second place as finalist on Bravo’s innagural Top Chef Masters, and has appeared as a judge on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. Michael was also a competitor on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, which premiered in October 2011. A popular celebrity guest chef, Michael is a regular contributor to NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Regis & Kelly, and the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Inside Scoop Voices” Column. Michael lives among his Napa Valley vineyards with his wife and children.
In the spring of 2013, Michael will open Coqueta, a Spanish restaurant on San Francisco's waterfront and will release Live Fire, his new book all about cooking with fire, in May.