Michael McCarty

Chef and owner, Michael's

Michael McCarty has been called the father of contemporary California cuisine and is one of America’s most widely respected restaurateurs.

In 1979, at the age of 25, McCarty founded Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica, California. An instant success, Michael’s Santa Monica remains one of the most acclaimed, popular restaurants in the United States—as does Michael’s New York, which opened in 1989. Both restaurants are renowned for their fresh, seasonal, contemporary American cuisine. Their award-winning wine lists feature over 800 labels from around the world—including the latest vintages from The Malibu Vineyard, which surrounds McCarty’s home on a hillside overlooking the Pacific. Michael has also shared his approach to food, wine, and entertaining in two cookbooks, most recently Welcome to Michael’s.

Michael was raised in Briarcliff Manor, New York and Rockford, Illinois. His parents' frequent parties gave him an early appreciation for stylish hospitality and good American food. He attended the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and lived in Rennes, France for a year as part of the Andover-Exeter School Year Abroad program, during which he experienced for the first time the artistry, quality, and joie de vivre of French dining.

In Paris, he earned diplomas from the Ecole Hotelière, the Cordon Bleu, and the Academy du Vin. In 1974, he returned to the States, attended Cornell's Summer Hotel Program, and earned a BA in the Business and Art of Gastronomy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Michael is married to the painter Kim McCarty, and they have two grown children, daughter Clancy and son Chas. They split their time between Malibu and an apartment high above Michael's New York. Devoted followers and patrons of the arts, the McCartys are deeply involved in leading museums and other arts organizations in both Los Angeles and Manhattan.