CHEF MICHAEL LOVE
The growth of the New American Cuisine movement has resulted in a new paradigm for chefs. Rather than progressing through an apprenticeship program beginning at a young age, chefs are primarily self-taught and frequently come to cooking from other art forms. The career of Michael Love, Specialty Chef at Epicure Gourmet Market & Cafe in South Florida, is consistent with this tradition.
Michael began the professional phase of his life as a musician. But the transition from piano to pots and pans actually was completed almost twenty years ago, and now many more have seen him demonstrate how to “make three soups in less than an hour” or “the perfect weekend brunch” than heard him play after attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
As an apprentice, Michael entered the professional kitchen, first at Cappy’s in the Back Bay area of Boston tossing pizzas and learning to become a grill cook, and then at the highly-acclaimed Versailles Restaurant in suburban Arlington, Massachusetts where he witnessed French cooking at the highest level from famed chef, Isaac Dray.
He moved to Florida in 1996, and a year later was the founding chef at Tabu Grill & Bar, a popular late-night spot in Sunny Isles Beach known for its Mediterranean flavors.
Leaving the professional kitchen for a time, Michael amassed a loyal following as a private chef and cooking instructor. In addition to classes at such noted spots as Bloomingdales and Williams-Sonoma stores, he created a cooking class series called “Cooking with Love,” which was featured on Deco Drive, a popular nightly entertainment TV show.
Michael, dubbed a “culinary guru” by The Miami Herald in 2010, took his live cooking series to Epicure Gourmet Market & Cafe. In July 2011, Epicure hired him as its Specialty Chef with the purpose of creating and launching a new line of co-branded, all-natural gourmet food products called “Epicure with Love,” or as Starkman refers to it, “5-star in a jar.” Epicure with Love includes soups, breads, entrees and desserts.
Chef Michael Love’s first cookbook was published in November 2014 to wide acclaim. Titled The Salvage Chef Cookbook, the book shows readers how to make use of what’s already in their kitchens in new, delicious ways. You can order the cookbook here, or purchase it all all three Epicure Market locations. Chef Love was a proud participant in the Miami Book Fair International in November 2014.
Additionally, Michael participates in various charitable benefits run by culinary luminaries such as Michelle Bernstein (Common Threads), and Allen Susser (Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale).
Follow him on Facebook: Chef Michael Love, and on Twitter & Instagram @lovecancook