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, cheese makers and ranchers – Michael 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, a highly rated vintner, culinary and lifestyle trends pioneer, noted author, and an 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 and healthy living, spiced with a dose of Old World charm, inspires friends and family to create meaningful memories around the 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 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-90s, 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.
Michael has been a national television host of his own shows for more than a decade on PBS, Food Network and Cooking Channel, and he 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 a finalist on Bravo’s inaugural Top Chef Masters, and he has appeared as a judge on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. In the fall of 2011, he will join another highly rated cooking show, The Next Iron Chef, also on Food Network. A popular celebrity guest chef, Michael is a regular contributor to NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ 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.