Star Kitchen: Michael Mina

California chef and restaurateur Michael Mina takes us on a tour of his outdoor kitchen.

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Photo By: dave lauridsen

Take a Tour

Michael Mina, who owns 12 restaurants in the Bay Area, is by all accounts a city guy. He never imagined living in the country, but in 2010, his wife, Diane, came across this house on three acres in Marin County (about an hour north of San Francisco), and that was it. “We dropped everything so we could live here full time,” he says. Michael built a quarter-acre garden and a custom restaurant-grade outdoor kitchen equipped with a Lynx grill, Viking burners, warming drawers and an industrial dishwasher. The kitchen is often in full swing, especially when chefs from his restaurants come out to develop and test new dishes. “Being here clears our heads,” he says. “We can have a glass of wine and relax and just talk about food.” The space has also kept his relationship with Diane in good standing. “Having my own kitchen is how we’ve been able to stay lovingly married,” he says, laughing. “Diane doesn’t allow me in the indoor one!”

Multi-Use Grill

Strange as this sounds, Michael doesn’t use his kamado-style Big Green Egg for grilling. “I treat it like a stone oven and bake bread on it.”

Homegrown Ingredients

Thanks to a garden that’s just a few steps away, Michael and Diane always have fresh herbs on hand — great for garnishing dishes and drinks.

Garden Produce

The Minas grow 12 varieties of tomatoes. Recently, their crop was so successful that they produced 900 pounds in one year!

Pizza Night

The kitchen has two pizza ovens: a wood-fired brick version and a smaller infrared one so the couple can make pizzas or laffa bread quickly.

Well-Protected

The kitchen, which sits right outside the house, is partially enclosed to protect it from Marin County’s windy weather.

Bloody Mary Bar

Diane is a Bloody Mary aficionado: At home she has her own Bloody Mary bar, and she makes and sells Diane’s Bloody Mary Mix. $19; williams-sonoma.com

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