Why We Love Michael Scelfo
Michael doesn’t take his craft too seriously. His dishes are deliciously simple. His motto: “Serious food does not have to be pretentious.” We can get on board with that.
“I come from a large Italian family where my mom and grandmother cooked. Food was the center of our social world. When we came together, it was usually focused around the table.”
“I genuinely just want to make people happy.”
How do you think about creativity, and how does your creative process work?
I take inspiration from the meals I share with family & friends. It's those moments that always resonate with me. I take those meals and try to elevate them in the restaurant. Part of that dynamic lives deep in Italian and Sicilian culture.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking?
I love to relax and play a record when I get the chance. And I love taking pictures. So taking a motorcycle ride with my camera is a great way to relax.
How would you describe your big Italian family? What does the idea of ‘family’ mean for you?
I love how our family memories are centered on food. All big moments usually start or end up at the dinner table, and it's those moments and memories that define our family.
In 10 words or less, describe your perfect pizza.
Cant be done! I love all kinds of pizza and have been devoting a large amount of time to research and understand the nuances of different pizza styles. I like a not-too-sweet sauce, a great cheese and good crust, which to me is a balance of chew and stability to hold its ingredients!
How much has travel been an influence to how you’ve evolved, personally or professionally, over the years?
Travel is a huge part of my life now. As younger person it was a dream, and now it's become a priority and something I lean on closely. I want to see as much as I can about the countries and cultures that excite me. Sicily is a huge moment for me personally, and it will be exciting to share as I hopefully retrace some roots and meet some family for the first time. Walking in the streets of my ancestors. Seeing the towns my people lived in and still do, understanding their journey a little more, and adding some pages to mine.
Read any really good books lately?
The Power of Letting Go by John Purkiss. It's a good one with lessons for all.
Explore Upcoming Trips with our Tastemakers
Italian Alps: Dolomites Hiking
This is Italy like you've never experienced: a trek through the jaw-dropping Italian Dolomites, with stays in luxury mountain lodges, Michelin-star meals, and immersive cultural experiences like local farm tours and cooking classes.
Portugal with Chris McDade & Natalie Grindstaff
Dreaming of Portugal this summer? Go deep with Chef Chris McDade and sommelier Natalie Grindstaff: azulejo tiles, Fado music, sparkling wines and rich Barolos. Explore taverns and markets, vineyards and farms, and sail through the world’s most gorgeous wine country.
Yucatán with Rico Torres & Diego Galicia
Our Yucatán means ancient pyramids, jungle wildlife, meetups with local artists, cenote swims and historic haciendas and, of course, unforgettable flavors. Dive in on this six-day cultural and culinary journey with chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres. This is no mere vacation in Mexico. It’s an unforgettable adventure in one of the world’s most delicious destinations, alongside two of the most inspiring humans we know.