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
Provence with Ryan Ratino
From buzzing cities to bucolic countryside, this is an immersive expedition into the heart of Provence, one of France's most storied food and wine regions. Join us for a true feast for the senses alongside Ryan Ratino.
Peru with Traci Des Jardins & Enrique Sanchez
The best of Peru with Traci Des Jardins & Enrique Sanchez. Ancient Incan culture, Michelin-star cuisine and colorful food markets, hikes through Sacred Valley villages up into the sheer audaciousness of Machu Picchu. This is the Peru of your dreams.
Oaxaca with Suzanne Tracht
Explore food, art and culture with Chef Suzanne Tracht. Oaxaca packs in so much of the complex, fascinating culture of Mexico and we'll experience it all—at artist studios, ancient ruins, local markets, street-food stands and hacienda hotels.