Michael’s in Santa Monica Is a Celebrity Chef-Making Machine – California News

Michael’s in Santa Monica Is a Celebrity Chef-Making Machine – California News

Miles Thompson, left, Brooke Williamson, Michael McCarty, Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman and Sang Yoon at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival’s Power Lunch 2017.

Courtesy Michael’s Santa Monica

Michael McCarty is a bona fide scout when it comes to picking talented chefs for his eponymous 38-year-old restaurant in Santa Monica. The list of famous alumni who made a name for themselves at Michael’s reads like the Oscar winners of the food world: Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman, Mark Peel, Sang Yoon and Brooke Williamson, to name a few.

“You have to be a scout like [in] any sport, [like] when people go looking for dancers for the ballet, or they go looking for models — and you get good at it after a while,” McCarty says.

Despite being in the game so long, McCarty — who was pivotal in the California cuisine movement, along with iconic chefs Alice Waters, Jeremiah Tower and Wolfgang Puck — hasn’t lost his Midas touch. Case in point: Michael’s latest executive chef, 29-year-old Miles Thompson, who’s had a very big year.

The uni and Dungeness crab chawanmushi at Michael's

The uni and Dungeness crab chawanmushi at Michael’s

Jean Trinh

We’re nearing the one-year reopening anniversary of Michael’s on Sept. 15; the restaurant briefly closed last year as McCarty redecorated and brought on Thompson. The young, creative chef made a splashy debut at Michael’s with dishes such as uni and Dungeness crab chawanmushi, a savory Japanese egg custard that L.A. Weekly’s food critic Besha Rodell described as “so elegant and creamy it stopped me in my tracks.” In February, the James Beard Foundation named Thompson a semifinalist for its Rising Star Chef award.

McCarty’s son Chas…

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