Being a chef for me has been so much more than creating and discovering new and exciting flavor profiles. I would have to say that   my passion for food has coincided with my own personal journey as a human being. I have often found myself uncertain about many things in my life. My love and appreciation of the way food becomes a creation has always inspired me. Sculptors see beyond a slab of stone. Painters see beyond a blank canvas. Chefs see more than an empty plate. My passion for being a private / personal chef for me

is the opportunity to be so creatively unique with each of my clients. I am currently back in the St Augustine area.

          20 years ago my first kitchen job was a dishwasher / busser at a bar and grill brewing company in Upstate N.Y. One morning the chef asked me if I would cut and prep some green bell peppers. To this day I can still remember the absolute pride and elation that he asked for my help. I would often look up from my dish pit station and be in awe as I observed him and the other line cooks serving the guests. I recall thinking to myself "I wonder what dish on the menu the green peppers will be used for". Needless to say, I cut those peppers with pride and a determined purpose. At that time in my life cooking was only a  hobby, a pastime, a fascinating curiosity of playing with herbs and spices. I had no clue that in that moment a passionate career as an intuitive chef had taken root. I moved on and up in the restaurant industry. My journey led me to becoming a personal chef solely working with cancer survivors. I would consider this line of work the most rewarding and at times extremely heartbreaking. The challenge I was faced was a diet so restricted that it took so much research and creativity to accommodate my client. I was determined to bring my clients happiness in the only way I was able to. To make food enjoyable despite the restrictions, lack of appetite and at times lack of hope. Inspired by the courage to battle such an aggressive disease, I fought along side my clients refusing to allow this disease to stop us from creating a menu that is specifically customized and enjoyable. These experiences are what inspired the name " food with love". The rest of my culinary journey up until now is a story within itself that continues to unfold each day. In my travels, years of kitchen experience, working under and alongside great chefs and mentors all have contributed to broadening my culinary horizons.

         In closing, I would like to answer a commonly asked question. " being that I specialize in vegan and non - vegan cuisine, what are my beliefs?" I am not a vegan / vegetarian myself. I was raised with a very holistic approach to food and natural medicinal healing. As a Chef I see non animal protein based cuisine as a level of amazing culinary creativity. As a human being I see the self discipline of a vegan / vegetarian lifestyle compassionate and inspires me with admiration and respect. I must remain non- bias with my views on this subject. As a professional Chef I need to be accommodating to my vegan and non vegan clients in an equal manner. My passion is sharing with you a blend of all cultures, flavor profiles, artistic culinary expression, healing and a happy palate. Cooking is powerful! Food brings us together, comforts, consoles, excites, stirs lost memories, creates memorable experiences, sustains us physically and emotionally and it always will. It is not only my privilege but an honor to be your personal chef.

 

 

Bon Apetit 

 

Chef Michael 

 

                                              

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