#26: Chef Michael Mina: His Recipe for Building an Empire

If you don’t have a lemon, replace it with another acid. If you don’t have molasses, try honey. And if you run out of butter, perhaps use an avocado. Stick to the main ingredients, don’t be afraid to play around – and keep the balance.

Michael Mina is an award-winning chef based in San Francisco who has built an empire with over 40 restaurants around the world. He was the executive chef at AQUA from 1993-2002 and his flagship restaurant, MICHAEL MINA is a Michelin two-star establishment.

He has been a featured guest chef at the James Beard House numerous times; cooked for three U.S. presidents: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and has been a guest speaker at C.I.A. in Hyde Park and at other culinary institutes in California.   

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In this episode we discuss:

  • How Michael's persistence led to his big break

  • How he was able to get Andre Agassi to become his investment partner

  • The highs of being awarded two Michelin stars and the lows of losing one

  • How he has mentored and partnered Ayesha Curry

  • Advice he has for surrounding yourself with a great team

  • The last time he was nervous cooking for someone

Social media:

  • Check out Michael's restaurants at The Mina Group here

  • Follow Michael on Instagram here

  • Follow him on Twitter here

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