Mike Dunlap, Chef

Mike chefMost of my friends and family refer to me as a Jack-Of-All-Trades though they all know cooking is what really gets me going!

I am originally from Iowa and attended The University of Iowa (Go Hawkeyes!). I moved to California over 15 years ago where I began my culinary journey as a member of a start-up team opening restaurants across the Midwest and Southern California. That experience taught me the high demands of fine dining management.

Desiring to further refine my techniques in the actual kitchen, I moved to Austin to attend Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. While in school I ventured away from the restaurant realm and began working as a personal chef to some very elite clientele. I found a niche in preparing customized menus that require an upscale, gourmet presentation. I participated on the culinary team for popular events like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, catering to the dietary needs and special requests of artists such as the Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band and Kings of Leon. I have worked in numerous establishments in and around the Austin area holding positions such as Executive Chef, Front-House Manager, Kitchen Manager and more.

I also actively serve on the Texas State Guard, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity all over the nation & Mexico, and spend as much time as possible with my family. I am currently studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, in order to work with clients on exercise as well as diet.

I find most of my INSPIRATION in the "locavore" & vegetarian concepts that are scattered throughout Austin. Cooking has always come naturally to me. I've been blessed with a gift for grilling & stir-frying. I work wonders with wild Texas game and have some amazing seafood recipes from SoCal. I constantly find myself looking for new ways to excite the vegan/vegetarian palate. It is challenging and I appreciate that!

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