Michael Schlow – Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Via Matta, Alta Strada and Tico – is recognized as one of the leading chefs in the United States.
In 1985, Brooklyn-born Schlow traded a baseball scholarship and a ninety-two mile-an-hour fastball for a set of Wusthof knives and a place at the Academy of Culinary Arts in New Jersey. After completing his training, Schlow began his career with renowned New York restaurateur Pino Luongo and immediately adopted a commitment to the elegance and simplicity of true Tuscan cooking.
“Less is more” became a trademark. Schlow went on to become Chef de Cuisine at Manhattan hot spots Coco Pazzo and Le Madri and, after studying under Chef Mark Straussman (Campagna, New York City), eventually became Executive Chef at famed Long Island institution Sapore di Mare.
Schlow continued to develop a commitment to proper technique and to the purity of Tuscan cooking at 75 Main, a restaurant and gourmet market in the Hamptons, adding Asian and French influences to his cooking. After his years in The Hamptons, Schlow moved back to Manhattan and opened Ariel & Michael to much critical acclaim. Further maturing at Craig Shelton’s New Jersey Ryland Inn, helped finesse Schlow’s early education. He remains a devotee of Shelton, Jean-Louis Palladin and Joel Robuchon.
At the urging of long-time friend Christopher Myers, Schlow moved to Boston in 1995 to reopen Café Louis. After a 3-year stint at Café Louis, where Schlow garnered nearly every culinary distinction imaginable including Food & Wine‘s Best New Chef, Schlow and Myers turned up the heat on their larger plan to open Radius in downtown Boston.
Radius opened in January 1999 featuring a very personal style of modern French cuisine. The accolades rolled in: Boston Magazine called it the Best Restaurant and Best Power Lunch in town, Gourmet called it the top twenty five Best American Restaurants in 2001, Food & Wine called it the Best New Restaurant of 2000, and it was titled one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire in 1999. In May of 2000, Schlow won the distinguished James Beard Award of Excellence for Best Chef in the Northeast.
Building on the success of Radius, Schlow and Myers opened Via Matta in Boston’s thriving Back Bay in June 2002. Featuring the authentic cuisine of the Italian regions of Piedmont, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, Schlow and Myers created a one-of-a-kind authentic Italian culinary experience devoted to the fun-loving, easy, eclectic spirit of Italy. Via Matta was named one of America’s Best Restaurants in the October 2002 issue of Gourmet and Best New Restaurants in America in the November issue of Esquire.
After the 2005 release of his first cookbook, It’s About Time, Schlow made his first foray into the suburbs, opening Alta Strada in Wellesley, which was soon followed by a second location at the MGM Grand Casino at Foxwoods.
The numerous accolades solidified Schlow’s culinary reputation and brought him to national attention. As a result, Schlow has made numerous television appearances on network and cable programs including The Today Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America and more. He participates in numerous benefits and charities and annually returns to New Jersey for A Dinner of Hope, a black-tie affair benefiting children with AIDS. He has been invited to cook at the James Beard House, and he is most proud of cooking dinner for Julia Child on her birthday twice.