Chef Michael Mina

Philosophy
My philosophy of cooking is my philosophy of life: create balance and harmony. In the end, it is all about creating lasting relationships. I hope to meet and cook for you one day soon. 

I love bold flavors in food. I love balanced food and I love food that keeps me excited throughout the entire course.

My job as a Chef, and my team’s job, is to make food come alive. We strive to create incredible meals each and every day that make our guests sit up, take notice, experience delight and wonder, “Exactly what was in that dish?”

We accomplish this through a balance of flavors: acidity, sweetness, spice and fat. These are the four key ingredients that should be present in any dish. Does it have enough acid? Enough spice? If you don’t use all four, that’s okay, but whichever ones are used must create a balance so that your food screams bold.

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.

Life
Every chef has a demanding schedule, but being in the kitchen remains a labor of love for me – which includes my family.

Hand in hand with a balance of flavors is achieving balance in my life. And the key ingredient here is my family.

You’ll often find my wife and me in the kitchen with the boys on the weekends, passing the baton as we prepare a meal together for friends and family – or just for ourselves.

And we begin each morning in the kitchen as a family, making fun and fuel together to start the day. With a good family comes a good life—the rest falls into place.

Curriculum Vitae
I started in the kitchen when I was very young, and I am still as intrigued with the process as I was when I was a 15-year-old Garde Manger in a small French restaurant in my hometown.

In 1991 at the age of 22 I was given the opportunity of a lifetime – help design an upscale seafood restaurant in San Francisco from scratch – and I threw myself into the project heart and soul. It became AQUA and opened to rave reviews in a town known for great cuisine.

Now here it is, 20+ years and many restaurants later. I reimagined AQUA and completely restored it to create Michael Mina. Since then, I’ve opened more than 20 destination restaurants, hired world-class executive chefs and the best teams you can find. With their help, I am honored to say, my restaurants have achieved a success that has put the Mina Group ahead of its class.

You could say that the key ingredient to this accomplishment is an unwavering passion for food combined with a commitment to phenomenal service for our guests.

Michael Mina