Bio & Background
Michael Feker is a passionate man who spreads that passion and joy of cooking and eating healthy meals through his roles as chef, restaurateur, television personality, culinary schoolteacher, culinary director and consultant, caterer, and cooking demonstration chef.
A 36-year veteran in the restaurant industry, Michael dreamed about being in the kitchen since he was a child. Born in Persia, he's benefited from experiencing food from around the world - beginning in Switzerland, where he attended school as a child. He later headed to San Francisco and the California Culinary Academy (CCA) and was trained in classical French style by one of the country's best chefs, Roberto Gerometta.
His first break came from Gerometta, who chose Michael to represent CCA aboard the Royal Viking Cruise Line for a four-month, around-the-world assignment. That experience gave him the chance to master his artistry.
California noticed Michael, offering him positions at some of the best Italian restaurants, including Harry's Bar and Grill in San Francisco and Chianti Cucina, Locanda Veneta, and Sostanza in Los Angeles. He became Executive Chef at Sostanza and worked temporarily as a corporate chef at the Nestle Corporation with Gerometta.
In 1990 Michael opened his restaurant in Studio City to showcase his style. His restaurant, IL MITO, was an overnight success on Ventura Boulevard, near Hollywood film studios. It was so popular he added a second restaurant to meet the demand of Hollywood stars and studio employees alike.
After meeting and marrying his wife, he brought his IL MITO brand to Milwaukee — her hometown — in 1997. In 2006, he opened his Wauwatosa location, which now has so many fans, they're nicknamed "the Fekeroodies." In 2008, he expanded that location to include CMF's School of Culinary Magic/Chef's Counter, where he hosts private cooking lessons, gourmet wine and beer tastings, private cooking demonstrations, and corporate events.
In 2013, he brought IL MITO East to downtown Milwaukee, serving Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in a casual fine dining setting, with full gluten-free options and a globally-inspired Sunday Brunch with build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. IL MITO East closed its doors in October of 2014 to make room for his newest venture.
In 2015, Michael opened Zesti in Hartland, Wis. Based on his worldly travels and experiences, combined with Michael's passion for food and culinary artistry, Zesti serves up global cuisine from South African to Chinese.
In addition to his restaurants, Michael also works as a culinary consultant to Wisconsin's largest healthcare provider, Aurora Health Care. He helps them revamp and revive their culinary techniques and practices to bring fresh and pure foods to both patients and staff. His cooking videos are also shown on their in-house television network for patients to view.
Michael lives in Milwaukee with his family.