14 Questions with Chef Michael G
For Michael Griffiths – otherwise known as Chef Michael G – his passion for the culinary arts started with Pasta Thursdays. Growing up, his family’s life revolved around food; it was a conversation starter, a way to express how they felt, and a welcome treat while they watched their shows together.
Naturally, he dove into culinary textbooks to explore his passion and start on his career path, only to become completely discouraged when a well-known chef told him the horrors of the job, and how continuing towards his goal would make him lose his passion for food.
Michael took those words to heart and instead went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Education, and then transitioned from a Master’s of Science in Mathematics to a Doctorate of Philosophy in Computational Science.
All of his studies led him to one realization: He just wanted to be a chef!
So, he put those old words of discouragement behind him and entered Canada’s hit reality TV series, MasterChef Canada, where he placed in the top 3 across the entire country.
“I knew this was for me,” says Michael. “The dishes, the food, the eating (of course), all of it!”
Now, Michael curates unique dining experiences with cuisines from around the world and is a familiar face on morning TV shows – and his passion is still going strong.
“This is the world for me,” says Michael. “I love being a chef!”
Here’s what else he shared with us:
1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Life advice: “You need to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable!” – My sister, Emily Griffiths
Cooking advice: “Count twice, cut once!” – Chef Claudio Aprile
2. What’s your dream brunch date? Where and with whom?
My dream brunch date is on a cruise, looking out into the water with nothing but blue skies, the shine of hollandaise over runny poached eggs, bubbly mimosas, and my girlfriend Sabrina! Let’s say it together…ahhhh, PARADISE!
3. What’s on your bookshelf?
A mixture of old cookbooks from some of my idol chefs and my university mathematics textbooks that I still enjoy refreshing my memory on!
4. What does a typical day in your life look like?
I wake up and shower. I make breakfast of porridge, cereal, or poached eggs. I check my emails and respond to inquiries. I shop for groceries and begin my day of food prep. Stop for an afternoon workout. Finish my prep. Work my social channels, complete any emails I have, and end the night with yoga!
5. What would people be surprised to know about you?
I don’t like onions on pizza!
6. What’s your go-to meal or recipe?
Some sort of quick pasta with veggies, meat, or a salad.
7. What helps you get in your flow/zone?
Tunes, or the smell of something good LOL like sautéed onions!
8. When do you feel most alive?
I feel most alive in the stressful kitchen moments! I love the rush, the intensity. Since I work in the private sector, I must do all of this while calm and composed. It’s an interesting balance of crazy inside and cool outside. I love that!
9. How close is your offline life to your online life?
Exact! I make food, I eat food, I think about food, and I like to feed people…often, haha.
10. In real life, face-to-face interactions are on the decline as the world becomes more and more virtual every day. What are some ways you connect with your tribe? What do you do to ensure you’re having authentic face-to-face interactions regularly?
As someone who loves talking to people in general, I always strive to create as many interactions as I can. I am the type of person who will say hello to strangers while I am out. I enjoy conversing with people and listening to their perspectives on a variety of topics. It can be difficult for many people to talk to others, so since I find this rather entertaining, I take it upon myself to initiate conversation wherever I can.
11. What is your ideal setting to cook in?
I love cooking over a fire! The flavour is impeccable.
12. What are your biggest self-care tips?
Brush your teeth, moisturize regularly, and shower often. ☺
13. Do you prefer paperback or e-reader?
Paperback all the way! #oldfashion. I also like pencil and paper…math dork problems!
14. What’s your biggest success or achievement to date?
Placing top 3 on MasterChef Canada, appearing regularly on morning TV, and completing upwards of 50 private events in the last six to seven months.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of Michael soon enough! In addition to some exciting projects he has in the works, he and his team will be traveling and creating unique dining experiences around the world, with a chance for you to join him on a trip! Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to stay in-the-know.
We love a good meal, especially when it’s shared with friends! That’s why we’ve paired delicious food with great books to create can’t-miss events that we’d love to see you at. Check out what we have planned by heading to our events page!
Shannon Hodgen is a lifelong writer, DIY enthusiast, and homebody. She satisfies her need to put pen to paper–or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard–as an agency copywriter, blog contributor, and freelance editor in Toronto.
Favourite Book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favourite Brunch Spot: Dirty Food Eatery in The Junction