Who Is Michael Chernow?
Michael Chernow is a restaurateur and chef, entrepreneur, TV host, fitness personality and family man dedicated to inspiring the world through positivity, hospitality and service. He first began working in restaurants as a teenager and thereafter built a successful career in the industry. He worked as a bartender and bar manager at Frank Restaurant for eight years and met his wife Donna while there. In 2007, he enrolled in the French Culinary Institute and graduated with honors and was awarded an Associates Degree in both Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management in 2008.
With a passion for launching, building and scaling businesses, Michael co-founded The Meatball Shop in 2009 with childhood friend Daniel Holzman, which now has five locations across New York City, and also co-authored The Meatball Shop Cookbook in 2011 released by Ballantine Books. In 2015, he founded SEAMORE’s, a Manhattan restaurant that combines Michael’s love of fishing and culinary expertise, which has also grown to five locations. As captain of his own ship, it is in this role where Michael grew his passion and talent for managing and nurturing others, taking advice from everyone, and hiring people to see his vision come to fruition. And in 2016, he co-founded functional beverage brand WellWell with Sagan Schultz and frozen health-food mogul, Larry Praeger of Dr. Praeger’s.
‘Fit’ or Flight…
Michael’s love for fitness sparked in 2005 when he fell in love with running and Muay Thai kick boxing, which he found enabled him to clear his mind. Both activities have remained an ongoing passion, as he ran his first marathon in 2008 with more to follow (including the NYC Marathon) and competed in Muay Thai as an amateur fighter. Currently, Michael is an avid bodybuilder, weight trains 6 days a week and goes on 4-mile walk/runs in NYC or by his home in upstate New York. He is dedicated to healthy eating and follows a Paleo diet.
For Michael, fitness gives him an opportunity to win every day. The discipline is like therapy and provides a structure and balance to start the day with a win and continue to set up small wins throughout the day to increase confidence and be able to service others. He puts fitness and wellbeing before anything else in life, because feeling good and motivated allows him to be a better father, employer and partner.
To stay motivated, continuously learn and push himself outside his comfort zone, Michael’s mantra is “Fail often. Fail fast. Learn from your mistakes.” He believes people tend to avoid taking risks because they have a fear of failing. Michael not only thinks failing is important, he encourages it.
Born or Made
Michael is the host of the weekly Born or Made podcast, which was launched in early 2020 and takes a deep dive into the personal backgrounds of leaders and extraordinary individuals who have inspired him and millions of others. The podcast explores the journeys of entrepreneurs, experts, and thought leaders with the ultimate goal of answering the question: Are people born with the skills that have shaped their lives, or were they made over time? Michael and his guests dive into the topic of nature vs nurture, focusing on their individual stories and lessons learned on their journeys through life and business.
Notable guests on Born or Made include lifestyle entrepreneur Lewis Howes, founder and co-CEO of MindBodyGreen Jacob Wachob, serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder and CEO of Y7 Yoga Sara Levey, and former Editor-In-Chief of Food & Wine magazine Dana Cowin.
Media and Partnerships
Michael’s impressive resume includes managing thirteen properties and four companies, hosting two seasons (26 episodes) of Food Porn on the FYI network, being featured in the CNBC docu-series Consumed: The Real Restaurant Business and appearing in many cooking shows including the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, Kitchen Casino, and Chopped.
Michael has appeared in countless National broadcast segments, such as Good Morning America, TODAY Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Watch What Happens Live! and has been featured in an array of local and national publications including The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, People, Food Network Magazine, GQ, and more. Michael’s partnerships have included collaborations with luxury brands Lexus, Equinox, Lululemon Athletica, Calphalon and Mr. Porter.
Michael is a volunteer, board member and community leader for City Harvest. In 2018, he led the City Harvest team of 35 members in the NYC Marathon, helping to raise over $100,000 to feed more than 600,000 New Yorkers.
Michael, Donna and young sons Finley and Dakota divide their time between Brooklyn and upstate New York. For more information, please visit www.michaelchernow.com, give a follow on Instagram at @michaelchernow and/or contact The Brooks Group via ChernowTeam@brookspr.com.
“EVERY DAY STARTS WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DECISION. THE CHOICE TO WORK HARD OR TO NOT WORK HARD IS ALL ON US. WE GET OUT OF IT WHAT WE PUT INTO IT. I KNOW FOR CERTAIN, I CAN DO ANYTHING I PUT MY MIND TO AND TAKE ACTION TOWARDS.” – MC
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Chef Michael Chernow shares tips for making whipped coffee