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Michael Mina Celebrates 20-Year Career And Creates Anniversary Tribute Dinner

Michael Mina will host the Anniversary Tribute Dinner, which will celebrate the acclaimed chef’s 20-year career and pay homage to Bay Area chefs and colleagues who helped shape the culinary landscape of America’s greatest food city.  The Anniversary Tribute Dinner will take place at MICHAEL MINA San Francisco on October 9.  October is a special month for the chef — it is the month Michael started his career at AQUA in 1991 and the month he opened the crown jewel of his restaurant collection in 2010 at the former AQUA location.

In support of Ronnie Lott’s All Stars Helping Kids, the Anniversary Tribute Dinner will feature six “paired” courses by Michael and chefs who worked together in his kitchens over the past 20 years, including Traci des Jardins, Melissa Perello, Joseph Humphrey, and Ron Siegel.  The dinner will also reunite Michael with George Morrone, the godfather and founding chef of AQUA and Michael’s best friend and mentor.  It was George who first brought Michael to San Francisco for the opening of the famed restaurant.

“This has been a magical year for me and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate the one year anniversary of MICHAEL MINA in the location where I first started my career,” said Michael.  “The anniversary dinner reflects my personal journey and honors the individuals whom I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside and who have helped me evolve as a chef.  We are excited to welcome longtime patrons who have been a part of our story since the early ’90s and all those who’ve joined us along the way to this once-in-a-lifetime dinner in a space that has meant so much to me personally and to San Francisco.”

The Anniversary Tribute Dinner will assemble chefs who worked with Michael since he first made his mark in October 1991 with the opening of AQUA, and whose influences are still felt in San Francisco and beyond.  Most significant of the group is George Morrone whom Michael considers his greatest mentor and friend.  George and 13 other contemporaries will create “paired” courses and each course will be prepared by a duo who worked together in one or more of Michael’s kitchens.

The acclaimed group will be cooking for guests, including esteemed chefs Nancy Oakes, Julian Serrano, Bradley Ogden, Roland Passot, and Gary Danko, among others in attendance who launched their careers in the early 90s and continue to have an impact on San Francisco’s culinary culture.

The evening will commence with canapés by San Francisco executive chefs Omri Aflalo of BOURBON STEAK, Jason Berthold of RN74 and Jeremy Ravetz of MICHAEL MINA.

  • The first course of will be introduced by Gerald Hayden, executive chef of North Fork Table & Inn in Long Island and member of the opening team at AQUA, and Chris L’Hommedieu, who was a line cook at AQUA and later became the executive chef of MICHAEL MINA at The Westin St. Francis on Union Square; under his direction, the restaurant earned two Michelin stars.


  • Joseph Humphrey, who opened Redwood Park with Michael, earned two Michelin stars at Meadowood and is opening Dixie this fall, will prepare the second course with Paul Piscopo, AQUA team member and executive chef at the W San Francisco’s TRACE Restaurant.


  • Michael will create the third course with his mentor and dear friend George Morrone, founding chef of AQUA, former chef at Fifth Floor and Redwood Room, and executive chef of Boca Steak in Marin County.


  • The fourth course will be presented by Bruce Hill, prominent chef and restaurateur (BIX, Picco, Pizzeria Picco) who worked with Michael at Four Seasons and AQUA, and Traci des Jardins, member of AQUA’s opening team, James Beard Award winner (Best Rising Chef, Best Chef), Iron Chef America winner, and chef/co-owner of Jardinière, Mijita Cocina Mexicana, Public House and Manzanita.


  • Executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s Dining Room and Michael’s “most fun hire,” Ron Siegel, will team up with Frances Executive Chef Melissa Perello, who manned every station during her tenure at AQUA, worked alongside Ron at Charles Nob Hill, and earned a Michelin star as executive chef of Fifth Floor, to serve the fifth course.


  • The sixth and final course will be fashioned by Lincoln Carson, corporate pastry chef for MICHAEL MINA and Mina Group, whose passion and resume impressed Michael from day one, and Bill Corbett, pastry chef at Absinthe who worked with Michael at MICHAEL MINA at The Westin St. Francis and credits Lincoln as his mentor.


Wine pairings for the Anniversary Tribute Dinner will reflect Michael’s favorite wines from the past 20 years from acclaimed producers such as Iron Horse, Evening Land, Sandhi, Au Bon Climat, and Piedrasassi.

Tickets to the Anniversary Tribute Dinner are $500 per person and include wine pairings and access to the after-party.  Seats are limited.  All proceeds from the dinner will benefit Ronnie Lott’s All Stars Helping Kids, which promotes a safe, healthy and rigorous learning environment for disadvantaged children.  The revered foundation celebrates its own 20th anniversary this year.

“Aside from cooking, my greatest passions are sports and children,” said Michael.  “It’s an honor to partner with Ronnie Lott’s All Stars Helping Kids, and give back to the San Francisco community that has so generously embraced me from my early days at AQUA.”

MICHAEL MINA is located at 252 California Street in San Francisco.  Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 415-397-9222.  Lunch hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30 am – 2 pm.  www.michaelmina.net <http://www.michaelmina.net>

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014