Chef Michael Reidt
E. MICHAEL REIDT
Chef/Owner - Sevilla
Acclaimed Chef Michael Reidt (pronounced Reed) continues to dazzle the culinary world and all who feast at his new casually fine dining restaurant, Sevilla (opening April 2005), in the heart of Santa Barbara, California. Utilizing the finest local ingredients to continually evolve his signature French-Brazilian cuisine, Chef Reidt translates his knowledge, spirit, and passion for the exotic Brazilian culture with his sparkling and energized dining concept. “We wanted Sevilla to be like nothing else in the area, from food, ambiance, and vision,” says Reidt. The personable young chef, who burst onto the American culinary scene when he opened Bomboa in 1999, says Sevilla reflects his lust for life and growth as a man…and a cook.
Reidt’s mother used to advise him, “Always make sure you love what you’re doing.” Michael listened well, and judging by his soulful, avant-garde creations, he is having a lot of fun too. Reidt’s signature cuisine tastes like the work of a French chef living in Rio de Janeiro. Whether called fusion or Franco-Brazilian, the food of this Massachusetts-born chef is certainly innovative. Michael Reidt has created a menu at Sevilla that sparkles with imaginative, complex dishes, sharply-flavored with Brazilian exuberance, and executed with solid French cooking techniques. For example, in his one-of-a-kind Grilled Cachaça Marinated Ahi, the chef takes Brazilian liquor made from distilled sugar cane juice and marries it with meaty tuna so the sweetness and the inimitable flavor of rum are retained.
After completing his schooling at the Culinary Institute of America (C.I.A.) in upstate New York, Reidt spent his externship sharpening his natural talents in the kitchen of noted chef Patrick O’Connell at the esteemed Mobil five-star restaurant The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia. Upon graduating C.I.A. in 1993, Reidt returned to Boston to work under Chef Todd English at Olives and Chef Suzanne Goin at Alloro. In the mid 90’s, Reidt departed the East Coast to venture on a two year “culinary sabbatical,” traveling around the United States and abroad to explore the food and to discover inspiration in diverse cultures and traditions. Eventually, he landed in Brazil, where he experimented with South American ingredients in both traditional and modern ways, which has sparked the greatest impact on his cooking style. Reid reveals, “I am as much attracted to the culture as the food, and the love Brazilians have for everything. Since what I do is cook, I took the passion and put it in my food." Whenever Michael gets a little time off, he still jets to his “second home,” Brazil, to absorb the cuisine and customs of the various regions in the country. In 1997, Michael returned to Boston to command the kitchen at the Parisian-style bistro, Zinc. After the restaurant closed, the chef opened Bomboa in the same location to critical acclaim and great success. It was there that he first introduced the concept of combining indigenous Brazilian ingredients with French cooking techniques to create his version of fusion. Reidt’s reputation is well known, he’s an articulate chef with culinary principles, a man obsessed with getting it right. His skill and zeal met with brilliant results; as chef/owner of Bomboa, Reidt earned himself a spot as one of Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2001.
Later that same year, Reidt’s fondness for the sunny climate that he enjoyed in Brazil directed the chef to the gorgeous beaches of South Beach Miami. Florida seemed the natural setting for his bold, zestful food. Reidt made a splash as the Executive Chef of Wish at The Hotel, where he reinvented the menu to reflect his fascination with French- Brazilian cuisine, bringing his own intriguing vision to diners. Reidt’s welcomed sense of flair and substance earned him the prestigious Rising Star Chef Award from StarChefs. Wish’s exotic and cozy interior décor was designed by Todd Oldham of fashion fame, complimenting the bright, tropical quality of Reidt’s food and creating an exciting dining experience for guests.
In 2004, the sought-after young chef, whose accomplished gastronomic skills make him appear seasoned beyond his 34 years, accepted the prospect to showcase his venerated talents at Sevilla; creating food of substance and surprising contrasts, which patrons have come to love and expect at his previous restaurants. Launching in April in Downtown Santa Barbara, Sevilla marks the next chapter in Michael Reidt’s ambitious achievements and brings a his cutting edge to the West Coast. “. I feel very lucky to be living and working in Santa Barbara, everyday I am amazed at how beautiful everything is here – and the quantity and quality of the produce available to me here is overwhelming—I feel like a kid in a candy store.”
Chef Michael Reidt has appeared on “Ready, Set, Cook”on Food Network and in numerous print media including Miami Herald, Food & Wine, Forbes , Art Culinaire, Business Week, South Florida Gourmet, Ocean Drive, Boston Herald,