A native of Nigeria, Michael Adé Elégbèdé started his journey in the kitchen at a very young age. As his mother and grandmother ran local restaurants that doubled as cooking schools for young women, he naturally found himself responsible for several tasks in the kitchen. At age 13, Michael arrived in America, where he spent his spare time working as a cook in his mother’s Nigerian restaurant. After high school, Elégbèdé attended The University of Illinois to study biology with the aim of becoming a doctor but left realizing his passion resided in the kitchen.
Michael began his culinary career at Alliance Bakery in Chicago where he learnt the intricacies of baking and pastries. He then attended the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California where he attained a degree in Culinary arts. After graduating, Michael further refined his skills working at restaurants across the country, including the critically acclaimed Eleven Madison Park Restaurant in New York. Elégbèdé works to rediscover and tell the story of Nigeria’s food culture with its unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking traditions, adding his own personal touch.
For more on Michael, check out his website.