It’s a rare and inspired person who discovers his life’s path from the age of nine years old, but Mike Davis, is one of the few. It was then that Mike wrote a letter to Julia Child saying, "I want to be a cook." Growing up in New Orleans, his first kitchen job began at age 13—(though his employers thought he was 16!) Cooking school was next on his list, though after enlisting in 2 different programs—in Washington and Seattle—Mike decided the best way to learn his craft was to be in a working kitchen.
Determined to learn all aspects of the trade, Mike went on to a variety of establishments to round out his experience. He worked at The Village at Breckenridge, a Wyndham destination resort in Colorado, where he supervised four dining establishments as rounds chef. He later moved on to The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge under Executive Chef Kenneth Hughes. Hughes had trained in the European tradition at Napa’s Auberge du Soleil and it was with him that Mike had his first major exposure to European style and French technique.
After a self-guided culinary tour up the West Coast cooking and researching restaurants, Mike returned to Seattle. There he spent time honing up on his seafood skills at Axis, The Brooklyn Restaurant, and Waterfront Restaurant on Pier 70.
The Dining Room, the fine dining restaurant in the four-star Salish Lodge and Spa was his next stop. As Executive Chef, Mike took every opportunity to express his passionate creativity through the cuisine. He resurrected centuries-old traditional French cooking techniques, focused on organic and all-natural products and created outstanding food pairings with one of the largest wine lists in the Northwest.
The results paid off in awards, including the AAA 4 Diamond Award, the Mobil 3 Star Award, the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and The Best Washington Wine List by Wine Press Magazine. The Salish Lodge and Spa also made the Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Gold List, and is considered one of the 500 Best Hotels in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine.
In 2004 Mike put his training to work and lived every chef’s dream. He opened his own restaurant, 26brix Restaurant and The Bar @ 26brix. Located in an emerging wine region of Walla Walla, Washington, 26brix found an elegant home in one of the town’s historic buildings. During a 4 year span, the restaurant garnished national attention, including two trips to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.
In the spring of 2009, Mike joined the formidable forces of Heavy Restaurant Group in Seattle, Washington, opening three restaurants in Bellevue, Washington, in little over one year. Managing three kitchens and a total of 48 employees, Mike was responsible for three completely different styles of cuisine including: Mediterranean-focused, wine-friendly fare featuring Northwest ingredients (Purple Wine Bar); upscale, modern Mexican dining (Barrio); and gastro-pub fare infused with culinary Americana (LOT No.3).
With a whirlwind of openings behind him, Mike’s next project was for Joie de Vivre Hospitality, who secured Mike’s expertise to redevelop and invigorate all food service at their historic Oakland property, The Waterfront Hotel. As Executive Chef, Mike introduced ‘Southern-inspired cuisine’ creating a fusion of styles that fit the property and clientele.
However, the mountains were calling once again. A tremendous opportunity arose with an offer of Executive Chef for Martis Camp. In May of 2011, Mike found himself at the helm of all things food for a company that celebrates uncompromised quality. Mike’s talent and experience was well showcased.
Now, as Executive Chef at the lakefront West Shore Cafe and Inn, Mike has brought his signature culinary style to the shores of Lake Tahoe, elevating one of the most beautiful dining experiences in the Tahoe Basin to even loftier heights.
Undoubtedly, Julia Child would be proud.
Contact Mike Davis:
Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.