Michael Feker is a passionate man that spreads his passion and joy of cooking and eating healthy meals through his various roles, He dons the hat of a chef, restaurateur, television personality, culinary schoolteacher, culinary director and consultant, caterer, and cooking demonstration chef.
A 30-year veteran in the restaurant industry, Michael dreamed about being in the kitchen since he was a child. Born in Persia, he's had the benefit of experiencing food from around the world - beginning in Switzerland where he attended school as a child. He later headed to San Francisco and the California Culinary Academy (CCA) to be trained in classical French style by one of the best chefs in the country, Roberto Gerometta.
Gerometta chose Michael to represent CCA aboard the Royal Viking Cruise Line for a four-month, around-the-world assignment. That experience gave him the chance to master his artistry.
California recognized the talent in Michael, offering him positions at some of the best Italian restaurants. Those restaurant include Harry's Bar and Grill, and Chianti Cucina, Locanda Veneta, and Sostanza. Some highlights of his career in California is his positions as the Executive Chef at Sostanza and the corporate chef at the Nestle Corporation with Gerometta.
In 1990, to showcase his style, Michael opened his own restaurant in Studio City. His restaurant, IL MITO, was an overnight success on Ventura Boulevard, near Hollywood film studios. It was so popular he added a second restaurant to meet the demand of Hollywood stars and studio employees alike.
After meeting and marrying his wife Maricela, Michael brought his IL MITO brand to her hometown, Milwaukee, in 1997. Then in 2006, he opened his Wauwatosa location, which has birthed a fan club known as "the Fekeroodies." In 2008, he expanded the Wauwatosa IL MITO location to include CMF's School of Culinary Magic/Chef's Counter, where he hosts private cooking lessons, gourmet wine and beer tastings, private cooking demonstrations, and corporate events.
In 2013, he brought IL MITO East to downtown Milwaukee, serving Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in a casual fine dining setting, with full gluten-free options and a globally-inspired Sunday Brunch with build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. IL MITO East closed its doors in October of 2014 to make room for his next adventure, Zesti.
In 2015, Michael opened Zesti in Hartland, Wisconsin. Zesti is based on his worldly travels and experiences combined with his passion for food and culinary artistry. This global eatery serves up global cuisine from South African to Chinese.
In 2018, Michael opened 2mesa, his Mexican Eatery, as a homage to Maricela. 2mesa blends the love he holds for his wife and for food into one vessel for the community.
In addition to his restaurants, Michael also works as a culinary consultant to Wisconsin's largest healthcare provider, Aurora Health Care. He assists them in revamping and reviving their culinary techniques and practices to bring fresh and pure foods to both patients and staff. His cooking videos are also shown on their in-house television network for patients to view.
Michael lives in Milwaukee, WI with his family.