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Michael Chernow  

Co-owner & General Manager, The Meatball Shop

Michael Chernow began his professional restaurant career as a young teenager working as a delivery boy on New York City's Upper East Side. In 1996, Michael jumped behind the bar of the popular nightclub, Life, on Bleecker Street and, learning from the ground up, he quickly worked his way through the ranks to become the youngest bartender on staff. After 2 years working at both Life in New York and its East Hampton sister club, The Tavern, Michael signed on to open Woo Lae Oak on Mercer Street in New York City. Michael made the move to Los Angeles in 2001, where he worked at Woo Lae Oak's original location on La Cienega Boulevard. He returned to New York City to open Punch and Judy, a wine bar on Clinton Street, before joining the bar staff at Frank, Frank Prizanzano's eponymous flagship restaurant, in 2002.

For seven years, Michael managed the bar at Frank, where he had a large, loyal following. In 2007, Michael enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, graduating with honors and an associate's degree in both Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management at the end of the two-year program.

In 2010, Michael teamed up with his childhood friend Daniel Holzman and debuted The Meatball Shop in New York City's Lower East Side. The mix-and-match menu of meatballs, served in a warm and convivial environment, was an instant hit. Four more locations of The Meatball Shop—in Williamsburg, the West Village, Chelsea and the Upper East Side—opened in quick succession. A sixth location on the Upper West Side opened in the summer of 2014. Michael also co-authored The Meatball Shop Cookbook, which was published to much acclaim in 2011.

Michael has appeared in countless broadcast segments including ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's TODAY Show, Chelsea Lately, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and VH1's Big Morning Buzz. Additionally, he has been featured in an array of widely reaching local and national publications such as The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, People, Food Network Magazine and GQ.

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