Michael HamptonHot & Soul
Chef Mike Hampton grew up in the groundhog capital of the world, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He went to Florida State University on a full track scholarship, where he met his future wife, Christy Samoy. From FSU they took road trips to New Orleans. It was on these trips to New Orleans where Mike & Christy first discovered their passion for the bold flavors of real soul cooking. Inspired by the cuisine of New Orleans, they started really cooking.
After college, the couple moved to Boston, where Mike was running & training to become a professional athlete. Unfortunately, he sustained an injury that signaled to him it was time to find another career path. Mike & Christy dreamed of opening a restaurant of their own one day. So the two researched culinary school, & ended up moving to New Orleans. They attended Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, which was an hour away in Thibodaux. So, they lived & worked in New Orleans, but they also got a taste of the back country as well.
After almost 9 years residing in New Orleans, Katrina blew in. A few months later, they decided to go on their next adventure to San Diego. Mike became a private chef, specializing in culinary classes & events at apartment & condo communities, where he learned to cook all kinds of ethnic cuisine.
While the couple enjoyed the California weather, they were itching to open their own restaurant. So they moved back across the country to South Florida where it might be easier to start their own business. About a year later, they found their small space on the southwest corner of Oakland Park Boulevard & North Federal Highway. Thatʼs where they opened Hot & Soul. Itʼs been long days & nights, but they have been open for what will be 5 years, come April 2018.