Michael Mina’s story is one of over three decades of influence, passion, and achievement. With accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage,” Gayot Restaurateur of the Year, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year, Michelin-starred Chef Mina continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco’s reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country and beyond.
Born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in Ellensburg, Washington, Chef Mina has had a love affair with the kitchen since a very early age – creating memorable dining experiences for family, friends, and guests alike. His epicurean journey began in 1987 at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, during which he supplemented his formal schooling with hands-on experience in Charlie Palmer’s kitchen at the famed Aureole in New York City. After graduation, Chef Mina was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime with Chef George Morrone, then-Executive Chef of the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles. The two were asked to develop a concept and create a menu for an upscale seafood restaurant in San Francisco – from there, AQUA was born. Though Chef Mina was welcomed to San Francisco by a major earthquake on his second day in the city, he was unfazed and went to work immediately, dedicating himself to creating a dining experience that quickly became one of the pillars of the Bay Area restaurant community.
In 2002, Chef Mina’s culinary and business vision led to the founding of his restaurant management company, MINA Group, with partner Andre Agassi. Under the auspices of MINA Group, he has opened over 40 virtual brands and award-winning brick-and-mortar outlets across the U.S. and Dubai. For a complete list of restaurants and more information, please visit michaelmina.net and follow Chef Michael Mina on Facebook and Instagram at @ChefMichaelMina.