|Title:||Director of Culinary Innovation
|Carolina Food Co.|
Columbia, SC 29208
More about Mike:
Chef Michael Reitman hails from the greatest culinary city in the country, New Orleans. He began his culinary career at 15 working at various restaurants in the city. After obtaining his culinary degree, Chef Mike spent several years in the hotel industry working at one of the larger hotels in Southern California. With 12 restaurants in the 995 room hotel with another 900 villas, Reitman worked the rounds at Desert Springs ranging from Sous Chef to Restaurant Chef. He then set his sights on moving closer to family at a boutique hotel in Alabama as the Sous Chef then in six months was promoted to Food and Beverage Director. After a brief stint as Executive Chef & General Manager at a Smokehouse in Nashville, TN, Chef Mike discovered the world of Higher Education. In 2007, after the birth of his second child, Chef Mike decided to take on the role of Campus Chef at the University of Southeast Missouri. In November of 2012, Mike accepted the Campus Chef role at Coastal Carolina University, where he served until he excitedly accepted the position of Director of Culinary Innovation here at the University of South Carolina where he oversees all campus culinary operations.
What is your favorite memory associated with food?
Going into the restaurants where my grandfather worked when I was young and seeing every aspect of the operations, from the busy kitchens to the full dining rooms. The way that everyone was treated like royalty because they were the guests was such a sight.
What advice do you have for anyone learning to cook for themselves?
Do not be afraid to make mistakes or take on challenges that seem to large.
What is a fun fact that the students should know about you?
I am originally from New Orleans, but have lived all across the country, from California to South Carolina with Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky in between.