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Chef Michael Mina Profile of a Self Made San Francisco Restaurateur

By William Hauselberg Subscribe to RSS | February 28th 2012 | Views:
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Readers of Esquire magazine, connoisseurs of fine dining and those in San Francisco probably already know the name Michael Mina.

The chef, author and restaurant owner has earned accolades for his restaurants and dishes, with one of the largest coming this year when Esquire called his self-named Michael Mina restaurant the best in the nation. Mina has a total of 19 restaurants scattered throughout the country, with several notable ones in his home city of San Francisco. Aside from Michael Mina restaurant, San Francisco is also the home of RN74, a wine bar and restaurant that features a mixture of American and French cuisine.

RN74 and Millennium Tower

Taking its name from the highway running through France’s Burgundy wine region, RN74 gained a reputation for its wine and food pairing and earned accolades from both food and wine publications. The atmosphere of RN74 is unique. It is housed on the ground floor of Millennium Tower, San Francisco's premier luxury condo building. It is the tallest residential building in the city, and the unique design of the Millennium Tower, along with its proximity to the Transbay Terminal lend well to the upscale, "train" theme of RN74. The focal point of the restaurant is a working electric European train board. Instead of showing the incoming and outgoing train schedule, the board shows patrons current wine specials in the restaurant, and flips in real time to keep restaurant goers updated when bottles are sold.

The Egyptian-born Mina was raised in Washington state and found his love of food during a family trip to San Francisco. During his visit, which coincided with the Loma Prieta earthquake, the 12-year-old Mina was exposed to new foods, and said he fell in love with the atmosphere of the city.

A Lifelong Career

Mina began his work as a chef while still a teenager. While he attended the University of Washington Mina worked in a restaurant in the Space Needle, and was hooked in the world of restaurants. After one year he left to attend Culinary Institute of America. In 1991 he opened his first restaurant, Aqua, in San Francisco. Eleven years later Mina partnered with tennis legend Andre Agassi to form Mina Group, and together they opened a string of 19 restaurants with more in the works. The group opened several restaurants in Agassi’s home in Las Vegas and replicated the successful RN74 in Seattle. Along the way Mina won a host of awards, including two honors of chef of the year in 2005—one from San Francisco Magazine and another from Bon Appétit magazine. His Michael Mina restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars in 2006, a rating only four other restaurants in the entire region were awarded.

In 2006 Mina authored his first cookbook, Michael Mina: The Cookbook, and his time in the spotlight have made him something of a celebrity among chefs. In 2006 he was featured on the television program Hell’s Kitchen, and his restaurant XIV was again featured on the show in 2010.

William Hauselberg - About Author:
The author has an immense knowledge on Millennium Tower. Know more about Millennium Tower related info in his website.

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