Chef Michael Barrera fell in love with the world of hospitality at 14 as a dishwasher at an Old Country Buffet in his hometown of Saginaw, Mich.
So maybe it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but something about the kitchen rhythm and the pure satisfaction of seeing joy on a guest’s face was enough to kindle the flame.
After high school, he loaded up his car and took off for Philadelphia to attend The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College where he earned his culinary degree, and, while working through some of its finest kitchens, fell in love for real — with both the craft of seasonal scratch cooking and the amazing woman who would become his wife.
Four years later, he returned home with a full heart, a growing family, and an undeniable desire to give back to the region that made him. Michael quickly impressed with stellar plates as chef with the Roberts Restaurant Group at spots like Beverly Hills Grill and Streetside Seafood. He moved on to helm culinary operations at Heirloom Hospitality, overseeing the kitchens at Detroit’s Prime & Proper and the Townhouse restaurants in Detroit and Birmingham as the group’s culinary director.
Fast-forward to present day: Michael and Alejandra are parents to two boys and there is not a day on the calendar year that Michael stops overseeing the Frame kitchen, which has been perpetually crushed since he took over.
Michael graces Frame guests with monthly dinners of his own, while at the same time directing the Frame kitchen for our ever-changing lineup of guest chef collaborators — all the while remaining one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
Follow him on Instagram: @riverdrifter21