After eight years in the kitchens of Westchester staples Catania’s and Johnnie’s, Yonkers native, Michael Abruzese’s passion for cooking was sparked. Michael formalized his training at the Culinary Institute of America, from which he graduated in 2000.
Following an internship at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, Michael moved to Miami, where he trained under Chef Michael Schwartz at Nemo and Shoji Sushi. This experience served him well when he moved back to the Northeast where he worked behind the stoves at Greenwich Village’s famed Il Mulino. Michael became the natural choice to help open the doors and train the staff at Il Mulino Japan. When the franchise expanded to Dallas, Michael became the location’s Executive Chef. Michael’s next venture, Coal Vines, stemmed from his habit of making pizzas for the staff of Il Mulino’s Dallas outpost. Michael partnered with restaurateur Philip Romano to introduce Texas to New York-style pizza fired in the state’s first coal oven.