Meet Michael Erickson, Passionate Denver Chef with South Georgia Roots

Food began to influence Michael at a young age when he would walk down the street to his Grandmother’s house to help her bake. He loved every minute he got to spend in the kitchen with her. These visits were the spark that lead Michael to attend the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta. He spent 3.5 years at the Art Institute receiving his bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management. During college, he had the amazing opportunity to spend 3 months in Italy to study and travel.

While studying in Italy he had the fortune of working with several great chefs while also apprenticing in a number of local restaurants. His travels took him from the hills of Umbria, off the coasts of Barcelona, into the city picturesque streets of Paris and weaving through the mountains of Switzerland. His passion for his craft grew as he absorbed the array of diverse cultures and foods that were swirling all around him. After returning from Italy he began working at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, GA. He absorbed everything he could while at the Ritz; learning from every chef that came through the hotel for special events, and spending every extra second in all the different hotel kitchens for just a taste of what this industry could offer him.

From the Ritz he moved to Restaurant Eugene, one of the finest restaurants in the Atlanta. There he fell in love with food and learned what it could truly be. Meeting local Farmers and Fisherman, Ranchers and Foragers; he grew to respect and admire the simple beauty in the produce and meats we all cook with each day. He then brought his career back to Italy, but without racking up the airline miles, when he began working at Colleta, a beautiful Italian restaurant just north of Atlanta.

If there was a perfect job to lose yourself in it was working at Colleta. The skills you can acquire from respecting and understanding a wood fire oven, rotisserie and grill during a busy Friday night service are unparalleled. While Michael was there, he also started an in-house vinegar and pickling program, all while learning the ins and outs of whole hog butchering and in-house charcuterie. From Colleta he and his family dug up their southern root system and planted them out in the Rockies and have been enjoying the changing seasons of Colorado and all the inspiration that it brings.

Michael started with Concept Restaurants here at Table Mountain Inn as a Sous Chef before moving up to Boulder to Spruce Farm and Fish at the Hotel Boulderado. He is excited to be back here at Table Mountain Inn to use his knowledge and passion that has been forged since his days baking with his grandmother to bring you the best Table Mountain Inn experience he can.