Executive Chef Michael Adams has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. His extensive culinary experience began as a Sous Chef at Pearl’s Saltwater Grille in Savannah, Georgia. From there, Adams honed his skills as a Pastry Chef while training and working under some of the most prestigious chefs in New York City before returning to Georgia. Most recently, Chef Adams served as Chef de Cuisine at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center in Augusta, Georgia. As Executive Chef for The Lord Jeffery Inn and 30Boltwood, he crafts simply prepared meals inspired by the abundance of locally-sourced ingredients.
When did you want to be a chef?
Towards the end of high school, I was looking into possible career paths, and my mother suggested cooking; I have always enjoyed cooking. However, I did not really consider it as a career path since I did not know that much about being a chef. This was before the Food Network and open plan kitchens. I grew up cooking with very talented southern grandmothers. I remember being 2 or 3 years old and having pasta drying on broomsticks in my grandmothers’ kitchen. We would cook every day while my mom was at work or school, and once a week, she would let me pick out a recipe to make. So, I guess that would explain my passion for food!
What do you think is the secret to good food?
I feel there is no secret. Just really respect your ingredients and try not to damage their integrity. Less is more. Get the freshest stuff you can get your hands on and do as little as possible to it. We have a responsibility as a society to respect the people that produce our food and the food itself. This whole country was farm to table pre-second world war. These days that sort of thing is very fashionable, but in reality, it’s just food done right. Farming or cooking is not glamorous, but very passionate people do it for a living, and it shows in their work.
What advice do you have for those just starting out in the industry?
Only do it if you love it! It requires a tremendous amount of commitment and can be stressful. Work hard to hone your skills and learn how to handle ingredients properly.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
I have been known to make music. I have a studio engineering degree. I have credits on a few albums as well as some of my own stuff out there in the world. I am an avid record collector and DJ.