I, Chef Michael Atkinson grew up in Washington DC. ,and was exposed to “big city food” from an early age. I cut my culinary teeth as a young boy working weekends and summers for a renown European Chef at the Hayloft dinner theater in the DC suburb ,Manassas VA. The hook had been set!
The late seventies and early eighties were spent apprenticing in Northern California (including at Clint Eastwoods Carmel restaurant, The Hogs Breath Inn), and in Portland Oregon at Jakes Famous Seafood, and at the original McCormick & Schmick’s.
Later came Hotel Restaurant management school, and a stint as a Marriott Chef.
More culinary experience came at resorts in South Florida, the Caribbean, and up on Cape Cod, collecting many awards, and accolades along the way as I cooked my way across the upscale culinary circuit .
Returning to the new family home state , North Carolina I found my love for the mountains and opened Michael’s Fine Dining in Banner Elk. where I spent five years finding my own culinary voice.
Moving to Flat Rock, NC In ninety-eight I reigned over the stoves at the renown resort, Highland Lake Inn where I continued to hone his “Garden to Grill” farm fresh, local mountain Appalachian cuisine.
After a brief hiatus’ to thru hike the Appalachian Trail (and get married) ,I took on the challenge of running the kitchen at the oldest operating inn in North Carolina, The Wood field Inn . I was there when the Nelsons (Little River Band)purchased the property .Along with running the Woodsfield Inn I created their sister restaurant at the Inn on Church Street, and ran that kitchen as well for almost a decade.
Currently I am the banquet Chef at Etowah Country Club, and also operate my own catering business.
In recent years I stayed current by studying web technology, computer repair, security, and networking, and learning the various Adobe Suites software to assist me in managing the various properties under my control.