Chef Michael Santoro of The Mildred - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

December 2012

Before geeking out on food, Michael Santoro was a computer science major in Ohio. But a job at a nearby steakhouse changed all that. He soon left Ohio for Rhode Island, where he enrolled in Johnson & Wales. During his culinary school tenure, Santoro worked at the Fat Duck, where his interest in food science was piqued. He furthered this interest with stages at Mugaritz and Restaurante Martín Berasategui in Spain, where he delved into research and development. After graduating in 2004, he took a job as sous chef at Mill’s Tavern, and then moved to New York to work under Paul Liebrandt at Gilt. Following that experience, he (figuratively) returned to Spain, working alongside Seamus Mullen as chef de cuisine at Boqueria.

Santoro left New York in 2008 to join Blue Duck Tavern, moving to Philadelphia three years later to open Talula’s Garden, one of Stephen Starr’s new restaurants. In 2012, he finally achieved his long-held dream of opening his own restaurant, The Mildred.