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Drawing inspiration from his time with renowned Scarpetta, Michael Perez brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as executive chef at Donetto. Perez always dreamed of traveling the world, but not necessarily as a cook; he wanted to be a flight attendant. While completing a hospitality course in high school, a guest chef from Johnson & Wales University-Miami spoke of his extensive travel abroad and inspired Perez to change his course. After graduating, Perez applied to Johnson & Wales UniversityMiami’s culinary program bypassing some of the necessary prerequisites after sharing his passion for his new direction with the culinary instructor. Now, Perez leads the kitchen as executive chef at Donetto, the Indigo Road’s latest Italian concept on Atlanta’s Westside, serving up iconic flavors from the regions of Sienna, Umbria and Rome, an array of meat-centric dishes and an elevated rotating pasta menu.
Most recently, Perez served as the executive chef for Colletta, Indigo Road’s first Italian concept in Atlanta which opened in February of 2015, where he received national acclaim from publications such as USA Today and Country Living, and landed a spot in Jezebel’s list of the “100 Hottest Restaurants” for two consecutive years. Before relocating to Atlanta to join the Colletta team, Perez opened and led Indigo Road’s first Italian concept, Indaco, in Charleston, S.C. where the hospitality group is based. Prior to joining the Indigo Road team, Perez worked with a number of restaurants across the country including Timberland Lodge; Tabla Mediterranean Bistro and Ten 01 in Portland, OR; Scott Conant’s award-winning Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, Calif. and Las Vegas; and Deep Creek Fishing Club in Ninilchik, Alaska, where he served as executive chef.
In addition to his culinary success, Perez is also an avid member of the community maintaining active positions with various national organizations including Slow Food, Chefs Collaborative, Southern Foodways Alliance, the James Beard Foundation and the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, where he serves as a member of the Advisory Board.