Michael Chiarello

Jan 26, 1962

61 years

Oct 06, 2023



A maestro of the culinary arts, whose zest for life seasoned the world with joy.


Michael Chiarello, born on January 26, 1962, in Red Bluff, California, was a culinary virtuoso known for melding Italian flavors with California's farm-fresh ingredients. From a young age, he was enchanted by the culinary arts, a passion ignited within his mother's kitchen and fueled by his Southern Italian heritage​.

Michael's journey into the culinary domain led him to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Not long after his graduation, he was honored as Chef of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 1985, a testament to his burgeoning talent​.

He shone brightly both in the kitchen and on screen. His charismatic appearances on various television programs like "Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello" on the Food Network, "NapaStyle" on Fine Living Network, "Top Chef," "Top Chef Masters," and "The Next Iron Chef" showcased his culinary finesse to a broader audience, making him a household name​​.

Michael was not just a chef; he was an author, a vintner, and a sustainable farmer. His culinary establishments, notably the Bottega restaurant in Napa Valley and Coqueta in San Francisco, were critically acclaimed, offering patrons a taste of his Italian-inspired California cuisine. Besides running restaurants, he authored numerous cookbooks, launched a line of popular olive oils, and established the Chiarello Family Vineyards in 1999, reflecting his diverse interests within the food industry​​.

Tragically, on October 6, 2023, the culinary world lost this luminary. Michael Chiarello passed away following an acute allergic reaction at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California, at the age of 61​​.

Michael Chiarello's legacy continues to live on through his restaurants, cookbooks, and the many aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts he inspired throughout his illustrious career. His love for food, his innovative approach to traditional cuisine, and his ability to share his culinary passion with the world made him a true icon in the gastronomic realm.

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