Today we get to talk to Michael Fojtasek, the executive chef of Olamaie. In 2015 he was listed among the Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine. Olamaie was also a semi-finalist in 2015 for the James Beard Awards in the Best New Restaurant category, as well being runner up in that same category in Texas Monthly that year. Michael and his team won, outright, Best New Restaurant in 2015 with the Austin American Statesman. Olamaie is serious Southern food, done exceptionally well, and if you haven’t been there, it’s a must-add to your list.
[1:42] Jay and his wife went to Olamaie on date night, and they loved it so much they just had to interview the chef.
[2:37] Michael lived in Dallas and Boulder before moving to Austin.
[4:01] What drew Michael to Austin?
[5:17] One of Michael’s friends encouraged him to turn his love of cooking into a career.
[9:05] How did Michael fall in love with cooking?
[10:56] Michael was an only child until he was twelve, and now he has three younger brothers.
[11:37] Olamaie is Michael’s mother’s name, as well as the name of his grandmother and great-grandmother.
[13:28] Michael’s mom would send him cookbooks while he was in culinary school.
[14:59] Michael sources his ingredients locally.
[15:50] Jay tells us where to find the best tomatoes in the South.
[17:01] Michael met his wife while working at a restaurant in Los Angeles, and moved to Austin shortly after.
[20:07] Thank you to our Sponsor, the Papasan Properties Group.
[20:45] Michael found the perfect space to open Olamaie.
[21:14] What does Michael recommend ordering at Olamaie? He even recommends a vegetarian option.
[25:11] Where do Michael and his wife eat on date night?
[28:28] Michael likes to take out-of-town visitors to Butler Park Pitch and Putt.
[30:20] Definitely check out an Austin farmer’s market.
[33:25] Michael welcomes fellow chefs to move their business to Austin.
[34:45] Does Michael still cook at home?
[35:18] Michael loves the Vera Cruz All Natural “Migas” taco.
[37:13] Next week we’ll be talking to Mike Thompson, the community engagement champion at Live Strong, and a four-time cancer survivor.
Vera Cruz All Natural | Migas