Culinary Director of Terrain Café and Executive Chef of Osteria, Jeff Michaud began his cooking career at age 13 in a pizza shop in his home state of New Hampshire. Inspired by the cooking and beautiful wedding cakes made by his grandmother, Jeff attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and graduated in 1998.
Upon graduation, he moved to Aspen, Colorado, to join the kitchen staff at the Caribou Club, where he worked his way up to Executive Sous Chef. After he completed his tenure in Aspen, Jeff moved to Philadelphia to work for critically acclaimed Chef Marc Vetri at Ristorante Vetri as the Sous Chef. Discovering his love for Italian cooking in Marc’s kitchen, Jeff decided to further hone his skills by moving to Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy.
His first stop was working at Mangili, a family-owned butcher shop, where he refined his skills in meat fabrication, sausage, and making salumi. Over the next three years, Jeff worked his way through the top restaurants of northern Italy, including Michelin starred Frosio and La Lucanda, as well as La Brughiera, Ristorante Loro and Ol Fa Pasticceria. His experience and travel throughout northern Italy culminated with the position of Executive Chef at Locanda del Biancospino, a small inn in the foothills of the Alps.
In 2006, Jeff returned to the United States and served in several chefs’ positions throughout New England. A year later, he opened Osteria with Marc Vetri in Philadelphia. In 2008, The James Beard Foundation nominated Osteria for “Best New Restaurant” and in 2010, Jeff won the James Beard Award for Best Mid-Atlantic Chef. In February 2011, Coleman Andrews, editor of the online magazine The Daily Meal named Osteria as one of the 101 Best Restaurants in America and that same month Food and Wine magazine nominated Jeff for “Best Chef – Peoples Choice” in the mid-Atlantic region.
In 2012, Jeff published his first cookbook, Eating Italy, about his three year adventure through 12 Italian towns, cultural immersion, and marrying his wife Claudia, who is originally from Bergamo.
Jeff is committed to the Vetri Community Partnership mission of supporting healthy lifestyles among young people. In summer 2010, Jeff worked with the Education, Sports, and Fun Dream Camp, a five-week day program for at-risk children in Philadelphia. While remaining within the federal guidelines for government subsidized school meals, Jeff helped to design menus and prepare fresh lunches with locally grown food for campers. The program was an overwhelming success, and is now in multiple schools.
Jeff lives in Philadelphia with his wife Claudia and daughter Gaia. Jeff practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Precision Jiu Jitsu. He and Claudia return to Italy often to visit their in-laws. The couple started La Via Gaia A Luxury Culinary Experience, a tour business to share their love of northern Italian cuisine and culture.