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is more than well on his way. Keep in mind that this chef opened one of the most successful concepts in the history of concepts in Manhattan when Stephen Starr selected him to become the opening executive chef at Buddakan. And over the years Buddakan has been one of Philadelphia’s most successful restaurants and Chef Michael was right there at that beginning. In the 2010 (sales figures from 2009) “Top


100 Independent Restaurants of America” from Restaurants & Institutions, Buddakan in New York was listed at #9 with sales of $20,074,469. While we are at it, Parc in Philadelphia was #66 at $11,392,238; Buddakan in Philadelphia was #89 at $10,399,677; the Continental in Philadelphia was #99 at $9,806,813; and Morimoto in New York was #100 at $9,630,494. All of the above owned and operated by Stephen Starr. Need we say more? And with all the apparent success in the Restau -


rant Capital of the world, where “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”, Michael Schulson chose not to stay. His home, his wife, and his child were in Philadelphia and the Borgata represented a tremendous opportunity, so who can argue with him. In spite of the relatively short stay, New York was very good to him and the media responded accordingly with several appearances on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Live! With Regis and Kelly, Rachel Ray, and Good Morning America (to name a few). In a chef’s world, this kind of exposure is helpful to say the very least. Chef Schulson’s interest in food began with his


childhood on Long Island, where he first learned to cook with his mother and grandmother. He always knew what he wanted to do, and eventually attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, and while there, he interned with one of New York’s most successful chefs in David Burke at New York’s Park Avenue Café. He also worked in a host of highly acclaimed restaurants such as New York’s Peacock Alley in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Le Bec Fin, Susanna Foo and Buddakan in Philadelphia. The good chef spent most of his time in kitchens


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specializing in Asian cuisine, so it’s understandable that he quickly developed a major fascination for the flavors of the Far East. He did spend consider- able time traveling and cooking in the Far East including a year at the Four Seasons in Tokyo. These hands-on experiences in places like Japan only increased his love and respect for the Asian foods. He even learned to converse in the challenging Japanese languagewhichonlyheightenedhis interest inhis chosendirection. So Izakaya represented a perfect marriage and


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