BC Alum cooks up celebrity status

BC alumnus Midgley has competed in several different cooking competitions.

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BC alumnus Midgley has competed in several different cooking competitions.

Maria Tran, Staff Writer

BC alumnus Michael Midgley has made it onto the glamourous life of reality TV starring on a cooking show.

The 35-year-old cook, a 1996 graduate of BCHS, competed on “Bravo’s Top Chef,” finishing in 6th place. “Top Chef” selects 15 rising chefs from across the nation to compete for a grand prize of $100,00 and a shot at culinary stardom.

Midgley’s animated personality led to his reputation on the show as being hysterically funny and extremely open.

“We were all having a good time, so I don’t know why I was made out to be a party animal, but it’s not a bad thing to be,” Midgley said.  Although he is one to joke around with everyone, when he’s in the kitchen it’s all business.

This isn’t the first time Midgley has been on television. He was a judge on “Top Chef Masters” and “Knife Fight” in the fall of 2013.

“Once you are on a show, you make friends and you build up this crazy network of contacts,” Midgley said in an article in “The Record.”

Midgley returned to the big screen on “Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.” There he overcame his opponents and won a total of $13,500.

Midgley was born and raised in Stockton. He first started cooking at the age of 14, working at Elkhorn Country Club. He credits his grandmother as one of the chefs he admires the most. He then went on to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

“I learned the basics in my own family, then worked in a few restaurants just for fun, and later realized that I wanted to cook for a living,” Midgley said.

Midgley is now head chef leading the culinary team at Ernie’s Food and Spirits in Manteca.

While Midgley is content with his kitchen job, he enjoys his on and off again brush with his global audience. He hopes that his recent airing will lead to more career opportunities.

Midgley says that he would someday love to have his own cooking show one in which he would go out and see what everyday people in America are eating, giving those recipes some exposure.

In addition to working in a restaurant and competing in cooking competitions, Midgley plans to release an eBook in the near future. This cookbook will feature a few of his recipes and also a short story.

For those who aspire to become a chef, Midgley advises working at a restaurant to gain experience.

“Kitchen work is hard and it takes years to move up a pay scale,” Midgley said. “If you don’t like it, don’t make it your career. Do what makes you happy.”