Chefs

Chef Michael Jacobs Feeds the Miami Heat

Check out Riki Altman's interview with Eric Chopin, the executive chef at the American Airlines Arena.

So the Heat lost last night. One person who can't be blamed is Chef Michael Jacobs, the man who makes the team's breakfasts and lunches when they practice and play in Miami.

Chef Jacobs, whose father owned a small catering business, remembers catering his own bar mitzvah. "My father and I, a week before my bar mitzvah, sat there in the kitchen of the temple and rolled spring rolls," he recalled. "One hundred and seventy eight of 'em. It's one of those things, growing up, you say I've known what I wanted to do for my entire life. But then again, now I really can't do anything else. I'm kinda stuck with it."

Cooking has been his main occupation for a quarter of a century. Chef Jacobs grew up in Boston, graduated from Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, and landed his first gig in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel, which at that time was the only four-star restaurant in the Middle East. From there he worked in California, then with Terrance Brennan in New York, then over to Europe, then back to New York. Then 23 years old, he opened a restaurant that didn't quite work out the way he planned. "I made every mistake you could make," he admitted. "But it was a great learning experience."

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Riki Altman