Michael Smith (chef)

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Michael Dixon Smith
Born (1966-10-13) October 13, 1966 (age 51) [1]
New York City, New York, United States
Education Culinary Institute of America & Rochester Institute of Technology
Home town Fortune, Prince Edward Island, Canada [2]
Culinary career
Cooking style Canadian Regional

Michael Dixon Smith is an American-born chef and writer now residing in Prince Edward Island, Canada, host of The Inn Chef, Chef at Home, Chef at Large, Chef Michael's Kitchen, Chef Abroad, and Chopped: Canada (all of which have appeared on the Canadian Food Network).

Life and career[edit]

Born in New York City,[3] Michael Smith received his undergraduate degree at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 1984, while a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa national fraternity. Michael Smith graduated with honours from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York City in 1991. He then worked in restaurants in London, South America, and the Caribbean before coming back to North America to cook in different restaurants in Manhattan.

In 1992, Smith joined Prince Edward Island’s now famous country inn, The Inn at Bay Fortune in Fortune Bridge, Prince Edward Island which was soon regarded as one of Canada's top 10 restaurants[citation needed] with the chef noted for his intense focus on regionalism and the foods of Prince Edward Island.

The Inn at Bay Fortune, where Smith began his Canadian career.

Six years later, Smith's television show The Inn Chef debuted on the Life Network and later moved to Food Network Canada. The series featured Smith as he took viewers inside the inn's real-life country kitchen. The Inn Chef won best Variety/Music/Cooking Show in TV GUIDE Canada's 2001 Reader Poll. The series currently airs on Prime TV.

In 1999, Smith opened his own restaurant, Maple, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It quickly became recognized as one of the top venues in the country for Canadian Cuisine. In the fall of 2001 Smith left Maple to focus on his new Food Network Canada series Chef at Large. In May 2002, he was presented the James Beard Award for "Best National Television Special" for his documentary Saturday Night. He is 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) tall; and often jokingly refers to himself as the "World's Tallest Freestanding Chef" (a play on Toronto's CN Tower, which for years was billed as the "World's Tallest Freestanding Structure").

Perhaps his most challenging initiative to date is the recent shift Smith made from professional chef to home cook. His third series, Chef at Home, debuted to rave reviews and top ratings on Food Network Canada in 2004 and features a behind-the-scenes peek at Smith’s home kitchen and how he cooks for his family and friends. Chef at Home currently airs on Food Network Canada, as well as on ION Life and Discovery Home U.S., and in more than 40 countries around the world.

Smith has authored ten cookbooks to date. His tenth cooking, Real Food, Real Good, launched in September 2016 and immediately landed on the Globe & Mail bestseller list. The Best of Chef at Home: Essential Recipes for Today's Kitchen was published in the fall of 2009. Chef at Home: Cooking With and Without a Recipe was released in 2005. His first book, Open Kitchen: a Chef's Day at The Inn at Bay Fortune, took the bronze medal at Cuisine Canada’s Cookbook Award in 1998. He followed that with The Inn Chef a year later.

In 2008, Smith launched a new show on Food Network Canada entitled Chef Abroad. Smith was at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 (having just filmed an episode of Chef Abroad in Northern Thailand) when the airport was seized during the Thai political crisis.

In 2009, Michael separated from his partner, Rachel. They remain friends and are parents to a son, Gabriel (Gabe). In 2013 he married Chastity Smith, and together they are parents to his son Gabe and their daughters Ariella and Camille.[4]

On January 31, 2010, Smith competed on the Food Network show Iron Chef America against Iron Chef Bobby Flay in battle avocado. He lost the battle 54–40.

In 2015, Michael and his wife Chastity purchased The Inn at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island. They've relaunched the property where Michael gained international fame in the 1990s with a new spirit of five-star hospitality and an innovative dining experience, the FireWorks.


Year Show Role Notes
1998–2000 The Inn Chef Host
2000–2002 Chef at Large Host Also is a writer
2004–2007 Chef at Home Host
2008–2009 Chef Abroad Host
2010 Iron Chef America Challenger[5] Battle Avocado
2011 Top Chef Canada Guest judge episode seven: "Life's Little Milestones"
2011–2013 Chef Michael's Kitchen Host S1 & S2 Asia, USA, YouTube
2014–2017 Chopped: Canada Judge


  • The Inn Chef: Creative Ingredients, Sensational Flavor (March 4, 2000 Callawind Publications ISBN 978-1-896511-14-6)
  • Open Kitchen: a Chef's Day at The Inn at Bay Fortune (August 8, 2005 Callawind Publications ISBN 978-1-896511-10-8)
  • Chef at Home: Cooking Without a Recipe (October 13, 2005 Whitecap Books ISBN 978-1-55285-716-8)
  • The Best of Chef at Home: Essential Recipes for Today's Kitchen (October 1, 2009 Whitecap Books ISBN 978-1-55285-984-1)
  • Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen: 100 of my Favourite Easy Recipes (2011 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-14-317763-0)
  • Chef Michael Smith: Fast Flavours 110 Simple Speedy Recipes (2012 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-14-317764-7)
  • Chef Michael Smith: Back to Basics 100 Simple Classic Recipes with a Twist (2013 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0143184102)
  • Chef Michael Smith: Family Meals (2014 Penguin Books ISBN 9780143177647)
  • Michael Smith: Make Ahead Meals (2015 Penguin Books ISBN 9780143192169)
  • Michael Smith: Real Food, Real Good (2016 Penguin Books ISB 9780735232709)


External links[edit]