After three decades in the business, I know that it takes a team effort to run a successful restaurant. Sure, you need knock-your-socks-off great food, and beverages perfectly matched to those eats. But the service also has to be exceptional. And the setting needs to be carefully maintained for an afternoon or evening that, in the best dining experiences, approaches flawlessness.

That’s how I feel about “Welcome to Michael’s.” Sure, it’s my book. My name’s on the title page and my picture is all over the place. But any cookbook like this just has to be a team effort, and for me, the best part of the two years I spent working on the book was the chance to work with a team of amazing people. Here they are!

Judith Choate (Coauthor)
Judie Choate is a writer, chef and pioneer in the promotion of American food, known for her flair with food preparation and presentation. She has also worked as a consultant to companies ranging from Heinz, Starbucks, Costco, and national restaurant chains to small airlines and health food shops, and as a recipe developer and food stylist for companies as diverse as Perdue Foods, Inc. and McCann’s Irish Oatmeal. Judie has published over 60 books, among them The Gift Giver’s Cookbook, (1970), Hot! (1992), Great American Pie Book (1992, named one of the best cookbooks of the year by People), and The Ubiquitous Shrimp (1994), and HOMEMADE (2004). In addition to working with Michael McCarty, she has also collaborated with chefs and culinary authorities including Dean Fearing, DeGustibus at Macy’s, Rebecca Woods, Charlie Palmer, The French Culinary Institute, The Tribeca Grill, Christian Delouvrier, Don Pintabona, David Burke, Jim Botsacos,Kellogg’s, Jacques Torres, Delmonico’s, and Michael Wafelbakker. Judie is also working on projects of her own with her husband, photographer Steve Pool.

Steve Pool (Photographer)
Steve Pool is a New York-based photographer with a special interest in documenting food in its natural setting. He also took the photographs for The Shared Table: Cooking with Spirit for Family and Friends by Don Pintabona with Judith Choate. Steve and his wife, Judith Choate, routinely collaborate on book projects.

Norman Kolpas (Interviewer of Luminaries)
Norman Kolpas is the author of more than 40 nonfiction books, most of them on food, as well as editing or contributing to more than 100 other books including Williams-Sonoma’s cookbook series. Norman has also collaborated on projects with other well-known brands and chefs including Starbucks, California Pizza Kitchen, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the Hotel Bel-Air, John Sedlar, and Wolfgang Puck, and he coauthored Michael McCarty’s first book, Michael’s Cookbook. He has also contributed many articles to such publications as Bon Appétit, Sunset, Mountain Living, Home Magazine, and Southwest Art.

Joel Avirom (Designer)
Joel Avirom is an award-winning New York-based designer who has been working in publishing for more than twenty-five years. His work covers a wide variety of subjects, including food, lifestyle, art, architecture, photography, and entertainment. Joel studied at The High School of Music and Art, The Cooper Union, and the Yale University School of Art. For more information, visit www.joelavirom.com.