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Olivia Wilder

Olivia Wilder


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Mike took ill and will be rescheduled. Todd Kliman and callers on the show tonight.

Chef Mike Isabella, who competed in Season 6 of Bravo's "Top Chef," and subsequently, "Top Chef All Stars," recently, coming in as runner-up to winner Richard Blais, is set to open his first restaurant, "Graffiato," in Washington, DC within a matter of weeks.  The 120-seat Italian-inspired spot will feature snacks, small plates, and artisanal pizzas with seasonal ingredients influenced by the food Chef Isabella grew up eating in New Jersey, prepared by his Italian grandmother.

Chef Isabella's formal training began at The Restaurant School in New York, where he took classes and cooked his way through some of New York City's finest establishments.

After honing his skills in The Big Apple, he traveled down the coast to Philadelphia, first working as a sous chef for James Beard award winner, Douglas Rodriguez, at "Alma de Cuba," then a host of other Stephen Starr restaurants. At El Vez, Mike learned the true craft of Latin cuisine under the direction of Jose Garces, and as Executive Sous Chef of Marcus Samuelsson's "Washington Square," he educated himself on the strenuous, yet exciting task of opening a fine dining establishment.

Relocating to Atlanta, Mike became Chef de Cuisine at a top Greek restaurant, "Kyma," immersing himself in the traditions of one of the world's oldest cuisines. Traveling through Greece and the Middle East, Chef Isabella learned the nuances of these cuisines, which helped form a base for his culinary imagination.

Chef Isabella's first cookbook, "Flavors From a Jersey Italian," is due in Fall of 2012.