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Brightwater Chef Instructor Michael Drazsnzak is an American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Gold Medal winner and former Executive Chef of Colterra Food and Wine in Boulder County, Col. While at Colterra, the restaurant was listed as one of the top 5 best restaurants in Boulder County for five consecutive years. Chef Michael has also held positions as culinary arts instructor at Cuesta College, executive chef of Del Mar Crab House in Denver, Col. and chef de partie at Jax Fish House in Denver, Col.
Chef Michael’s cooking style is heavily influenced by southern French and northern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on farm-to-table. He appreciates the techniques from these regions for their simplicity, flavor and use of local ingredients.
“Utilizing local ingredients whenever possible is the most satisfying way for me to cook,” Chef Michael says. “I love having a connection to where I am through the relationships I develop with local growers and producers.”
Originally from Fayetteville, Ark., Chef Michael returned to Northwest Arkansas and began teaching at Brightwater in the fall of 2021.
“I enjoy the opportunity to share my knowledge with bright, passionate and engaged students while getting to learn something every day,” he says. “Brightwater is an excellent learning environment made special by its students, faculty and staff.”
Chef Michael is also a musician and a health and fitness coach with his own physical fitness practice. In his free time he enjoys mountain biking, trail running, snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing, backpacking and disc golf.
- AAS Culinary Arts, Art Institute of Colorado
- Soups, Stocks and Sauces
- ACF Culinary Gold Medal Winner