Born in Philadelphia, Chef Michael Echols was heavily into football as a kid before setting his sights to the kitchen. At the young age of eight, he would surprise his mother by preparing the breakfasts’ he and his mother would try from various diners and restaurants they would eat at on her days off. By the age of 15, Michael had developed a full-fledged passion for cooking delicious food for his friends and family with his own flare. Mike’s greatest motivational cooking influences were his family members. After his brother graduated from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts, Michael decided that he also wanted to pursue his greatest passion, cooking, as a career. He then went on to attend Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, GA earning his degree in Culinary Arts. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Michael worked for the Ritz-Carlton Resort in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for his internship. In March of 2014, Echols joined the Chateau Elan Culinary team starting out as a cook III and progressing up to lead line cook I. Michael has developed a distinct influence when preparing food. His diverse southern style of cuisine with a dash of Northern flare has propelled him into a Chef at the Chateau Elan Hotel &Winery Resort, located in Braselton, GA where he has held the position of Culinary Studio Chef for the past two years.