Citizen Staff Writer
Meet the chef
Address and phone: 7892 N. Oracle Road, 531-1212
Meet Michael Still, executive chef at Metropolitan Grill.
Born and raised in Detroit, Still got his first job in the restaurant business as a teenager washing dishes and busing tables at a Farrell’s Ice Cream parlor, and eventually climbed the ladder to manager.
A self-described “rogue chef” who learned his craft from working under chefs rather than attending culinary school, the 40-year-old Still has worked at dozens of restaurants throughout the U.S.
He spent 10 years as a chef at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.. Before his arrival to Tucson last year, Still was executive chef at a Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu.
Still said the astronomical cost of living in Hawaii prompted a move back to Tucson, where he has family members.
He’s been executive chef at Metropolitan Grill since September.
Question: What’s your favorite restaurant in Tucson?
Answer: Well, I’m probably biased, but I really like Old Pueblo Grille. I just love eating on the patio out there. It’s just very relaxing.
I also like going to some of the Sonoran food venues when I get a chance.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare and why?
That’s tough. There are so many. I guess I’d have to say rotisserie chicken here.
What’s your favorite dish to eat?
That would have to be lamb chops.
What’s unique about the Tucson restaurant scene compared to other cities?
I guess I’d say it’s a bit of a challenge here to push the culinary boundaries. I think Tucson is maybe sometimes, well, I wouldn’t say not ready, but maybe a little apprehensive.
What’s your favorite or most used gadget or kitchen utensil?
I’d have to say my knives. They never leave my hands, and my rotisserie oven.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
I always have chicken.
Why are you a chef?
The love of cuisine and the never-ending possibilities. This is one of those jobs where you can continuously learn from everyone around you daily.