The kitchen has always felt like home to Chef Michael Bowling. At an early age, he took great joy in being his mother’s sous chef as she cooked classic southern fare. He was first featured in the paper cooking with his mother in January of 1982. His mother was a strong force in his life, inspiring and encouraging his love of cooking.
Chef Bowling is a native of Roanoke, Virginia and started out working as an amateur in local restaurants. After seeing photos of his sister’s fine dining experiences while traveling abroad, he was inspired to apply to work at The Meeting House, a local fine dining restaurant. There, Chef Tom Ford saw something in Bowling. He hired him to work in his kitchen and encouraged him to get formal culinary training. He attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC. While in the culinary program he worked at one of the “Top 50” restaurants in the country; exposing him to the true art of being a Chef. Upon graduation, he honed both his culinary and leadership skills working and managing several restaurants in Virginia. In 2005, Chef Bowling opened his own restaurant, “The Bistro at Campbell”; featuring dishes such as Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Mango Glaze and Tea-Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Cognac-infused Demi-Glaze. He was truly in his element there, as both the creative director and leadership behind the success of the restaurant!
Unfortunately, Chef Bowling struggled with health complications and had to close the doors to The Bistro in September 2006. He learned that he had kidney disease and was in kidney failure. He kept the doors open until eventually he was too weak and too sick to continue. With a heavy heart and at a loss, he found a blessing and underwent major surgery, having a kidney and pancreas transplant.
While recovering, he discovered well-kept secret called Roadside Kitchens. Chef Bowling joined the chefs of Roadside Kitchens as a guest chef at the 2010 America Heart Association Gala at the Australian Embassy in D.C. Later that year he traveled to New York City to cook a special Roadside Kitchens dinner at the famed James Beard House, one of his proudest culinary moments! In February of 2011 he joined the staff of 15 North Roadside Kitchen as Executive Chef.
In early 2012, Chef Bowling decided to venture out on his own again; offering boutique catering services for special events and private chef services. He truly loves crafting menus and highlighting the uniqueness of an event, however he believes The Hot Box “Next Level Street Food” is a niche he just can’t pass up! Bowling says he loves seeing the enthusiastic, content smile that someone has after they’ve finished one of his dishes; it’s one of his favorite parts of being a Chef! It is Chef Bowling’s commitment to food, community and family that makes every dish he creates more than just a meal, but truly an experience!
To see and learn more about Chef Bowling’s culinary vision and exquisite food, visit www.chefmichaelbowling.com