With a passion for seasonal ingredients and a love of Southern cooking and hospitality, Michael Fojtasek opened Olamaie in Austin, Texas in August 2014. The restaurant brings the taste of the South with a new modern spin to downtown Austin with seasonal dishes and farm-to-table ingredients. Since opening, Olamaie and Michael have received numerous accolades, including being named as a 2015 James Beard Awards semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant,” 2015 Food & Wine Magazine “Best New Chefs,” featured as the second Best New Restaurant in Texas Monthly’s “Where To Eat Now” in 2015, and named “2015 Best Restaurant in Austin” by the Austin American-Statesman.
Michael began his culinary career at FINO Restaurant in Austin, where he realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life working in restaurants. Since then, Michael has held a position as a line cook at Kent Rathbun’s Dallas restaurant, Abacus; an extern at Per Se; a daily volunteer in The French Laundry garden; and line cook at the pasta station at Chef Jonathan Benno’s Lincoln Ristorante.
Prior to opening Olamaie, Michael worked Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s Son of a Gun in Los Angeles. Michael once again quickly became a leader in the kitchen. His culinary skill, dedication to the restaurant, and bi-weekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market earned him a sous chef position.
Michael graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Anna Margaret Hollyman.