Michael Fojtasek is the executive chef and owner of Olamaie, Austin American-Statesman’s 2015 and 2017 ‘Best Restaurant in Austin,’ and upcoming neighborhood restaurant Mignette. Fojtasek opened Olamaie in Austin, Texas, in August 2014 as an outlet for his passion for seasonal ingredients and love of Southern cooking and hospitality. Olamaie offers a modern interpretation of the flavors of the South that first inspired Fojtasek’s love for cooking. Since opening, Olamaie and Michael have received numerous accolades, including 2018 James Beard Finalist for “Best Chef Southwest,” 2015 James Beard Semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant,” 2015 Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs,” and second Best New Restaurant in Texas Monthly’s “Where to Eat Now” in 2015. Beyond these culinary accolades, Olamaie has served as a touchstone for the community by supporting numerous charities and causes and working to promote a culture of fairness and equality.
Following the success of Olamaie, Fojtasek is excited to open Mignette at St. Elmo Public Market in Austin. Opening in 2019, Mignette will be a neighborhood restaurant, bakery, and takeaway counter that will offer an approachable everyday menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant will continue Olamaie’s tradition of community engagement and inclusivity.
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 positions 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 at Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s Son of a Gun in Los Angeles, where he quickly became a leader in the kitchen. His culinary skills, dedication to the restaurant, and biweekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market soon 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, and daughter, Olamaie.