Meet Taste of Home Culinary Specialist Michael Barna! Michael conducts Cooking School shows throughout the country, focusing primarily on the Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont areas. “I love being on stage, entertaining and sharing my love of cooking,” exclaims Michael. “It’s all about bringing the family back to the dinner table!”
Michael currently resides in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania with his wife and their two cocker spaniels. Michael earned an Associate of Occupational Studies degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Furthermore, Michael’s background includes facilitating private and online cooking classes, conducting local and national television commercials, and competing in national recipe contests. After graduating the CIA, Michael headed to Atlantic City where he helped open three gourmet casino restaurants. And when he moved to Philadelphia, Michael accepted the position of Executive Sous Chef at a prestigious 5 Diamond 4 Star hotel. Michael later became the Executive Chef for a major national gourmet specialty food shop. When not “wowing” attendees at Cooking School shows, Michael loves drumming, motocross, watching classic vintage movies, and enjoying great food.
To learn more about Michael, take a look at some of his answers to questions below!
Tell us something about yourself that very few people know? I am a culinary hand model.
If we were to open your refrigerator at home, what would we find? You would find tons of fresh fruit, great cheeses, olives, great condiments, and dessert wine.
What is your favorite book? Hands down, The Pro Chef.
Do you have any special holiday traditions? What foods were cooked for celebrations or special events? Every holiday I like making special foods from scratch like my family did many years ago. In regards to celebratory or special occasions, I especially enjoy preparing gefilte fish and making a Sadar plate from scratch with horseradish and parsley from my garden.
What was your favorite food growing up? Italian food and Captain Crunch.
When did you start cooking? Who taught you to cook? I started cooking at age 9 and my Nan and my Mom were the ones who taught me how to cook.
Do you remember your grandmother’s cooking? What was her specialty? Very much so! Her speciality was Hungarian and comfort food. It was all comfort food from her loving hands.