Michael Romano


Michael Romano is the James Beard Award-winning former executive chef of the legendary New York City eatery Union Square Cafe. As partner and director of Culinary Development for the Union Square Hospitality Group, he oversaw such acclaimed restaurants as Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, Maialino, and The Modern. Romano co-wrote two cookbooks, Second Helpings from the Union Square Cafe (2001) and Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals from Our Restaurants to Your Home (2013).


After honing his techniques in Europe, Michael Romano returned home to New York City to take on the role of chef de cuisine at the storied French restaurant La Caravelle. From there he went on to become the executive chef of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe in 1988, earning the restaurant three stars from The New York Times six months later. Romano’s leadership consistently kept the restaurant at the top of Zagat’s Most Popular list an unprecedented nine times. As a partner in the Union Square Hospitality Group and a highly respected figure in the restaurant industry, he leveraged his cache as a chef to “influence public taste for the better.” He was a founding member of the Chef’s Collaborative which sought to recognize the importance of healthy foods, the environmental impact of food choices, and the necessity for cultural diversity. Romano has since retired as a chef but remains a partner in USHG.


Michael Romano graduated from the culinary program at New York City Technical College and trained in Paris and Switzerland.

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