Michael Pagana

Michael Pagana

Vice President of Development

Michael has an Associate of Science degree in culinary arts from Seattle Culinary Academy as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality from Johnston & Whales University. He is a Court of Master Certified Sommelier and currently is the ESR Vice President of Development.


New Jersey

First Restaurant Job

Dishwasher at the Melting Pot in Longwood, Florida

Last Restaurant Job

Director of Foodservice Operations at Airbnb global headquarters in San Francisco, California

Best Meal Ever

Everything is better when shared with friends, family, and loved ones. I have been blessed with the opportunity to have many of these experiences. Catching crabs on the docks in Maryland with my father as a young boy, my mother teaching me to roast a leg of lamb as her french grandmother taught her, large family dinners every Christmas eve compliments of Aunt Marian, and now any chance I get to cook with my wife who is one of the best chefs I know.

After Work Hangout

Bar Sue…go see Curtis

Food Philosophy

Like many of the Italian chefs I have worked with over the years I believe the key to food is "getting the best ingredients available and trying not to F*** them up".

Restaurant Pet Peeve

When staff is too cool to bother with giving great service to everyone.

What do you love about Seattle?

Everything!! I have lived all over the country and Seattle is by far the best city in the country to live. Great food, restaurants, arts, nature, friendly accepting people, very walkable, and when the sun does come out we appreciate it so much more.

Favorite Place In The World

San Sebastian, the jewel of northern Spain. Some of the best food in the world with an amazing beach and gorgeous old town. There are plenty of amazing high end restaurants there, but for me jumping from bar-to-bar eating pintxos and drinking txakoli sounds like a dream retirement.

Can't Live Without

My loving and supportive wife Irene.

What Have You Learned?

I have learned that learning is never finished. Also I subscribe to the idea that we learn the most when we are uncomfortable…so get out there and do something that makes you uncomfortable!

More Info

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