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©2019 - German American Cultural Center

The Chef

Mike Iskandar - Executive Chef

Mike began his journey in the kitchen at age 15 and has worked hard to earn his way up the hierarchy, learning everything he can, ever since. Twelve years ago, his family started a restaurant that serves Mediterraneanstyle food. But Mike does not hold himself out as a specialist in Mediterranean cuisine. In Mike’s words, learning to make new dishes from different parts of the world is “all part of the great culinary adventure,” and he has enjoyed the study of German cuisine on this part of his journey. Naturally, Mike sees cooking as an art rather than a science, and he reveres the creative aspect of cooking above all else. Get to Know Our Chef... Those of us who have had the pleasure of meeting Mike know that he is calm as a cucumber. Yet, when some of us think of kitchens at busy restaurants, we might imagine terrifying scenes filled with roaring fires, cauldrons overflowing with scalding liquids; along with panicked sous chefs scurrying every which way, changing tasks on a dime, and screaming “Yes, Chef!” Of course, we wanted to ask Mike what his secret is to staying cool, calm, and collected in a busy kitchen. His philosophy — which is very much not a part of the Gordon Ramsay school — is to keep calm, carry on, and lead by example. Experience has taught him that one person’s stress will filter throughout the kitchen in an anarchic, untenable, negative chain. A kitchen filled with positive energy, on the other hand, does just what it is supposed to: produce great food. Outside of Lenau Park’s kitchen, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. Mike and his family live in North Olmsted, where he can often be found on his feet and in the kitchen.