By Chef Michael Feker Special to Published Mar 18, 2009 at 12:44 PM

It has always been my dream to bring people together for unique dining experiences. At my exclusive cooking school, I invite guests to dine with me at my Chef's Counter. It is this experience that I hope you will treasure as much as I do.

Throughout our meal, I encourage interaction from my guests as I prepare their meals in front of them. Why do I do this? I do it because I am passionate about sharing my love of the art of cooking with others. And, by the end of the evening, my guests have become my personal friends. Whether you choose to dine at my state-of-the-art cooking school or at the intimate and cozy Il Mito restaurant, you will be truly amazed.

In the cooking school, I offer a variety of classes. Whether the class is regional tour of the world, one-on-one hourly sessions, corporate team building or the popular Tosa lunch class, I promise you will leave with a smile on your face and a head bursting with information about the marriage of cooking, food and flavor ... not to mention a very full and satisfied stomach.

My personal cooking style is to combine the chemistry of classical French cuisine with the ingredients of traditional Italian cuisine, resulting in delicious flavorful food. Before opening Il Mito here in Milwaukee, I owned and served as the executive chef at the critically acclaimed Los Angeles eateries also known as Il Mito.

Before having the pleasure of opening my own restaurant, I attended the California Culinary Academy, after convincing my father that I was already a chef, not a dentist! As part of my training I traveled around the world learning from the best chefs in each port. I was also very fortunate to spend time working at Harry's Bar and Grill in San Francisco, and Los Angeles restaurants Chianti Cucina, Locanda Veneta and Sostanza.

It is my hope that through this blog I can share my passion and my love for food and cooking with you. Please write me and let me know what you'd like to hear from me and how I can help inspire you in the kitchen. I will share many recipes and cooking ideas with you here on a regular basis.

As this is my first entry and I'll start by sharing with you my recipe for sophisticated creamed spinach.

This is a regular at my house and with our children around our dinner table. I hope you enjoy it as much as my wife Maricela enjoys making it for us at home. This recipe is a perfect way to amaze your guests and making sure that the Popeyes of your life get their spinach, and crave it, too.

The spinach will shrink tremendously once cooked.

Chef's tip: to simplify the preparation and the production of my recipes, print and read the recipe twice while seated and focused on the dish. Remember my cuisine is not rocket science, but passion science.

Serves: 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Production time: 20 minutes


  • 2 cups of water
  • Sea salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 2 cups on creamy ricotta aka Chicago style
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of good bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 2 lbs. of spinach (pre-washed in bag) I suggest you wash them in water by soaking and rinsing well (no need to dry)


1. Bring the water to a boil once boiling add enough salt until you can taste.
2. Add the nutmeg, slice onion and sliced garlic and cook covered for five minutes.
3. Add the spinach and push down so that the spinach start wilting by touching the boiling water.
4. Cover reduce heat to medium low and simmer for another seven minutes.
5. Remove from heat and strain the liquid through a colander and press well so that there is no excess liquid, let cool to warm (this is very important.)
6. Place the ricotta and the butter in a food processor and process until well combined. Add the warm spinach mixture including the onion and garlic and pulse to mix and half of the Parmesan and mix well.
7. Season with white pepper and more salt if needed.
8. Place in a baking dish, smooth the top, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and the bread crumb. Place in the oven and use the broiler function to melt and brown the cheese and bread crumb topping.

Chef Michael Feker Special to
Chef Feker Born in Persia, Michael Feker realized that his calling was to be a chef and enrolled in the California Culinary Academy (CCA). While at CCA, Chef Feker was trained in classical French style by one of the best chefs in the country, Roberto Gerometta. Later, he was chosen by Gerometta to represent the Academy aboard the Royal Viking Cruise line for a four-month around-the-world assignment. It was this experience that gave Chef Feker the ability to master his artistry while simultaneously cooking for large groups of diners. After completing his studies at CCA, he worked at some of the best Italian restaurants in California including: Harry’s Bar and Grill in San Francisco, and Los Angeles establishments such as Chianti Cucina, Locanda Veneta and Sostanza where he was executive chef. Chef Feker was also selected to work temporarily as corporate chef at Nestle Corporation while Gerometta consulted for the company internationally. Chef Feker was named California’s Best New Chef of the Year in 1991 and Best Chef of the Year in 1993 by the California Food Writers Association (CFWA). Il Mito received a four star rating in 1994 and 1995 by the same organization. Il Mito was also named Best of L.A. by L.A. Magazine in 1992. In 1997, Chef Feker opened his first Il Mito in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. Then, in 2006 he opened a second location in Milwaukee’s growing suburb of Wauwatosa. Then, in early 2008, he opened The Chef Michael Feker School of Culinary Magic adjacent to Wauwatosa’s Il Mito.