Introducing Chef Michael Greenfield.

Michael Greenfield

Today I have the pleasure of introducing another friend and mentor from my journey down the long and winding road of hospitality. His story is particularly interesting due to its unique twists and turns. Without further ado, read on.

I was born in Montréal

I grew up in Ville Saint-Laurent, a suburb of Montréal.

My father is an accountant and was a senior partner in a large firm.
My mother had the far more demanding job of raising my brother and I.
My grandparents immigrated to Canada in the early 20th century. Like many of their cohort, they came with nothing, worked hard and made a life in Canada.

My first job was working in a clothing factory. I worked in the cutting room and then shipping department. A couple of years later, I got a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. This was the beginning of my path in the hospitality industry.

In the 1970s, I was a gigging musician (pro). I still play music. Mostly for myself these days. For the past 26 years, I have been crafting artisanal guitars.

I have had a very privileged life. I played music when there was lots of work and could actually make a living doing it. I trained under Chef Albert Schnell, who mentored me. That led to my tenure at Restaurant Charles Barrier (Michelin, 3 stars at the time). Upon my return I worked at many of the premier dining rooms in Montréal and eventually worked my way up to Chef de Cuisine.

I currently craft some of the finest guitars in the world. My client list includes artists from Keith Richards, Paul Stanley and Colin Hay (many, many more too), to many high net worth individuals, as well as working musicians, teachers, auto mechanics, scientists, researchers and more. I have met the most incredible people. Many have become close friends. This is truly a gift.

Most cherished of all were the years in my restaurant (the 1980s). 35 years later, I am still in touch with almost everyone from the brigade (including you). It was a magical time and place. We did crazy things and made great food. The fact that we all speak to one another speaks volumes. It is what I treasure most.

What are the goals you are still working toward?

These days my focus is researching the acoustic physics of the guitar and the mechanical properties of the materials used to craft it. As I deepen my understanding, I am able to ask better questions. I will never get to ‘enlightenment’ but then, that is the fun…. isn’t it?!

When people look back at your life, how do you want to be remembered? 

Whether playing music, cooking or making tools for artists, I would like people to say I brought them joy. That my work helped them discover something magical and contributed to their cherished memories. I would like to be remembered with a kind smile.

How has covid 19 affected you or your business?

Like many, I have learned more about what is truly valuable in life and where we need to focus our collective efforts. 

Business is up considerably. This is a trend for most of my colleagues, the major musical instrument manufacturers, and retail. Other than 3 months last year, we have been able to stay open and work. We are two people in a 5,000 sq ft space, so distancing has not been an issue and we are not open to the public. This has been a very safe place to ride out the pandemic, doing what we love each day.