More About the Author
Michael Turback (www.michaelturback.com) was trained as a restaurateur at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He opened his first restaurant, Turback's of Ithaca, at age 22. The restaurant's mission was to combine inventiveness, passionate cooking with local ingredients, and the novel concept of a wine list with exclusively New York State products. The achievement was recognized by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Gourmet Magazine, Wine Spectator, Nation's Restaurant News, the Food Channel, and NPR's "All Things Considered." Bon Appetit Magazine hailed Turback's as "the best restaurant in New York State."
In 1986 Michael was selected as a "Rising Star" by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. He pioneered concepts at Turback's that sparked trends that are seen throughout the restaurant industry today. Loyalty to small local farmers and use of seasonal local produce helped to popularize American regional dining. Wine tasting events and wine dinners inspired interest in a new generation of local wines. The Turback's staff even picked their own grapes for the restaurant's house wine. Turback's originated "The Great Nouveau Race," in which long-distance runners carried the first-released bottles of upstate wines to market, upstaging the delivery of French Nouveau. The restaurant's success dispelled the prevailing popular belief that fine restaurants could serve only European and California wines. Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Turback's "one of the wine-friendliest restaurants in America" and the restaurant was awarded "Best American Wine List" by Restaurant Business Magazine.
Michael distinguished himself in retailing with the development of The Original Made-in-New York Stores. Featuring regional food, wines, and a variety of gifts produced or manufactured around the state, the concept attracted media attention and spawned a national mail order catalog. A feature article in New Yorker Magazine commented on the stores' policy of excluding items from outside New York as "an act of partisanship that some would call lunatic, others courageous." He is a founding partner in two influential online retail websites, The NEW YORK FIRST Company, the first department store concept on the Internet, and History Company, an online source for extraordinary pieces of American history.
Known for his versatility and invention as a writer, he has taken on, with distinction, such topics as the ice cream sundae, the banana split, hot chocolate, the partnership of chocolate and coffee, creative barista drinks, artisan cocktails, Finger Lakes Wine Country, the Ithaca Farmers Market, Cornell University Who's Who, as well as two legendary figures, John Wayne and Toots Shor.