Michele Ragussis grew up in an Italian/Greek family where food was, and still is, a big part of their lives. She fell in love with the New England lifestyle and cuisine when she moved to Rhode Island to attend Johnson & Wales for a Culinary degree. After deciding that hands-on restaurant experience was her preferred way to advance her skills, Michele went on to spend 20 years in executive chef positions. Michele is currently working on a seasonal seafood cookbook with Winter,Spring,Summer and Fall recipes for Fish and Shellfish, which teaches readers how to cook seasonally and sustainably.
While usually serving as a judge on Beat Bobby Flay Michele recently took a turn against the master chef, and beat Bobby Flay with her signature Greek Pastitsio recipe. Michele is also recognized as the runner up on Food Network Star season 8, and as a finalist on Comeback Kitchen. Michele has also been featured on as a contestant Food Networks Chopped, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, FYI's Midnight Feast, Farmers Market sweep and two season's of NBC's Food Fighters. Michele is also working on a Tv pilot with Mary Stuart Masterson. Because of her commitment to raising awareness for natural and human disasters, Michele created Chefs for Disaster Relief on Instagram and Facebook.
Her distinctive tattoo's may look intimidating, but Michele's personality is warm, relaxed and fun. Michele spends as much time as she can traveling and eating her way around the Hudson Valley with her dog Maximus. Her charitable work includes,Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Humane Society,No kid Hungry ,The Trevor Project amongst many others.