Executive Pastry Chef Michael Gabriel Celebrates 1 Year with Patina Restaurant Group!
Meet Executive Pastry Chef Michael Gabriel! This talented Chef oversees the pastry departments for all of the company’s concepts at Walt Disney World Resort.
He is also celebrating his 1-year anniversary with Patina Restaurant Group!
Chef Gabriel’s role includes everything from crafting the delicious gelato at Gelateria Toscana in EPCOT to creating the tasty treats at Space 220, The Edison, Maria and Enzo’s and more!
MickeyBlog got the chance to sit down with this amazing talent and learn about his exciting career!
Can you share your education and training info about your career?
I graduated from New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont. I did a pastry internship in Antwerp, Belgium. After a year in Belgium, I went to work for Charlie Palmer, at Aureole, one of the top restaurants in New York City. One of my career highlights was becoming the Executive Pastry Chef there. Also, I produced desserts for his three other restaurants in New York City.
I was also a Pastry Instructor at The French Culinary Institute. I had the pleasure of teaching young aspiring chefs the art of pastry.
After teaching, I began my longtime chef job at Rockefeller Center. I spent 15 years running the pastry department for Patina Restaurant Group and three of its restaurants, The Sea Grill, Rock Center Café and Cucina & Co.
This was another career highlight- I was fortunate to work at this iconic location!
What brought you to Disney and the Patina Restaurant Group?
When the restaurants at Rockefeller Center were at the end of their lease agreement, I needed to figure out what my next move would be. My experience and talents are in working multi-unit operations. I knew at that time Space 220 was in the construction stage so I presented to the Vice President of Culinary that I would like to make a move to sunny Florida and take over as the pastry Chef of Orlando.
This was something that took some time to happen since this job title had not existed yet.
February 2021,Geoff Gljiva, the VP of Operations Disney for Patina Restaurant Group offered me the position. One of the highlights of this move is that I already had wonderful rapport with Geoff as we worked together in New York.
Can you share a highlight from the past year?
One of my highlights from the past year was opening Space 220 and Gelateria Toscana.
What do you like best about your role as an Executive Pastry Chef?
I like best about my job is mentoring new pastry cooks.
Can you share the inspiration behind your creations?
What inspires me are the seasons and what products are available.
Do you have any future goals or upcoming events that you would like to share?
A future goal is to develop a team of dedicated pastry Chefs and cooks to help oversee and develop new projects within Patina Restaurant Group.
Patina Restaurant Group
Be sure to check out these amazing locations to experience Executive Pastry Chef Michael Gabriel’s creations! And be sure to follow along with MickyBlog to stay updated on all things Disney!
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