We are tastebuds

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Chef Michael Santos’s fascination with food began with his early life in Newark, NJ, where he immersed himself in the myriad of Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, and other European markets, restaurants, and pastry shops that surrounded him. After a move from New Jersey to Burlington, NC in 1989, Chef Santos found himself seduced by the charm and tastes of the south. It seems clear that Michael, who was born into a Portuguese family that loved ethnic foods and entertainment, was destined to carve out his place in the culinary industry.


Chef Santos spent years studying the art of cooking from numerous Polish, Portuguese, French and German master chefs. He attended the Alamance Culinary Academy in Haw River, NC and studied in Germany and France before returning to Greenville, NC to attend East Carolina University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management with a minor in Business Administration.


As an ECU student, Chef Santos served as Executive Chef at Christine’s Restaurant from 1998 to 2002. He then decided to take on restaurant ownership and in two short years, found himself the owner of a revamped Chefs 505, that now included a cocktail bar known as the Lounge @ 505, which added 30 extra bar seats as well as plush leather seating for another 20 customers. The Lounge featured live music and quickly became Greenville’s “place to be seen,” according to Impressions Magazine, Eastern NC’s top entertainment magazine.  Chef Santos lived his dream every day as he and his employees provided locals with great food and drinks, live music, and a great place to mingle. The Lounge also catered on- and off- property private parties, beer, cocktail, and wine pairing dinners, luncheons, and business meetings. Chefs 505 was the hottest restaurant east of Raleigh for a decade.


In May of 2007, Chef Santos and his business partners added a sister restaurant, located on the water in Morehead City, NC called Chefs 105. This new venture allowed them to cater to all of the summertime enthusiasts on the Crystal Coast, cooking up local seafood and steaks on a state-of-the-art hickory wood-burning grill.


In August of 2011, Chef Santos decided to take on a different culinary challenge and became a personal chef, providing services to a clientele looking for high-end, in-home caterings, private events, cooking classes, pre-prepared meals and any chef-for-hire service his followers could dream up. He has served as a personal chef, traveling with families and individuals to the Dominican Republic, Florida, Portugal, Kiawah Island, all 3 three US Virgin Islands, and North Carolina from the mountains to the beach. He has prepared and catered wine dinners, mystery dinners, theme dinners, business events, weddings and rehearsal dinners. He also hosts cooking classes, demos and dinners of all dietary restrictions. If you can come up with a food-related event, Chef Santos will give you what you want–and probably more.


Chef Santos enjoys shopping for fruits and produce at the local Farmer’s Market (when they are not being picked from his own garden) and purchasing fresh local seafood and organic meats.


Chef Santos also finds time to serve as an adjunct culinary instructor at The NC Chefs Academy and Art Institute of RDU, and is also a member of The American Culinary Federation.  He also belongs to a global chef consortium that pools resources to obtain freshly harvested food products from around the world, delivered directly to his and your home. His passion for food and lifestyle shows in his southern fusion style and exotic world flair.


Chef’s Santos’s greatest passions are great food and live music.  He performs, sings and plays in private and public venues throughout North Carolina. If you’re looking to gather some friends and family and have a spectacular time, let Chef Santos cook and play at your next event.