This just in from local icon Chef Michael Hutchings:

Hi John,

I thought this might be of interest to you and your readers. Many thanks. This blog is for all those who have worked with or for me over the last forty years in Santa Barbara.

I have had the pleasure of living and working in Santa Barbara since July of 1981. During that time I have managed kitchens at the Olive Mill Bistro (1981-1994), my restaurant Michael’s Waterside (1984-1993), The Santa Barbara Polo Club (1992-1995), the Burnham Wood Golf Club (2001-2003) and Michael’s Catering (2003-2020).

I cannot begin to calculate how many people I have cooked for, most likely in the hundreds of thousands. From countless restaurant meals to cocktail receptions, gala dinners, private cooking classes, charitable donations, the numbers are immense.

One important, that is, very important part of my success I have enjoyed in Santa Barbara, is the thousands of servers, buses, cashiers, hostesses, dishwashers, cooks, and chefs who have worked beside me over these forty-some years. Besides the millions in payroll, there remains a legacy of people imbued with the vision of quality cuisine and service.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to those who have labored with me serving the citizens in Santa Barbara. I am retiring now and moving to Charleston, South Carolina. No doubt I will still be cooking, learning and enjoying a profession that has been very engaging for some fifty years.

A heartfelt thanks to all those who have been part of the journey.

Merci, Chef Michael Hutchings

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  1. Mitchell Sjerven says:

    Thank you for all you gave to the Santa Barbara area, Michael– enjoy Charleston, we’ll miss you!

  2. Nancy Ransohoff says:

    You will be greatly missed, Michael! Thank you for all the wonderful food and goodwill you have shared with the Santa Barbara community over the decades. Happy retirement!

  3. Ednsb says:

    You will be missed

  4. Richard says:

    Sad to see you go, Michael. Santa Barbara and California have lost another great chef and icon. We go back a long ways to when I first met you at the Olive Mill with Earl beside you. You will be missed. But enjoy your retirement in South Carolina and all the best down in that lovely state. Cheers!

  5. Chaz says:

    My taste buds say, “Thanks for the memories!” Michael’s Waterside was one of our very favorite restaurants (Olive Mill Bistro a close second.) Best wishes in your next act…

  6. Gerald Bostock says:

    Enjoy Charleston and cutting back! Your gratitude to your unsung co-workers is very classy. Best wishes.

  7. debbie says:

    Thank you for your absolutely wonderful food over all these years. You make it look so easy.
    Words can not describe your skills, humor and charm. Simply fantastic!
    Sorry to see you leave. You are one of the best Chefs and an Icon.
    We’ll just have to enjoy you on TV…for now….
    Good luck with your next adventure!

  8. Tom & Judy says:

    Michael, my wife and I fondly remember your arrival in SB in the early 80’s, and the many fine meals we have enjoyed ever since as a result of your talent. You will be missed, but not forgotten, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.