A SoCal native, Michael Beckman has not only witnessed the drastic evolution of dining in Southern California, he has been instrumental in its course, joining rank with his Workshop Kitchen + Bar.Beckman’s love of the table began as a student at the University of San Francisco, where the city long revered for its culinary scene made a marking impression on him at a young age. Michael spent three years in fairly rigorous front-of-the-house training programs at Kuleto’s and Il Fornaio, where he’d take notes from line up and conversations with chefs and reproduce the dishes at home. His affinity for wine and of European regional cooking followed suit.
In 2000, Michael earned his B.A. at U.S.F. and decided to dive head first into French cooking. He landed in Geneva, Switzerland, where for 2 years he cooked at an eclectic centre ville bistro, a traditional countryside French restaurant near Geneva’s vineyards, and at a sushi hot spot honing his knife skills as a fishmonger.Determined to join the brigades of a 3 Michelin-star restaurant, Michael saw Lyon’s prestigious L’Institute Paul Bocuse as a gateway to the next level. He spent the next two years under the wing of four Meilleur Oeuvriers de France instructors at IBP, as well as apprenticing at Burgundy’s 3 Michelin-star “Lameloise”, before landing a Chef de Partie position with Ritz Carlton, Berlin where he cooked under chef Thomas Kellermann (of Munich’s Tantris and of Kastell at Hotel Burg Wernberg).
Chef’s return to California led to a series of elite private chef positions in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Rancho Mirage, where his drive to source the absolute best ingredients for his clients and prepare them simply helped focus his locally sourced, distinct style of cooking. Shopping the farmers’ markets each week and keeping pace with restaurant trends led in many ways to his vision of Workshop.