Tag Archives: inspiration

A Conversation with Mike Bagale / Alinea / Executive Chef / Chicago, IL

GoodTrue&Beautiful (8)

Mike Bagale combines a unique mix of a broadly artistic mind with a calm, pragmatic, and practical approach to running a complex kitchen.

Mike’s artistic interests began in film school, attending Ryerson University in Toronto and the New York Film Academy. In 2002 his interest in cooking began when he enrolled at Florida Culinary in Palm Beach.

In 2004 he began working at the Four Seasons hotels and spent 4 years in their programs from Palm Beach, Washington D.C., and Miami, ending up as the Chef de Cuisine of the 5 Diamond Resort at the Palm Beach property. In 2009, after a successful 2-day tryout, he joined the team at Alinea as chef de partie.

His relentless drive and work ethic moved him quickly up the ladder at Alinea. He was a constant creative collaborator in the kitchen and was promoted to sous chef quickly in 2010. It was that year that he cracked the code to ‘floating food’ with the famous Balloon course. Mike was named Executive Chef of Alinea in 2012.

Follow Mike on Instagram and learn more about Alinea here.

You stream or download this conversation at AshtonGustafson.comiTunes, and Stitcher.

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Wandering Into The Familiar With Wonder

You get up, you shower, you have a cup of coffee, you check your email, you drive to work, you work, you drive home, you have dinner, you watch the news, you go to sleep. The sun rises and then you hit repeat.

Looking straight into the familiar we often neglect to look and listen at what’s around it. We must wander into what’s familiar with an expectation of surprise.

The hope here is that this wandering can lead to a wonder that leads to you having gained new insight, making change, or creating something new from the familiar.

Look and listen to the all too familiar trees around you. Behind the leaves you won’t believe how the once hidden bluebird sings your songs or how she glistens with inspiration and direction.

True or false: It’s hard to get full of wonder when you’re stuffed with familiar.


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Inspiration and Shared Air

The word inspiration, literally, means “breathed upon” in Hebrew.

To be breathed on, it would appear that nearness and proximity with those who inspire us is quite important.

In other words, you can’t be breathed on from a distance.

In other words, pursue mentorship with someone who is inspiring and hang tight.

In other words, our music, or lack thereof, will be defined by those who we share air with.

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