Chef Michael Rossi

Raised in Orange County, Chef Michael Rossi is a native of Orange, CA. His love of fine cuisine began at an early age. While growing up in a close knit Italian family that includes 24 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, Chef Rossi found his calling in a culinary career that would take him across the globe.

Chef Rossi attended the prestigious California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he graduated at the top of his class. He then set forth on an international culinary adventure to perfect his skills and follow his passion of cooking.

Chef Rossi traveled to Maui, Hawaii to work alongside famous Chefs Roy Yamaguchi & David Abella and learn all about the traditional Hawaiian fusion cuisine.

Back in California, Chef Rossi continued to develop his cooking style by working with the Food Network's "Two Hot Tamales", Susan Fenniger and Mary Sue Milliken, at Border Grill in Santa Monica, CA to learn the heritage of Mexican cuisine.

In his quest for culinary perfection, Chef Rossi embarked on another vision that took him to the world famous Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners near Asti, Italy. It was here where Chef Rossi would learn the complex techniques and savory flavors of regional Italian cooking. While there, Chef Rossi worked in one of southern Italy’s finest restaurants at Michelin starred restaurant Il Principe in Pompeii before finally landing in Bologna to work alongside one of Italy's greatest chefs, Bruno Barbieri, at Michelin 2-star restaurant Locanda Solarola.

Chef Rossi returned once again to California, bringing with him invaluable international cuisine experience that would serve well as he spent time in some of California's nest restaurants. He worked at Brentwood's superb Italian eatery Vincenti Ristorante with Chef Gino Angelini, was Executive Sous Chef at Roy's Restaurant in Newport Beach, Sous Chef with Chef Andrew Sutton at Disney’s Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland and Executive Sous Chef in the Diamond Club at Angels Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Chef Rossi is currently the Executive Chef at Ambrosia Restaurant, located in the OC Pavilion in downtown Santa Ana.

The experience of working various venues from small intimate settings to stadium sized gatherings gives Chef Rossi a unique perspective on fine dining. The cuisine of Chef Michael Rossi celebrates the “Seasonal Marketplace”, embracing the special bounty of each season to create a dynamic balance between the nest foods and wines. Menus feature only the freshest meats, fruits, vegetables and ingredients of the season.

Chef Rossi's Awards and Recognition:

  • Danielle Carlisle Walker Award –California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, CA – Awarded for his Culinary Achievement as Top Student in Class 1997

  • Graduate of Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, Costigliole d’Asti, Italy 1998

  • Court of Master Sommeliers, London, England – Introductory Level Certification 2001

  • Jean Louis Palladin Foundation – Wine Internship in Bordeaux, France 2005

  • Recognized as one of Orange County’s “Young Guns”, a feature on Orange County’s Young Chefs, by OC Metro Magazine 2006

  • One of Five Chef’s in America to be inducted into the Fraternity of the Côtes of Bordeaux Wine Council, Bordeaux, France, in 2007. A collaboration with the Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation in Washington D.C.

  • Selected as the Best Chef/Restaurant for Santa Ana in the 14th and 15th Annual ‘Best of Orange County Guide’

  • Ambrosia Restaurant has been voted as ‘Best Restaurant in Orange County’ OC Weekly 2007 and ‘Most Romantic Restaurant’ & ‘Best Wine List’ Gayot 2007, awarded with 4-stars from Orange Coast Magazine 2008 (one of only two restaurants in Orange County with 4-Stars) and recognized by as Diners Choice as ‘Best Overall Restaurant in Los Angeles and Orange Counties’ 2008