Mike began his odyssey in the town of Seymour, IN, where he was introduced into the family business. Born in Germany in 1954 to Frank and Mary Rose Simpson, Mike and his family settled in Southern Indiana after his father left the service. His grandfather started the first venture in 1925 and through the depression years operated a small establishment called the Rainbow Café. Mary later took over the café and Mike began working there in 1965.
His passion for Culinary Arts started in full gear at the age of 12, as he began cooking and grilling at the family business and at 15 started a catering business in his spare time. By 18, he had left the family business for a local KFC and became General Manager. At 19, he and a friend opened their first restaurant, leading to a third a few years later.
After acquiring this hard learned experience, Mike decided to take a turn at formal Culinary Arts education, obtaining a degree from Sullivan University’s Center for Hospitality Studies in Louisville, KY, later returning there to teach Baking and Pastry Arts. From there, his profession led him across the country to lead catering operations in Dallas, Manhattan, Cincinnati, Long Island, Tampa, Clearwater and Spartanburg. Along the way, he has had the opportunity to share experiences with chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Sara Moulton, Rachel Ray and Michael Simon, to name a few.
After these adventures, Mike has returned to Spartanburg, SC to be near his 2 children and 6 grandchildren, where he is the Executive Chef at Sullivan’s Catering and Events. He looks forward to preparing the meal for your next event.