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Stan Michalski

Executive Chef

Stan Michalski is pleased to join the culinary team as Executive Chef as of January 2024, bringing his vast Michelin experience and passion for locally-sourced ingredients to further Chez TJ’s exceptional legacy. 

Stan’s culinary career is wide-ranging and varied, from his first job making pies at a local pizzeria in his New Jersey hometown to becoming Chef de Cuisine of Michelin-starred Dovetail in New York City, and finally moving to San Francisco to hone his skills under Chef Michael Tusk at three Michelin-starred Quince.

Stan’s passion for sourcing locally began with his very first job at L’Espalier in Boston. As a line cook, he was responsible for working on the restaurant’s farm, where he learned to forage for mushrooms and select the freshest seasonal produce, and butcher pigs and chickens that were then prepared for nightly service. Not only did Stan learn valuable skills during this time, but he also developed a deep respect for the ingredients he uses after seeing first-hand the hard work and sacrifice involved in every aspect of farming.

After moving from Boston to Manhattan, Stan joined James Beard Award-winning Chef John Frasier at Dovetail, where he worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine by the age of 25. Chef John gave Stan complete culinary freedom to craft surprising and exceptional menus made up of a distinctive combination of French and California cuisine. With this unique opportunity not often afforded to young chefs, Stan was proud to retain Dovetail’s Michelin star and continue to expand the restaurant’s stellar reputation.

Interested in learning more about Italian cuisine, Stan moved on as Chef de Cuisine of Leonti, expanding his knowledge of traditional methods while also exploring all aspects of Italian ingredients and milling all grains in-house.

Already at the top of his field but hungry to learn more, Stan spent the next few years working and learning from various high-level chefs in NYC. From milling grains in-house at Leonti to crafting luxurious and artistic dishes at Caviar Russe, Stan quickly made a name for himself in New York’s vibrant restaurant scene as a talented young chef with incredibly high standards. 

Then, four years ago, Chef Michael Tusk invited Stan to join him as a sous chef at Quince in San Francisco. Staying on as one of a select few staff members during the pandemic, Stan both helped and led the team in partnering with Fresh Run Farms and McAvoy Ranch to put on weekly multi-course lunches and dinners among their gardens and grounds. This ensured a COVID-safe meal while giving guests the uniquely interactive experience of learning about farming, touring fields, and even selecting their own produce. 

Throughout this process, Stan had the privilege of developing both working and personal relationships with many of the most exclusive farms and purveyors in the Bay Area. His time at Quince not only furthered his passion for local ingredients while giving him access to the highest level of California’s produce, but it also continued to cement his standards of culinary excellence while working at the highest possible level.

With over 15 years of experience, Stan brings Chez TJ not just culinary mastery, but a deep love of hospitality—believing what matters most is bringing people together over a delicious meal. He views preparing meals for guests as though he’s cooking for his closest friends, and it’s that level of intimacy and quality that he’s honored to bring to Chez TJ.