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Michael Solovey

Sage Harvest Founder/Owner and Appetito Chef Manager/Cooking School and Events Director

A life-long love affair with food has led Chef Michael Solovey (Suh-luh-vee) around the globe in search of fuel for his passion for amazing flavors that excite the palate, warm the heart, sustain the body, and inspire the soul. From humble beginnings cooking with his Grandmother and Mother, to graduating from the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu program, to opening 24 restaurants, cafes, and lounges as a chef consultant, and his own restaurant Bloc in Shanghai, he threads the needle of culinary science, food psychology, and entertainment.

As head of the culinary education departments at Sur La Table, Boelter SuperStore, and his most recent startup Sage Harvest Cooking School, Chef Michael has taught over 1,800 cooking classes to over 10,000 students in the last ten years.

Michael now specializes in interactive online cooking classes, food coaching, in-home private dinners and classes, and in-person culinary events at various venues around Southeastern Wisconsin.

Partnerships & Charitable Contributions with Sage Harvest:

Gilda’s Club in Madison Wisconsin, American Heart Association – Go Red with Women, ABCD – After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Harry & Rose Sampson Family Jewish Community Center

Brendan Fleming

Chef Brendan began cooking in a professional kitchen at 16 years of age. He graduated from Culinary School in 2007 and has gone on to lead professional culinary teams in a variety of fine dining settings. An experienced cook and chef, he has logged thousands of hours over the years working to understand the fundamentals of cooking and entertaining. He began teaching cooking classes in 2011 and loves to engage students in their own love of food and table. His experience at Sur La Table—one of America’s largest cooking schools—has provided him with excellent teaching skills and a passion for helping you become a pro in your own kitchen.

Patrick J. Sepe

Bringing his 20 years of cooking experience, Chef Patrick Sepe has embraced an open mind and style while in the kitchen. He’s familiar in many different techniques and cuisines, but at the same time you may find him staying true to his Italian roots. He has worked around the country at culinary shows, several different restaurants, and alongside some renowned chefs. He’s excited to be incorporating that knowledge into his cooking classes! Interesting fact about Chef Sepe, he has worked at Glorioso’s during the pandemic, managing the Meat Department and making the Italian Sausage and Spiedini the Glorioso’s way.

John Loy

Chef John has been exploring the world of food since he was a child. In his adolescence, he worked under chefs with a wide scale of knowledge on different cooking techniques and regional flavors, but his main expertise is in cheese production. Previously head cheesemaker at Clock Shadow Creamery, chef John understands and is eager to share the science and skill behind making Italian fresh cheeses like mozzarella, buratta, and basket ricotta. A graduate of UWM’s science education program, John has a range of experiences in a more traditional classroom setting, and brings the excitement and curiosity of learning something new to Appetito’s kitchen classroom. 

Chef Harry Cherkinian

Chef Harry began his love for cooking when he started working in professional kitchens at the age of 15.  Over the years he has continued to work in the hospitality industry.  He also oversees volunteer kitchens, provides catering services, and teaches cooking classes.  As an instructor, Chef Harry is student driven and strives to make cooking fun and easy to understand.  He specializes in a number of cooking methods, including his native Armenian cuisine.  If you are out and about in Milwaukee’s Third Ward and looking for a bite to eat, you can find Chef Harry in the kitchen at Onesto Italian restaurant.

Melanie Manuel

Chef Melanie Manuel holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She was the owner of pop-up company Beatrix Foods, as well as Celesta Restaurant. Melanie has worked as a consultant on many projects, including developing the vegan menu for the national chain Toppers Pizza. She is most passionate about teaching others to elevate vegetables in their cooking.