Corporate Essentials is proud to introduce James Beard Award-nominated Chef Michael Fojtasek as September’s Featured Chef through our premium catering division, Martin + Fitch. September marks the beginning of fall – a time rich with in-season produce here in New Jersey. Michael Fojtasek’s recipes center around flavorful, fresh ingredients, matching Martin + Fitch’s mission to bring locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients to the world of office catering.

There’s just something about Southern cooking that instantly makes you feel at home. That’s exactly what Chef Michael Fojtasek achieves with his Austin, Texas restaurant, Olamaie. The award-winning executive chef plays into Texas’s love for southern comfort food, serving it up with a modern twist and a focus on seasonal, fresh ingredients. Fojtasek has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation twice, most recently as a 2018 Finalist for “Best Chef Southwest”.

It was after heading down a different career path that Michael followed his passion for cooking and pursued a career in the kitchen. He connected with a friend at FINO Restaurant in Austin, Texas and worked his way up to working the line. It was here that Fojtasek realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life working in the restaurant industry. His formal training came after when he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America Greystone in 2010. From there, Michael worked in world-renowned restaurants in Dallas, New York, and California before returning home and setting down roots with the opening of his restaurant Olamaie in Austin, Texas.

Michael Fojtasek wanted to create a restaurant that felt like home – and he succeeded.  The refined Southern restaurant is a quaint and beautifully refurbished ranch-style home, complete with a porch and shutters for an intimate dining experience. Eating in a home gives you that southern comfort feel and the modern interior decor matches the elegant plating served to your table.

In 2017, Austin American-Statesman ranked Olamaie the number one restaurant in Austin, with a review that compares Fojtasek’s reimagined Southern cuisine to a symphony playing the Blues. “He develops complex flavor in the smoky likker that laps up against Sea Island red peas in a restorative Hoppin’ John,” food critic Matthew Odam writes about one of Olamaie’s quintessential dishes. Named after several generations of women in his family, Michael Fojtasek’s Olamaie perfectly captures Southern charm with a twist of modern tastefulness.

Chef Fojtasek is expanding his range in Austin with his new venture, Mignette, opening in 2019. He was one of the first tenants to sign a lease at the brand new St. Elmo’s Public Market and has designed Mignette to be a neighborhood restaurant, bakery, and takeout counter with a fast-casual feel. Where Olamaie gives off an upscale, “night on the town” vibe, Mignette will offer an everyday breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. St. Elmo’s will inspire community gathering, something Michael Fojtasek values with his community and charity involvement, making Mignette the perfect fit.

Fojtasek’s rich and flavorful cuisine translates well to the crisp September days here in New York and New Jersey.  Chef Fojtasek’s concentration on ingredients that are fresh and in season matches well with the focus of our premium catering division, Martin + Fitch. Through our James Beard Foundation featured chef program, a signature recipe created by Michael Fojtasek will be available each week throughout the month for offices in New Jersey and New York.

About Martin + Fitch

Whether an office is looking to supply food for an occasional workplace party, a regular Friday happy hour or everyday lunches, Martin + Fitch can service your needs. With menus changing daily and inspired by the seasons, Martin + Fitch can provide delicious, better-for-you meal options for your employees. In addition, from photo shoots and drop off catering, to large full-service events, Martin + Fitch can help you choose your venue, hire staff and design the space.

Learn More About Martin + Fitch

Rachel Cusack

About Rachel Cusack

With a passion for the creative side of the business world, Rachel graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Through many years in customer service roles, she has developed strong people skills and an interest in how consumers interact with brands. Rachel strives to bring her experience in digital marketing and events to her role as a Marketing Associate at Corporate Essentials. She believes that life is just better with a cup of coffee and a great office culture is the first step in maximizing employee happiness.