Chef & Owner
ABOUT THE CHEF
Michelle McIlroy’s passion for flavorful, seasonal food shines through at Phantom Chef, whether she’s teaching a class or preparing a banquet for 150 people.
Michelle, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, has been owner/operator of Phantom Chef since 2009 and an instructor in the hospitality program at SUNY Broome since 2016. In 2017, she brought her expertise to a new challenge: a restaurant-quality culinary studio in Endicott, New York.
A native of South Africa who grew up in Binghamton, New York, Michelle draws inspiration from the foods and flavors of many different cultures.
Her culinary career began during high school, when she interned at Najla’s Catering. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at Brown University, Michelle studied pastry at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. While attending the Culinary Institute of America, she started a personal chef service.
From there, Michelle honed her skills working at Troutbeck Inn, a luxury resort in the Berkshires, and The Hil, a nationally acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Before returning to upstate New York and launching her own business, Michelle was the executive chef and general manager of the Blue Eyed Daisy, an organic café and bakery in Atlanta. While operating Phantom Chef, Michelle furthered her education by pursing a Master of Science in Hospitality Management at Johnson & Wales University, graduating in the spring of 2020.
She lives in Vestal, New York, with her family.