By: Victoria Clark
Michael Chernow is a name that has become synonymous with great food and hospitality. From his first restaurant, The Meatball Shop, which now has multiple locations throughout the city, to his second restaurant, Seamores, and now his role as the face of the hit TV show, Food Porn, on FYI network, Michael is the epitome of a true entrepreneur.
And although culinary arts is his first passion, Chernow has grown to embrace the world of health and wellness and has become a strong advocate for healthy living, from the kitchen to the gym and everywhere in between. So naturally, (pun intended), Michael’s newest venture, WellWell, is his (already successful) attempt to bring these worlds together.
Unlike the slew of natural beverages out there, WellWell is truly something different and unique. Rather than being just another post-workout rejuvenator, WellWell tastes just as good as it will make you feel. And with Chernow and his team behind the product, we have faith that this drink will be a favorite amongst workout fanatics and pretty much anyone who appreciates great taste.
Read the full interview with Michael below to hear what his thoughts are on New York, fitness, working in the restaurant business, and what his advice would be to those chasing their own dreams.
SC: You are the mastermind behind some of New York’s favorite restaurants (The Meatball Shop and Seamores) and just launched a new health beverage called WellWell. Can you tell us a bit about your background and why you chose to pursue a career in the food and health industries?
MC: I started working in restaurants at the ripe young age of 13. It was the only industry I could get a start in so young, I was hungry to work and so I took the opportunity. I learned very quickly that I had a true passion for making people happy, so much so that I have not had a job in any other industry since my first job back in 1993. I love the hospitality business, the food, the beverage and the human engagement elements of the industry are what drives me every day.
SC: We love New York, but we know it can be a tough place for new businesses and career ventures. Why did you choose New York as your home base and the hub of your businesses?
MC: I was born and raised in NYC. I know how the city works, I’m a good listener and pay close attention to what the people of NY want. NYC has supported my passion from the beginning and I believe I owe it to my hometown to continue creating new and exciting concepts here.
SC: Aside from your career as a restauranteur, you are an avid proponent for health and fitness. What are some other hobbies you enjoy doing that help you to unwind?
MC: I am a runner, a muay thai kick boxer and recently within the last year have found a love for weight training. I am an all around fitness dude, I love all sports and the outdoors as well. My modo is if you put great things into your body and do great things with your body you will live a great life… you are what you eat!
SC: We are so excited about WellWell, your new post-workout recovery beverage. We know it has already received a lot of success and is already stocked at major stores like Whole Foods (with boutique locations and fitness studios to follow). Can you tell us a bit more about it? What is the story behind it and what made you decide to start a beverage brand?
MC: WellWell is a beverage that is focused on muscle recovery based on the scientific properties that the ingredients carry in them. The best part about WellWell is that its an all natural, organic cold pressed juice made with watermelon, tart cherry and lemon, thats it. The ingredients and amounts we use in each bottle have been clinically studied and tested to actually impact the recovery process in a real way. Sagan Schultz, our CEO wanted to find an alternative to store bought amino acids in the powder form. He set out to find something natural to help aid him with post workout soreness, this is not something he wanted it was something he felt he needed. He did an enormous amount of research and developed this formula, presented it to me and that is how it all began.I fell in love with the flavor and what it was proved to do for me, and the fact that it was simply juice. I asked him where to sign, we put an all star team together and launched the beverage, it happened just like that. I have been looking for a way to step into the health and wellness arena for some time, WellWell is the perfect vehicle, I love it, I use it, I believe in it with every cell in my body and it is kicking butt.
SC: You have accomplished so much at such a young age and more than most people do in a lifetime. What are some words of wisdom or advice you would give to passionate and hardworking individuals looking to follow their passion?
MC: Don’t talk…. Do… And do it WELL! Take a leap, the only person standing in the way of you and your dreams is YOU, get out of your own way. Life is too short to stay comfortable, take a risk, step out of your comfort zone, the time is now. The longer you wait the faster you will talk yourself out of potentially the next best business.
Click HERE to find out more about Michael and WellWell!