Chef Miguel A. Figueroa is Executive Chef of Moore’s Mill Country Club and its two other highly prestigious properties – Fountainview Mansion and Amsterdam Café – all located in beautiful, Auburn, Alabama.
His distinguished cooking career began at the renowned Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios, Orlando, Fl, where he honed his culinary skills working in the property’s various restaurants featuring Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Miguel was raised in the world of hospitality and cooking. His father was a chef who also ran a butcher shop and a seafood stand in Puerto Rico. His mother worked at some of Puerto Rico’s leading hotels. She instilled in him the virtues of cleanliness and organization, which he brings to the management of every one of his kitchens.
His interest in cooking peaked largely because of the influence of Massimo Fedozzi, an award-winning Italian chef with whom Miguel began working in 1999 as a lead cook in the Portofino Bay Hotel. He then followed his mentor to the Alaqua Country Club, also in Orlando, FL. He next served as Fedozzi’s Sous Chef while simultaneously attending Orlando’s Le Cordon Blue culinary academy, where he earned his culinary degree. Miguel learned to make pasta by hand and developed skill at incorporating the flavor and history behind Italian cuisine. His philosophy: “Every plate we serve has its own story to tell.”
He was also part of the exciting opening of Roy’s Restaurant in Naples, FL, where he worked side-by-side with chef Roy Yamaguchi and helped open a second Florida location. Miguel later became the Executive Sous Chef at the Hilton Key Largo Grande Resort. “Every day before work I would go to the fish markets and pick out the day’s entrees,” Miguel recalled. “When you use fresh ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Quality ingredients create quality food.” This is Miguel’s mantra.
His success at Hilton Key Largo caught the attention of the Capella Hotel Group, which managed The Hotel at Auburn University. In June of 2009, Miguel joined the Auburn community, where he set about expanding the diversity of The Hotel’s menu -- which allowed them to host special events as well as offer day-to-day cuisine – and developing The Hotel’s Piccolo Lounge. In addition, he helped with the opening of various Capella properties. Ixtapa, Colorado, New York, Virginia, including the grand opening of Hoyt’s American Tavern in the Hotel 71 in Chicago.
After three successful years in Auburn, Miguel returned to Florida to accept the position of Chef de Cuisine at the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, FL. Working at the illustrious Ritz Carlton was a major milestone in the advancement of his culinary career.
There would be one more step in Miguel’s culinary rise before returning to Alabama. He was soon offered the opportunity to serve as Banquet Chef in the luxurious W Hotel in Washington, D.C., working under Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Among Miguel’s patrons were the President (Obama) himself.
Miguel returned to Alabama to serve first as an Executive Chef and Partner at The A&P Social and Kudzu Noodle Bar in Montgomery, and then, in 2016, he returned to Auburn, now serving as Corporate Chef for Moore’s Mill Country Club, Amsterdam Café, and Fountain View—all three illustrious properties of the same corporation truly the highlight, thus far, of his culinary career.
Chef Miguel Figueroa is married with three children – two girls and one boy.