Chef Michael Ryan Grimes is the Executive Chef and Co-Founder of Southern Grit and Source to Course. Michael was born in Fremont California in 1986 to a middle class family with two full-time working parents. He is one of three siblings who learned how to cook at a young age out of necessity. Michael’s creative nature lead him down many paths as a child and young adult, ultimately leading him back to the kitchen.
He developed his passion and started his professional culinary journey at the age of twenty-five. As a culinary student, Michael began volunteering his time to help with a Second Chance Program at the local San Antonio Food Bank. Michael created a formal culinary curriculum to enhance their program with the goal of teaching and providing tangible skills to prepare participants for reentry into the workplace. Due to the success and positive impact of the curriculum and program, Michael started volunteering with Haven for Hope, teaching culinary skills and instructing courses to expand his reach. In 2012, Michael began working for Bruce Auden of Biga on the Banks. He began as an apprentice and earned the opportunity to rise through the ranks in the kitchen. He finetuned his craft working at a number of local restaurants and apprenticing for chefs across the state.
As Sous Chef at The Granary, Michael developed his love for BBQ. He had the opportunity to work with many world-renowned chefs and participate in culinary competitions nationally and internationally. In 2014, Chef Michael had the chance to display his growing skills on an International platform while participating in Meatopia London. During this time, Michael began viewing food in a new light and started to think about ways to flourish his own creativity with food. He started working to produce his own products while establishing his name in the community.
In 2016, Chef Michael co-founded—Southern Grit—where he began manufacturing and producing his famous Bacon BBQ Sauce. As a young entrepreneur, he surrounded himself with fellow chefs and entrepreneurs. He quickly recognized the gratification and opportunity of working with fellow chefs. He joined Chef’s Cooperative at this time to continue his mission of helping others and influencing the culinary industry in a powerful and meaningful way. Michael demonstrates the depths of his passion by telling stories through his food. Most recently, Chef Michael began dedicating his time to help showcase local farmers and chefs as host of the new web series—Source to Course. Source to Course is a web series that takes you on a Journey of Flavor. The mission is to give voice and visibility to farmers and chefs while highlighting their work, the journey and the transformation that play a part in food today.