Mike is a 26 year veteran of the wine merchant business who has traveled the world to taste wines in the very vineyards where they are produced. He is also frequently seen on the Gulf Coast competitive cooking circuit churning out everything from chili to lima bean gumbo to his famous Bailey’s Original Root Beer BBQ Sauce. Mike is also the founder and CEO of the Lust Spice Co. as well as Bay Beverage Distributors a purveyor of premium, vintage soft drinks.
His on-air persona has been described as passionate yet jovial, like some quirky mix of Jane Goodall and Santa Claus. Though he began cooking professionally at the age of 18, his acumen in the kitchen dates back to baking biscuits with his grandmother at the age of five. In the decades that have followed Stuart Reb Donald has worked in high volume restaurants across the Southeast and Midwest. His career has seen him go from busboy to manager to chef. Today Stu is the executive chef at the acclaimed Lucky – Irish Pub & Grill in Mobile, AL.
Stuart’s gregarious personality made him stand out early in life earning him the lead in a number of school plays which eventually landed him a drama scholarship in college where he would major in music. Those musical talents soon sent him to Nashville where he graced the stages of Music City’s hottest venues like Windows on the Cumberland and the Grand Old Opry House.
Just thirteen years old, Stuart became a published writer after penning a fishing article for a local outdoor magazine. In the years since, he has published two novels, two anthologies of celebrity chef interviews and three cookbooks including the Gourmand World Cookbook Award nominated Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico. He also has become a respected food/travel writer with credits in multiple publications and web sites.
He has used his contacts in the chef community to land interviews with culinary heavyweights like Mike Wallace of the Marriott Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL, Tory McPhail of New Orleans’ famed Commander’s Palace, the Food Network’s Ted Allen and Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon.
Stuart has combined his many talents and passions as the host of the Internet cooking shows Everyday Gourmet and the Taste Award nominated Little Grill Big Flavor. Additionally, he established himself as an expert on the burgeoning genre of food related television as a columnist for Edible TV.