Not many people can lay claim to having shaped the restaurant world that we dine in today, but Michael McCarty is surely one of them. As his masterpiece, Michael’s Santa Monica, prepares to celebrate its 40th Anniversary with a special dinner later this month, Andrew sat down with this visionary (featured on the cover of Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll) to discuss his original vision for the restaurant, the innovations he introduced there (nightly staff meetings!); how American food moves forward in “baby steps,” his double-edged relationship with France; and the restaurant-theater connection.

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