Chef Michael Gershkovich was born in Rome, Italy in 1974 to Russian parents on their way to the United States. He grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn as a part of an orthodox Jewish family. He attended Torat Emet Yeshiva, an extremely strict religious school in Brooklyn. Like many young men in his community, he was expected to settle into a life of work and study that conformed to traditions thousands of years in the making. Every so often, however, one sheep strays from the flock to find greener pastures. In this case, he decided to bring the whole flock with him.