Department Chair, Culinary Arts Professor
Phone: (815) 280-2639
My name is Chef Michael McGreal. I was raised on the South Side of Chicago in the Beverly neighborhood. After High School, I went on to a four-year institution as a pre-veterinary medicine major. While away at school, I managed to pay for my housing and tuition by working in foodservice and several restaurants.
After three years of studying veterinary medicine, I decided that cooking was more my passion. I left college and attended the well-known Washburne Trade School in Chicago where I graduated with my degree in Chef Training. Afterwards, I went on to earn my Bachelor's Degree from the University of St. Francis in Organizational Management and my Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Robert Morris University. I have had the pleasure of working at such wonderful places as The Everest Room, The Fairmont Hotel, Oak Brook Hills Hotel and Conference Center, for Northern Illinois University and Joe Bailly's Restaurant in Chicago.
I teach many different classes at JJC, my favorites of which are ice carving and first year cooking. I love teaching ice carving because it is a course that you can only learn in culinary school and there are not too many people that do it. I also love to teach the first year cooking classes because the students come here so excited to learn to cook that it makes teaching fun!
I have worked at Joliet Junior College since 1996 and have served as the Department Chair of the Culinary Arts Program since 1999. Coming here to teach in this program was the best decision of my entire culinary career. I work with some of the most talented and committed faculty in the industry.
I feel that not enough people really take time to enjoy good food. As adults, we are always on the go, always so busy, and we rarely set aside enough time to really appreciate great food, family and friends. If I could offer one piece of advice to adults, it would be take some time to taste, sip, laugh and enjoy!