Chef Micah Martello's deep appreciation for Southern cuisine was developed at a young age growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was exposed to a variety of foods that would fuel his lifelong passion for cooking.
He began his culinary career at the age of 18 workings as a prep cook at the Lafayette Hilton and Towers in Lafayette, Louisiana, learning classical French cuisine and completing his apprenticeship through the American Culinary Federation, all the while continuing his full-time pursuit of a bachelor’s in Hotel and Restaurant Administration at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. After only four months at the Hilton, he was quickly promoted to line cook, then banquet chef, and eventually executive sous chef. After three years of learning the trade at the Hilton, he was offered his first executive chef position at Tavern on the Park in New Orleans at the young age of 21, the youngest executive chef in the city.
Micah’s early career as an executive chef afforded him the opportunity to run the kitchens of several top New Orleans restaurants: Café Giovanni, Charley G’s Seafood Grill, and Nautical, which was named Bon Appetit Magazine’s Best New Restaurant of the Year in 1999. Throughout his career, he has won dozens of medals in ACF sanctioned cooking competitions as well as many other accolades. From 1999 to 2003 he was ranked number 7 in the top 100 chefs in the US on Chef2Chef.net. In 2000, he was lured to Texas by Renaissance Hotels to renovate the historic Casa de Palmas Hotel, opening a Latin-Fusion concept. From there he became a corporate concept chef for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, designing new menus and helping to shape the future of their new restaurants. In 2004, he moved to North Carolina where he was director of operations for A Southern Season, a 50,000 square foot gourmet retail specialty store with a 450-seat fine-dining restaurant, full service prepared foods deli, a bakery, a coffee shop, and a bar.
In 2012, Micah saw that his success in the corporate world had taken him far away from his love affair with the kitchen. He loved being a chef but had developed a disdain for the restaurant business, so he quit his job, sold his house, and bought an old bread truck which he converted to a full mobile kitchen. This was the birth of King Creole.
After two and a half years, King Creole became one of the top trucks in North Carolina. In 2013, he became president of the Central Carolina Food Truck Alliance and began working with municipalities all over the state, helping to shape pro food truck legislation. In 2014, he won the North Carolina State Food Truck Championship. He had finally found what he was looking for, but only one thing was missing: home. It was time to bring his journey full circle and return to Louisiana.
In November 2014, he ran his last shift, packed up the commissary, and drove it home to New Orleans. Shortly after returning, Micah teamed up with Karen Carlsen, his business partner. They put their efforts into opening a permanent location in St. Roch Market on St. Claude Avenue and began offering full-service catering. As the business has grown and evolved, they felt the name should evolve with it. King Creole was changed to Fete au Fete StrEATery.
To fully prove the concept and build brand recognition, Karen and Micah expanded into food halls including White Star Market, Pythian Market, and Cultivation Food Hall, with an additional clean eating concept called Local Honey. This expansion was successful and achieved the goal of finding new opportunities. At the end of 2019, they were able to close their food hall locations and open their new location inside the New Dixie Brewery in New Orleans.