Remembering Longtime ACF Chef Michael Ty

Longtime ACF Chef Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, HOF, passed away in late August, 2022, at the age of 69. Chef Ty was born of Chinese parents in Manila, Philippines, the third of six children. His father was a physician and his mother was a musician. His family immigrated to the United States in the 1966 and settled initially in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1968, they moved to Waverly, New York, where he resided until his move to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1975.

michael tyMichael received his Associate of Science degree in Culinary Arts from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cobleskill in 1973. He continued his education with coursework at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in the Harrah’s College of Hotel Administration Food and Beverage Program. 

One of the highlights of Chef Ty’s career at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was moving up through the ranks to be promoted to Executive Chef in 1982 and Food Director in 1985. At age 28, he became the youngest non-European Executive Chef at a major resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

In 1989, Chef Ty assumed the position of Executive Chef at the world renowned Desert Inn. From 1996 to 2000, he served as Executive Chef of Lawry’s The Prime Rib. He owned and operated Hospitality Culinaire, Inc. and MT Cuisine, LLC, both based in Las Vegas.

ACF has recognized Chef Ty with a wide variety of awards over the years including: ACF Western Region Chef of the Year in 1991, 1994, and 1997; ACF Western Region Chef Professionalism Award in 1991; induction into the American Academy of Chefs (the Honor Society of the ACF) in 1991; American Academy of Chefs Chair’s Medal in 1996; ACF National Chef of the Year in 1997; and numerous ACF Presidential Medallions.

Chef Ty served as Chair of the Board of the ACF, National President of the ACF (1993-4 and 2009-13), President of the ACF Las Vegas Chapter, and the National President of the ACF Chef and Child Foundation. 

He served on the advisory boards for SUNY at Cobleskill, UNLV Harrah’s College of Hotel Administration, the Art Institute of Las Vegas, and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas.

Chef Ty received an Industry Achievement Award from the Food and Beverage Program at UNLV. He served as Distinguished Visiting Chef at Johnson & Wales University, where he also received an Honorary Doctorate degree. The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce has presented him with a Community Achievement Award.

In September of 2008, Chef Ty was inducted into the State University of New York, School of Business Hall of Fame. This award recognizes graduates who have obtained outstanding achievement in a specific field of endeavor, in civic affairs, in humanitarian affairs and/or in activities which merit special recognition.

Chef Ty was the father of four children.