Out of the Frying Pan...

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Michael Chihak
  • Michael Chihak
In his time as publisher of the Tucson Citizen, Michael Chihak did all he could to turn around the struggling afternoon newspaper that was put to sleep by Gannett earlier this year. Sadly, Chihak’s focus on local news and opinion wasn’t enough to save the Gray Señorita (although an electronic version lives on with an army of volunteer bloggers.)

Chihak relocated to San Francisco in 2008 to head up something called the Communications Leadership Institute, but that gig lasted for about a year.

Now he’s followed in the footsteps of former Arizona Gov. J. Fife Symington III and enrolled in cooking school.

“My life-long interest in cooking, instilled by my mom and others, has for many years included the desire to attend culinary school,” Chihak tells The Skinny via e-mail. “The opportunity presented itself, and I enrolled in a one-year culinary arts certificate program at the California Culinary Academy here in San Francisco. I am cooking in class every day and loving it.”

Chihak, who still visits the Old Pueblo now and then to visit family and grab tortillas and other Sonoran staples, has a blog, Que Aprovecho, where he shares his culinary adventures with the occasional recipe, such as roasted whole chicken with root vegetables, turned potatoes, sauce nateur and garnish.

It can be a dangerous gig: Chihak suffered an injury while practicing for a vegetable-slicing exam that sent him to the emergency room for five stitches.

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