Mike Eckles, from Bloomfield Hills, was a contestant on  Netflix’s cooking competition “Pressure Cooker.”

Mike Eckles, from Bloomfield Hills, was a contestant on Netflix’s cooking competition “Pressure Cooker.”

Photo provided by Mike Eckles

Bloomfield Hills chef competes in Netflix’s ‘Pressure Cooker’

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 8, 2023


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Local chef Mike Eckles recently competed against 10 other chefs for $100,000 in “Pressure Cooker,” a Netflix cooking competition show. Eckles grew up in Bloomfield Hills and went to Lahser High School.

Eckles was the runner-up in Netflix’s first season of “Pressure Cooker,” which aired in January. Throughout the course of the show, 11 chefs lived under one roof to compete in culinary challenges and ultimately win the cash prize.

Instead of a standard cooking show where there is typically a host and judges, “Pressure Cooker’s” unique format has neither. After each competition, the contestants taste and judge each other’s food. In the place of a host, contestants receive information via a restaurant-style ticket machine.

Another thing that sets it apart from other popular cooking shows is there is a large social component, since they are all living together and judging each other’s food.

“The social element made it definitely more challenging,” Eckles said. “My goal was to cook good food so I would never have to be up for elimination.”

He was successful in his goal of not being up for elimination until one of the last episodes, however; he was kept by the people in the house.

Eckles made it to the finale, so he was in all eight episodes of the show.

After living in a house with the other contestants for two weeks, Eckles said he made lasting relationships during the show. He said he still talks to a handful of them, specifically Robbie Jester and Ed Porter.

Eckles said the meal he was most proud of came out of the “monochromatic challenge” in the second-to-last episode.

With a house full of talented chefs, Eckles said, he was able to pick up a few new recipes and techniques from other contestants.

“I definitely got some good recipes from them, like things that I wouldn’t normally know how to make or cook,” Eckles said.

At the age of 26, Eckles is already an accomplished chef and owner of Abode Fine Dining, a private dining service. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He and co-owner Marcus D’Onofrio met while working at Coach Insignia in Detroit.

“Ultimately, Mike’s been my friend first, always, so I just was excited for him to kind of go and showcase himself. … I thought, in all facets, he represented really well,”  D’Onofrio said.

Since the show aired, D’Onofrio said, they have seen plenty of business from the show. He said they often get calls asking for specific dishes that Eckles made on the show.

“We always tell people we can essentially make anything they can imagine,” D’Onofrio said.

Specifically, the dessert caviar that Eckles made in the finale is one of their most popular requests at the moment. Hand-made pasta and ravioli are also very popular; however, those are part of every menu anyway.

To follow Eckles on his culinary journey, check out his Instagram @mikehasthe flav or his business website at abodefinedining.com.