Former Madison Street exec chef Rob Michels lands at Japoix

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When former TAG team (and married couple) Troy Guard and Leigh Sullivan added Madison Street to their restaurant empire, they tapped a member of the TAG kitchen, Rob Michels, to serve as executive chef, where he worked alongside Troy to revamp the menu.

Three months later, after the Guard and Sullivan split, Michels has bowed out of his role to become the head chef and an operating partner at Japoix.

There, he joins Lawrence Yee, who opened the place with chef Jay Spickelmier, who has since exited.

"There hasn't been an executive chef at Japoix for the past couple of months," Michels says of his transition. "Lawrence was running the entire operation. He was ready to have somebody in."

The pair met during the TAG exodus, in which several employees abruptly quit, and Yee jumped at the chance to bring Michels on board. The chef started his new position on Monday, and he's getting his feet wet in the logistics of the kitchen while looking at the dishes on the menu that are working well. Once he has a feel for that, though, he'll be making some major changes.

"We want to introduce some more regional Asian cuisine that's not necessarily just Japanese," he explains. And while he won't yet specify exactly what that means, he adds, "We have great expectations. We're very optimistic as to where the restaurant is going."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.