Michael Rayfield

Years of Participation

With 16 years of culinary experience, Michael Rayfield is executive chef at The US National Whitewater Center. Michael oversees all food service restaurants and outlets, including menu design, concepts, food preparation, presentation and staff management and training. Under Michael’s leadership, the culinary team is committed to creating flavorful cuisine that is presented in a memorable way.

Michael is deeply ingrained in the culinary community of Charlotte. He is an influential member of the Piedmont Culinary Guild, an invitation-only, grassroots food industry organization. Michael enjoys representing The US National White Water Center at numerous events, ranging from pumpkin carving competitions and food truck challenges to culinary demonstrations.

Before joining The US National Whitewater Center, Michael worked at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge as Executive banquet Chef & Charlotte-based Big Fish Ventures Inc., servings as an executive chef for LaVecchia’s Steak & Seafood, NIX Burger & Brew and JAX Backstreet Tavern.

Earlier in his career, Michael worked as executive sous chef at Myers Park Country Club and sous chef at Quail Hollow Country Club. Michael also worked as a demi chef at Brigtsen’s in New Orleans. In this role, he developed his signature cooking style of Southern Cajun Creole with some Asian flare.
Michael’s most distinctive award received was for the 2016 Lodging Employee of the Year – Management from the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association