Michael Harlan Turkell, a once aspiring chef, now photographer, author, and podcast host, for years, captured the inner workings of kitchens for his award-winning “BACK OF THE HOUSE” project, which documented the lives of chefs in their restaurant world. As former photo editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan, his recurring BACK OF THE HOUSE series appeared in the magazines from 2006 – 2011, and was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in Visual Storytelling.
He's been included in 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers V2, (PowerHouse Books), received a Photo District News Photo Annual Award, and has had his photos printed in an array of publications, and photographed over a dozen cookbooks, such as "The New Brooklyn Cookbook", "Clinton Street Baking Company", Joanne Chang's Flour "Flour Too", Brooklyn Farmacy’s “The Soda Fountain”, "The Meat Hook Meat Book", "The New England Kitchen" with Chef Jeremy Sewell, Marco Canora’s “A Good Food Day” and “Brodo”, Sara and Nancy Harmon Jenkins "The Four Seasons of Pasta", Lukas Volger's "Bowl", and Chris Cosentino’s "Offal Good", which he co-authored, and was nominated for a James Beard Award in Single Subject cookbook. He's also co-authored "The Beer Pantry" with Adam Dulye. In 2017, Turkell wrote and photographed his first cookbook, “ACID TRIP: Travels in the World of Vinegar”, which won the IACP award for Culinary Travel Writing.
Turkell hosted Season 3 of Food52's Burnt Toast podcast, as well as continuing to host THE FOOD SEEN on HeritageRadioNetwork.org called for the past 9 years and 400+ shows, in which he brings together guests working at the intersections of food, art & design, and has twice been named finalist for a Stitcher Award. He's also hosted/produced a special 8-part podcast: Modernist BreadCrumbs, the companion piece to Modernist Cuisine's "Modernist Bread" 2500+ page, 5 volume book about the art, history and science of bread.
Turkell is also the founder of SUMO STEW, the Japanese-inspired event series, which streams sumo matches from the grand tournaments Japan while serving bowls and bowls of a chankonabe (the sumo stew).
In 2019 he became an adjunct professor at New York University teaching food photography; the history, concepts and techniques to photographing food in its best light.
He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wine writing wife, redheaded son, and a cat, better known as #masontoday on Instagram.