Michael Smith Restaurant among Google's top 10 most-searched in Kansas City

Internet search giant Google has announced the top ten most searched restaurants in the Kansas City Metro for 2012 and James Beard award winner Michael Smith and his name sake restaurant in the Crossroads Art District made the list. This is Google's 12th annual Year-End Zeitgeist list, but the first time it added the 10 most searched restaurants in Kansas City.

"We're pretty honored to have made 6th on this list that includes: Minsky’s Pizza, Fiorella’s Jack Stack, Stroud’s, 801 Chophouse, Arthur Bryant’s, then Michael Smith, Gates, Plaza III, Hereford House and Bluestem," said chef Smith. "With Minsky's multi-location pizza group leading the way, some venerable Kansas City Barbeque and steak icons and our friends at Bluestem, we're in great company," added Smith.

Nancy Smith, Michael's wife and co-owner/general manager of the couple's two Kansas City restaurants at 1900 Main Street agrees. "It is definitely a nice surprise to see we made the list. I mean, we have a good SEO team and we market heavily online and in the social space, but to be up there with some of these names that have been around Kansas City for many decades is fantastic.

Google studied an aggregation of over one trillion searches (or queries) that people typed into Google Search all year. Using data from multiple sources, including Google Trends and internal data tools. They filtered out spam and repeat queries to build lists that best reflected the spirit of 2012.

The top ten searched restaurants in cities across the US and world came from Google-owned Zagat and other sources.

About Michael Smith: Michael Smith’s degree from the University of Southern Colorado may have been in psychology, but the culinary arts are where he is most adept. Most chefs and restaurateurs would also agree, that psychology is the perfect foundation for a career in the culinary business. Following college, Smith went to work at Chateau Pyranees in Denver, where he studied and worked under Chef Jean-Pierre Lelievre and, later, Chef George Mavrothalassitis (now in Hawaii). In 1985 he traveled to Nice and Cassis in the south of France, cooking and learning, and was struck with the French approach — artisanal products and fresh, local ingredients.

It was a lesson he carried back to the U.S. when he went to Chicago in 1987 to work as Sous Chef at Charlie Trotter's. Two years later he returned to Nice to be the Executive Chef at L'Albion. Upon his eventual return to Chicago in 1991, he worked as Co-Chef at Carlos' in Highland Park and then Executive Chef at Gordon until 1994.. Moving on to Kansas City, he took over The American Restaurant and while there, Smith won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Midwest, 1999. Kansas City had never before had a chef so honored. The James Beard Awards weren’t through, however — Smith’s restaurant, Forty Sardines won Best Restaurant Design in 2002.

His newest venture is a duo of restaurants under one roof at 1900 Main Street in Kansas City's Crossroads Art District. Restaurant Michael Smith and Extra Virgin may share an address, but not much else. Namesake Michael Smith is the epitome of fine dining and high class with a 400+ Wine Spectator awarded cellar, while Extra Virgin is a trendy Mediterranean tapas restaurant with one of the city's coolest al fresco dining areas and a spectacular bar that complements the adventurous menu. Smith is still winning awards, with 2011 Pitch Magazine Readers Choice "Best Chef Kansas City" and this year's KC Magazine "Best Chef" 2012.

Michael not only owns and operated two of Kansas City's best restaurants, he keeps a schedule of guest chef appearances around the country and has been featured on Food Network and The Cooking Channel.

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