Born in Texas and raised in Toronto, Michael Sommers grew up with travel on the brain-a consequence of time spent riding around in Oldsmobiles, Mini Mokes, and Pan Am jets in the company of a Gourmet-addicted mother and a father with a roving zoom lens.
When Michael turned 18 he took flight, setting down temporary roots in cities such as Bordeaux, Paris, Montreal, New York, and Lisbon. During this time, he earned a BA in Literature from McGill University and an MA in History and Civilizations from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where his thesis was “The Image of Brazil and Brazilians in Hollywood Cinema.” He also worked as a writer and editor at magazines and newspapers and freelanced for publications such as The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and The Globe and Mail.
Michael first traveled to Brazil at the age of four. His only memory is that of being served a glistening orange wedge of papaya in the grand dining room at Rio de Janeiro’s Hotel Gloria. Twenty years later, he returned to Brazil, where he was seduced by the intense, colorful landscapes, rich cultures, and warm people. Michael eventually settled down in Salvador, the baroque capital of Bahia, where he has worked as a writer and journalist for over 15 years.
While Michael has yet to master the art of preparing feijoada (Brazil’s national stew of beans, salted beef, and pork), he does make a mean caipirinha.