Michael James grew up in Penzance, West Cornwall. He moved to London at the age of 18 and worked at the five-star Selsdon Park Hotel before joining Tom Aikens at the two-Michelin star restaurant Pied-à-Terre. It was here he met his Australian wife Pippa. After moving to Sydney in 2004, he had the opportunity to work and learn with Dave McGuinness and Paul Allam at Bourke Street Bakery. This job was the start of his baking career, and he has never looked back.