This week’s featured guest on Chef’s Story is Paul Bartolotta. In 1980, Paul graduated from the Restaurant and Hotel Management Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. His cultural education began with New York restaurateur, Tony May, owner at the time of the Rainbow Room and founder of Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani, the international food society devoted to maintaining the traditions and standards of classical Italian colleagues. Initially instituted as a six-month tour of duty for Paul, this stint evolved into a seven-year education of the highest order. Working in some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants, the aspiring Chef studied all phases of managing a first class restaurant.
Paul was Executive Chef/Managing Partner of Spiaggia, located in Chicago, from 1991 to 2000. He developed his culinary artistry in some of Europe’s most distinguished restaurants. Winner of the coveted James Beard Best Midwest Chef Award in 1994 and The James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2009, Bartolotta directed Spiaggia to every major national fine dining award. The honors include a Four Diamond Rating from the American Automobile Association, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award and numerous Critics Choice Awards from Chicago Magazine. Spiaggia has been honored with the prestigious Insegna del Ristorante Italiano del Mondo, presented to Chef Bartolotta by the President of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, in May of 1997. Spiaggia received the unprecedented and coveted four-star rating from bothThe Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. No other Italian Chef has been awarded four stars in any major market in the United States. Paul’s latest venture is Bartolotta’s Ristorante di Mare, located in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This world-class restaurant serves fresh seafood flown in daily from Italy. With a stellar wine list and high reviews from national press, Paul has created a piece of Italy in the desert. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.