Chef | Owner | Co-Founder • The Bartolotta Restaurants
Chef Paul Bartolotta is an internationally celebrated chef and restaurateur who has brought his culinary talent and vision to kitchens all over the world for more than 30 years, from Paris to New York to Las Vegas. His education and training has been steeped in tradition and authenticity. Paul's culinary skills have earned him many accolades over the years, including two James Beard Awards. His passion for creating authentic experiences continues to inspire the growth of the company that he and his brother, Joe, started in 1993. Their achievements have earned them national recognition as well, with a nomination by the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Restaurateur three years in a row - 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Originally from Wisconsin, Chef Paul Bartolotta offers his vision, expertise, and strengths in new business development to The Bartolotta Restaurants. This partnership was formed in collaboration with his brother Joe, Co-Owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants. The brothers opened their first restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta, an inviting, authentic Italian restaurant, in 1993. Today, The Bartolotta Restaurants is the premier restaurant group in the Greater Milwaukee area, operating 16 award-winning restaurants and catering facilities.
Paul graduated from the Restaurant and Hotel Management Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1980. His professional training began in New York City with famed restaurateur Tony May, owner of the Rainbow Room and founder of Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani. With May's support, Paul traveled to Italy and trained in some of the country's most prestigious restaurants, learning the art of authentic Italian cooking. Paul then expanded his education in France, working with some of the most acclaimed chefs, including Michelin three-star rated Chef Paul Bocuse. He returned to New York to open San Domenico restaurant which earned three stars from The New York Times.
Paul moved to Chicago in 1991 where he spent nine years as Executive Chef and Managing Partner of Spiaggia. During that time, Paul won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest in 1994. Paul directed Spiaggia to many national fine dining awards including: a Four Diamond Rating from AAA, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award and numerous awards from both Chicago Magazine and The Chicago Tribune.
In 2001, Paul opened Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, located in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and went on to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2009. This world-class restaurant served fresh seafood flown in daily from Italy. With a stellar wine list and high reviews from national press, Paul created a piece of Italy in the desert.
Currently, Paul serves on the board of Bocuse d'Or where the U.S. team in 2017 won the prestigious gold medal award for the first time.
In 2019, Paul assumed the leadership role at The Bartolotta Restaurants upon the passing of his brother, Joe Bartolotta.
When he is not cooking, he loves spending time with his wife and daughter, and traveling.