Four-time nominated and two-time James Beard award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta is the co-founder and owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants, the premier restaurant group in the Greater Milwaukee region. An internationally celebrated chef and restaurateur, Chef Bartolotta has brought his culinary talent and vision to kitchens all over the world – from Italy to Paris to New York to Las Vegas – for more than 30 years. With an education and training steeped in tradition and authenticity, Chef Bartolotta’s culinary skills have earned him numerous accolades from the James Beard Foundation, Michelin Guide, New York Times, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA), AAA, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and others. His passion for creating authentic experiences continues to inspire the growth of the company that he and his brother, Joe, launched in 1993. Their achievements have earned them national recognition, with a nomination by the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Restaurateur four years in a row – 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Originally from Wisconsin, Chef Bartolotta offers his vision, expertise, and strengths in new business development to The Bartolotta Restaurants, contributions he has made since he and his brother opened their first concept, Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993, an inviting, authentic Italian restaurant. Today, The Bartolotta Restaurants operates 17 award-winning restaurants and catering facilities, including Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant, Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, and Harbor House.
Chef Bartolotta 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, Chef Bartolotta traveled to Italy and trained in some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants, learning the art of authentic Italian cooking. Throughout his career, he has worked at 15 restaurants in Italy – from Sicily to the Alps – acquiring knowledge and expertise in 14 of the country’s 22 culinary regions. In France, Chef Bartolotta has worked alongside some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs, including Paul Bocuse and Roger Vergé, among others, and at restaurants that include La Maison Troisgros and Taillevent.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award