Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Michael White reminds us that a beautiful culinary experience is truly a panacea for the soul, and one that should be accessible to all. Despite the pandemic, Chef White has found new ways to explore and develop coastal Italian cooking, and his culinary achievements continue to stand apart.

White’s notoriety is the result of many years of intensive practice, study, and love of food. After attending Kendall Culinary Institute, White secured a position prepping in Chicago’s most famous Italian restaurant, Spiaggia. He spent a year and a half learning from Chef Paul Bartolotta before traveling to Italy and training with venerated Italian Chef Valentino Marcattilii at Ristorante San Domenico in Imola. For the next seven years, White studied the hands-on, ingredient-driven cooking style of the Italians, working with Marcattilii and traveling across the country for informal, but equally important, cooking lessons with friends, an experience that would come to define his approach to food as a chef and businessman.

White returned to the United States in 2001 to Spiaggia as Chef de Cuisine and contributed to the restaurant’s four-star review from The Chicago Tribune. In 2002, he took New York by storm as Executive Chef of Fiamma Osteria. The restaurant garnered a glowing three-star review from The New York Times and White was named Esquire’s Best New Chef, 2002. White also brought his famous recipes to home cooks with his book, Fiamma: The Essence of Contemporary Italian Cooking (John While & Sons, 2006).

In 2007, White joined the Altamarea Group, opening Due Terre in New Jersey, and later that year he took the helm of the James Beard Award winning (2003) L’Impero and Alto. Alto quickly garnered a three-star review from The New York Times and White earned the restaurant two Michelin Stars for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Guides. In 2008, White opened his second New Jersey restaurant, Due Mari, and transformed L’Impero into Convivio, which was awarded one Michelin star in the 2011 Guide.

In May 2009, Executive Chef and Co-Owner White opened Marea and again garnered three-stars from The New York Times, a Michelin Star in the 2010 Guide, a nod from Esquire magazine as a Best New Restaurant of 2009, the nomination of Best Italian Chef in the Country and Best New Restaurant by GQ magazine and was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2011 Guide. In April of 2010, Chef White was named one of the 40 most influential New Yorkers under 40 by Crain’s New York Business, and received a nod from the James Beard Foundation with a nomination for Best Chef: New York City and the award for Best New Restaurant in the country for Marea. Since that time, White and his team have gone on to open Al Molo in Hong Kong in May 2011, Osteria Morini New Jersey in May 2012, Nicoletta in July 2012, Morini Istanbul in October 2013, Osteria Morini Washington DC in November 2013, Ristorante Morini in New York in December 2013, Nicoletta New Jersey in January 2015, Vaucluse in New York in September 2015, Nicoletta Pennsylvania in August 2016, Nicoletta Citi Field in April 2017, Omar at Vaucluse in New York in March 2018, Nicoletta Italian Kitchen in Washington DC in February 2019, Marea Dubai in February 2019, and Osteria Morini in Roosevelt Field in July 2019.

A titan of the New York food scene and a dedicated disciple of Italian cuisine, White is only getting started; White’s artistry in Italian coastal cuisine is undeniable, and he intends to spread love for this food all across the globe.

Career Highlights

2008 – 2020

  • Executive Chef: Marea, Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori

  • 6 total Michelin Stars in New York

  • NY Times 3-stars. Marea

  • Marea received James Beard 2010 Best New Restaurant in America Award

  • Marea achieved 2 Michelin Stars

  • Osteria Morini: 2010 Top 10 Year End list in all key publications

  • Named one of the 40 most influential New Yorkers under 40 by Crain’s New York Business

  • Several top chef awards and recognition


  • Alto awarded 3-Star review from New York Times

  • Chef White achieved 2 Michelin Stars for Alto and 1 for Convivio


  • Named Best New Chef 2002 by Esquire Magazine

  • Received 3 Star Review from New York Times

  • 2006 wrote Fiamma Cookbook: Fiamma: The Essence of Contemporary Italian Cooking

2001 SPIAGGIA, Chicago

  • Received 4-Star Review from The Chicago Tribune

1993 – 1999 Imola, Italy

  • San Domenico Restaurant

1996 – 1998 France

  • La Terrase Juan Les Pins

  • L’Oasis La Napoule France

  • Moulin du Mougins Roger Verge

  • Paris, France Gaston Lenotre Pastry School


  • Food & Wine Magazine

  • Academia Barilla 2011 Book, Foreward by Michael White

  • Fiamma: The Essence of Contemporary Italian Cooking

  • Bon Appetit Magazine

  • Saveur Magazine 

  • Esquire Magazine

  • GQ Magazine

  • Men’s Health Magazine

  • CBS Early Show

  • NBC Today Show

  • Bravo Top Chef

  • Good Morning America