Although Michael White’s soulful, flavorful interpretations of Italian cuisine indicate otherwise, Michael is in fact a Midwesterner who spent his childhood in Beloit, Wisconsin. Enamored with the culinary world, White enrolled in the Kendall Culinary Institute and then secured a position in Chicago’s Spiaggia. He studied for seven years at the acclaimed San Domenico in Imola before returning to the United States. In 2007, White partnered with Ahmass Fakahany to first open two restaurants in New Jersey. Soon after, Fakahany and White officially formed the Altamarea Group to open Marea, which garnered three stars from The New York Times, received the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant Award, and holds two Michelin stars.
From Marea, Fakahany and White extended their culinary vision and opened the second Michelin-starred Ai Fiori; Vaucluse, their elegant French brasserie on Park Avenue; Morini restaurants - Osteria and Ristorante - in several locations; and Nicoletta Pizzeria and Nicoletta Italian Kitchen. Outside the United States, Altamarea has properties in Istanbul, Hong Kong, and ventures in the Middle East coming soon.
Chef White has received the highest recognitions in his career from Michelin, The New York Times, James Beard Foundation, Zagats and many other organizations. White was also named of of the “40 Most Influential New Yorkers under 40” by Crains, New York.