Michael White

Chef

New York

While his soulful Italian cuisine indicates otherwise, Michael White isn’t an Italian native. In fact, he spent his childhood in Wisconsin; cooking was simply a family pastime. White decided to try culinary school, enrolling at Kendall Culinary Institute. A year later, he was prepping in Chicago’s most famous Italian restaurant, Spiaggia. White ventured to Italy, training with the venerated chef Valentino Marcattilii at Ristorante San Domenico. It was here that he began his Italian transformation, studying the hands-on, ingredient-driven cooking style. In 2001, White returned to Spiaggia as chef de cuisine. A year later, he moved to New York as executive chef of Fiamma Osteria. White is now the chef and owner of the Altamarea Group, which is comprised of 11 restaurants, including Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Marea.

  • On November 12, 2011
    Michael White answered the question: Michael White

    What are Eric Ripert's favorite cities to travel to?

    Hong Kong. For food people, there’s so much there to see. Everywhere you turn in Hong Kong, there are pork buns steaming in a basket. You go in the food courts, you go in these complexes, and the food quality is amazing. And then Singapore, Istanbul — I was just in Istanbul for the first time, and it’s just amazing there. The east/west kind of feel, and the food, it’s just amazing. I learn so much when I travel. Travel is knowledge. It broadens your horizons.
  • On November 12, 2011
    Michael White answered the question: Michael White

    What are Eric Ripert's favorite cities to travel to?

    Hong Kong. For food people, there’s so much there to see. Everywhere you turn in Hong Kong, there are pork buns steaming in a basket. You go in the food courts, you go in these complexes, and the food quality is amazing. And then Singapore, Istanbul — I was just in Istanbul for the first time, and it’s just amazing there. The east/west kind of feel, and the food, it’s just amazing. I learn so much when I travel. Travel is knowledge. It broadens your horizons.
  • On November 12, 2011
    Michael White answered the question: Michael White

    What are the five best things to see and do in New York City?

    Starting at the bottom, I would say getting on the Staten Island Ferry. It’s one of the great free things in the city. You can take shots of the Statue of Liberty, and it gives you real perspective. The views from Staten Island toward the city and Brooklyn are fabulous. I would definitely walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I would walk to Central Park. It’s amazing how when you’re in the middle of Central Park, you really get the sense that you’re not in a big city because of the fact that it’s very quiet and peaceful. Then when you get to the edges, you start hearing the taxis and the horns. You smell the manure from the horses. You might smell hot dogs cooking on a hot dog cart. New York City is pretty awesome for all those things. Theater — you must see a show when you’re here. A lot of times, people come to the city because they have to go to a conference or do certain things. I actually had some friends in from Italy recently, and they said the greatest thing about New York City was that we had no plans. I think so many times when people go places, like to Italy or to New York, you have this set itinerary and you have to stay on it. The greatest part of the city is you can just live it the way New Yorkers do.
  • On November 12, 2011
    Michael White answered the question: Michael White

    What are the five best things to see and do in New York City?

    Starting at the bottom, I would say getting on the Staten Island Ferry. It’s one of the great free things in the city. You can take shots of the Statue of Liberty, and it gives you real perspective. The views from Staten Island toward the city and Brooklyn are fabulous. I would definitely walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I would walk to Central Park. It’s amazing how when you’re in the middle of Central Park, you really get the sense that you’re not in a big city because of the fact that it’s very quiet and peaceful. Then when you get to the edges, you start hearing the taxis and the horns. You smell the manure from the horses. You might smell hot dogs cooking on a hot dog cart. New York City is pretty awesome for all those things. Theater — you must see a show when you’re here. A lot of times, people come to the city because they have to go to a conference or do certain things. I actually had some friends in from Italy recently, and they said the greatest thing about New York City was that we had no plans. I think so many times when people go places, like to Italy or to New York, you have this set itinerary and you have to stay on it. The greatest part of the city is you can just live it the way New Yorkers do.