Story by Brett Kell
Graphic by Tim Demeter
There are an estimated 1,300 restaurants in Milwaukee, with more than 50 opening in the past year. These range from neighborhood mom-and-pop operations to expensive gustatory palaces, each of them vying for the attention and dollars of an increasingly savvy audience.
What’s remarkable about this burgeoning scene is that when digging at the roots that anchor and connect these establishments, some familiar faces emerge cloaked in chef’s whites. As much as restaurants live or die by their food, their leadership and staff play perhaps an even more important role.
The chefs who have worked in these kitchens are as numerous as they are talented, and each of them has taken something from his or her experience that has shaped an approach to subsequent roles. Together, this deeply interconnected network of chefs and owners has helped Milwaukee become recognized as one of the top food cities in the nation.
For the Love of It
“Milwaukee has come a long way,” says Joe Bartolotta, co-owner of The Bartolotta Restaurant Group. “The growth is expansive. It’s awesome. Part of what makes it so special is that the community of chefs … Read More