Chef Michael Gulotta of MoPho - Biography
New Orleans, LA
Michael Gulotta got his start working in New Orleans’ famed Creole restaurants as a teenager. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, all the while making his way through the ranks of John Folse’s Lafitte’s Landing.
Back in New Orleans, Gulotta worked with Chef Pete Vasquez at Marisol before cooking his way through the brigade of John Besh’s August. Besh mentored Gulotta and encouraged him to travel. On the Italian Riviera, Gulotta worked under Chef Marco Ballo. Later in the mountains of the Black Forest of Germany, he continued learning under Karl Joseph Fuchs, staying in Deutschland for several years. When Katrina hit, Gulotta returned home to help rebuild. He was named chef de cuisine of August in 2007 and held the position for the next six years.
In 2014, Gulotta partnered with his brother Jeff and business partner Jeffrey Bybee to open MOPHO, where Louisiana’s pantry melds with the influences of the region’s Southeast Asian community. Gulotta remains deeply connected to his city and home, working with farmers, fishermen, and foragers to create a sustainable restaurant that also bolsters the local economy. The year it opened, MOPHO was named “Restaurant of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine, and was a nominee for Bon Appétit’s “Best New Restaurant.” In 2016, Gulotta earned a StarChefs Rising Stars Award and was named a Food & Wine “Best New Chef.”