Best New Chef
Photo by Louis Hernandez
Chef Vincenzo Betulia is not new to Naples, but his latest chef-owned Fifth Avenue South sensation, Osteria Tulia (239-213-2073), has made him downtown’s newest star since the opening in January 2013. Before that, he headed the kitchen at Campiello Ristorante & Bar on Third Street South for nine years, having worked his way up the ladder after falling in love with Naples during a vacation in 1998.
The Italian American’s career goes all the way back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an after-school job at age 14 at Ristorante Bartolotta, owned by award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta. Within a year, he had achieved a coveted spot on the pizza line and ultimately attained the chef position. Under Bartolotta’s tutelage, Betulia helped open two new restaurants in the Milwaukee area. His love of cooking finally landed Betulia at the Kendall Culinary School in Chicago, where he further honed his skills at Bartolotta’s highly acclaimed Spiaggia.
In Chicago, and later in Milwaukee, Chef Betulia worked with Michael White at fellow restaurants including Marea, Ai Fiori and Osteria Morini.
Like many a talented and inspired chef, Betulia always dreamed of opening a restaurant of his own, and he found Naples a perfect fit for his brand of fearless invention. He and wife Anna envisioned the feel and food of a true Italian osteria—small, convivial, bustling, family-driven and committed to local product. They have achieved that and more. Osteria Tulia became an overnight success. Instantly fans filled the cozy dining room and sidewalk tables. Chef Betulia won a Best Chefs America Award in 2013 and 2014. Building on the osteria’s continued popularity, Chef Betulia and team opened a second drink and dining outlet just next door in December 2014—Bar Tulia, Naples’ first Italian gastropub.
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