Michael Gulotta

Michael Gulotta

Chef Proprietor
New Orleans, LA

“Potatoes are a huge part of New Orleans culinary culture. They're always on our menu.”

The Mississippi Delta Meets the Mekong Delta

I was just a grammar school kid when I asked my mom to let me cook. Without batting an eye, she said yes and took me shopping. All she asked was that I do it well.

I followed this with a four-year program at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, followed by formative experiences in Italy and Germany. When I returned to New Orleans, I encountered a large Vietnamese population with foods I couldn’t resist, providing stunning contrasts to the Southern foods I grew up with.

When I opened Maypop, I mixed French and Caribbean influences from New Orleans with Southeast Asian cuisine. I don’t offer traditional dishes. I apply authentic culinary practices and ingredients to dishes that are entirely my own.

I find potatoes well suited for creativity and innovation. Depending on the variety, we find ways to include them in every part of our menu. The Idaho® Ida Rose was perfect for our Crispy Smashed Potato Salad recipe, smashing perfectly and yielding a creamy texture in the center with a crunchy fried exterior. Coupled with the distinctive Asian flavors of Szechuan peppercorns, lemongrass, ginger and Thai chili paste in the dressing, this is a dish our guests love.

Knowing what I wanted to do since fifth grade has certainly contributed to my success. Having an enjoyable workplace and great staff pulling together to deliver interesting and enjoyable experiences has been just as important.

Chef Michael Gulotta was named a 2016 StarChefs Rising Star and a Food & Wine “Best New Chef." He was also a James Beard Semifinalist: Best Chefs in America in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, as well as a Nominee: Best Chefs in America in 2020.