Espinosa Becomes Executive Chef at Stella Van Buren

Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Chef Zach Espinosa has departed longtime employer Bartolotta Restaurants to join White Lodging, which operates the Westin and its restaurant, Stella Van Buren, downtown.

Espinosa's last day at Mr. B's in Brookfield, where he was the executive chef, was Wednesday. His first day as executive chef at Stella Van Buren is Friday. 

The Westin is at 550 N. Van Buren St.

In his role at the Westin, Espinosa will oversee a large culinary team not only for Stella Van Buren, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for banquets and for room service. The kitchen is open every day, holidays included. 

"I'm in a really amazing position," he added. "I wouldn't be where I'm at without the 16 years in the Bartolotta organization."

It might be easier, Espinosa noted, to list which restaurants in the extensive Bartolotta group he hasn't worked in: Joey Gerard's and Ristorante Bartolotta.

He started with the group at Pizzeria Piccola, moving to Bacchus and then Lake Park Bistro. He's worked in the group's catering division, at Discovery World, Pier Wisconsin, Boerner Botanical Gardens and the Grain Exchange.

He then became executive chef at the lakefront's Harbor House. He left there to help open three restaurants at the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa, which the Bartolotta group previously operated, and then became executive chef at Mr. B's in Brookfield.

"I'm grateful for all those opportunities," Espinosa said. "Without that, I wouldn't in the position I'm in."