The Overhead Compartment with Michael White

Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel.

Elegant. Inviting. Warm. These are just a few of the threads of commonality that bind together the amazing restaurants spearheaded by the Michelin star-rated chef Michael White, who now boasts his latest creation: Paranza at The Cove at Atlantic Paradise Island. Described as a love letter to Italy, Paranza offers an innovative take on Italian regional cuisine in a spectacular setting. White honed his skills in Italy, along with stints in Paris and the South of France, and launched his career at the legendary Spiaggia in Chicago. From there, he was off to New York City, and within a year was named Best New Chef by Esquire Magazine. The accolades and distinctions continued to pour in, with White eventually receiving honors from James Beard and earning multiple Michelin stars.  The Overhead Compartment was most excited to partake in the fine dining experience with Michael White and learn about his latest world class dining experience.

The Overhead Compartment with Michael White starts now…..

OC: Your new restaurant Paranza recently opened at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.   How much of the local destination plays into the menus you create?

MW: In creating Paranza, I definitely wanted to showcase the lighter cuisine of Italian seafood such as simple preparations of Local Conch Crudo, with Acqua Pazza Verde.  I am using Grouper that is speared by local fishermen. It’s very important that wherever we cook, we try and find products from local farmers and fisherman.

OC: What’s the most important thing you can share with us about opening a new restaurant?

MW: Careful preparation. Creating a restaurant that resonates with the client. Building a strong team of professionals, from the chefs in the kitchen, FOH team and senior Management.

OC: What is the biggest thing that separates a true chef from a regular person who is an excellent cook?

MW: A true chef has undergone extensive culinary training and education, typically in culinary schools or apprenticeships. They have deep knowledge of food, cooking techniques, and flavor profiles. A chef understands the principles of food safety, menu planning, and kitchen management.  A chef is responsible for leading a team of kitchen staff, demonstrating leadership and organizational skills.

OC: At what moment in your life did you know you wanted to be a chef?

MW: My father is and was always in the kitchen. Growing up in Wisconsin, we were cooking & baking all winter long.

OC: If you were not a chef, what would you see yourself doing?

MW: Something pertaining to the automobile or marine industry, perhaps racing a car or boat.

OC: What’s your favorite meal to cook?

MW: I love to cook pasta for large groups or simple dinners at home..

OC: Least favorite food to cook?

MW: Don’t have one… I really enjoy cooking, whatever it might be..

OC: What’s the most exciting place work has taken you?

MW: I have been so fortunate to cook around the world, from Asia, Middle East, Europe and The Americas…

OC: First thing you do when arriving at a hotel in your room?

MW: Put my Passport and Important docs in the safe, check underneath the bed..

OC: Complete the following sentence:  I never leave home without:

MW: My phone!

Michael White, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!


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Stacy Steponate Greenberg

Stacy Steponate Greenberg brings over 15 years of travel and marketing experience to Pursuitist. With her column, The Overhead Compartment, Stacy interviews celebrities and athletes bringing an insight into their lives and travel habits. Stacy spent 11 years at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in various capacities, serving stints as Director of Marketing for the St. Regis and Sheraton brands, and Senior Director for Starwood Residences. Prior to Starwood, Stacy worked as Manager of Marketing for Hyatt Hotels. A native of Chicago, Stacy resides New York City with her husband and two kids, who like to “rate” the various hotels on their travels with their mom. Reach Stacy via Twitter