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Unveiling the Culinary Genius 

Behind Altamarea Group's Morini and Nicoletta Brands

Article by Somerset Hills City Lifestyle

Photography by Provided

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Embark on a gastronomic journey as we introduce you to a culinary virtuoso who has left an indelible mark on the restaurant industry. Meet Bill Dorrler, a seasoned chef at Altamarea Group, spearheading the success of their acclaimed Morini and Nicoletta brands. With over 15 years of experience and an unwavering commitment to excellence, Bill's culinary prowess and dedication have elevated these establishments to culinary destinations. Join us as we delve into his culinary philosophy, leadership approach, and the values that shape his remarkable journey.

A Passionate Visionary and Inspiring Leader:

Bill's culinary journey was sparked by a serendipitous encounter with his wife Denise while working at a restaurant. Since then, his passion for the culinary arts has continued to flourish, driving his relentless pursuit of perfection. Bill possesses an ownership mentality, treating the Altamarea Group's establishments as his own. His dedication, attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to providing exceptional experiences for guests have made him an inspiring leader within the industry.

Crafting Memorable Culinary Experiences:

Bill's culinary philosophy revolves around crafting memorable experiences that transcend mere dining. He believes that true success lies in understanding the essence of hospitality and leveraging it to create extraordinary moments for guests. By embracing this philosophy, he has established a reputation for delivering impeccable service, innovative menus, and an inviting ambiance that entices patrons to return time and again.

Bill shares, "On one of my first visits to Italy I was more blown away by the hospitality than food- although the food was memorable and to this day lives on our menus - like warm mortadella and cow’s milk on homemade tigelle (flatbread) sandwiches. But it was the hospitality that was truly amazing. We walked into a restaurant one day not knowing the owner was literally turning off the lights, and yet when we tried to walk out to find another restaurant to dine at he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Instead, he immediately sat us, turned on the kitchen, and put incredible food and dishes in front of us one after another. Not to mention, a smile never left his face and we never felt intrusive or like he was rushing us. That experience will never leave my mind - and for the rest of my days I will try to bring that level of hospitality to all my restaurants."

Balancing Creativity and Consistency:

As a visionary chef, Bill understands the delicate balance between culinary creativity and maintaining consistency. His menus showcase his innovative spirit while remaining true to the brand's identity. By consistently delivering exceptional dishes that tantalize the taste buds, he ensures that each visit to Morini and Nicoletta becomes a culinary adventure filled with surprises and familiar favorites.

Eating at Morini is reminiscent of a traditional Osteria in Emilia Romagna, starting the meal with a chef’s selection of sliced meats or salumi, complemented by local or imported cheeses. The journey continues with seasonal appetizers, often featuring burrata, octopus, and classic pork meatballs. Homemade pastas take the spotlight next, with offerings like tagliatelle with bolognese sauce, truffle ricotta filled cappelletti, seafood ragus, or pomodoro and basil, to name a few.

The meal culminates with a savory course that is both simple and delicious, featuring options such as grilled and seared meats or fish like Mediterranean branzino, ribeye for two, slow-roasted porchetta, and seafood brodetto. To top it all off, guests can indulge in delightful desserts, including gelato, classic tiramisu, and bomboloni or house-made donuts, of course.

Empowering and Inspiring Teams

Bill's leadership approach emphasizes the importance of empowering and inspiring his culinary teams. He fosters a collaborative environment where each member has the opportunity to contribute their unique talents and ideas. By nurturing their growth and providing mentorship, he cultivates a team that shares his passion for culinary excellence, ensuring that every dish served is a reflection of their collective artistry. Cooking Italian is not just about tradition or technique it’s using what is available to you using locally grown ingredients and bringing them to the plate- with restaurants in different locations around the country we need to empower our chefs to be creative, to be aware of seasonal ingredients and most importantly customer expectations. We do this by using local farmers markets in the cities where our restaurants are based, visiting and building relationships with local farmers in the suburbs, and having great relationships with meat and fish vendors. Ultimately, this allows us to use all our tools and experiences to create inspired Italian dishes that translate to our communities and guests.

Bill Dorrler, the culinary genius behind Altamarea Group's Morini and Nicoletta brands, is a visionary leader in the restaurant industry. With his passion, commitment to excellence, and unwavering dedication, he has transformed these establishments into culinary destinations that leave a lasting impression. By crafting memorable experiences, striking a balance between creativity and consistency, and empowering his teams, Bill continues to redefine the culinary landscape. Embark on a culinary adventure like no other and savor the remarkable flavors that embody Bill's extraordinary vision. Bill’s vision and culinary delights can be experienced daily at the Bernardsville Osteria Morini.

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