In the Classroom with Professor Pizza – Program Graduate Paying it Forward
Our Foodservice Training Program empowers members of our community with the tools they need to succeed in the foodservice industry and prepares them for a sustainable career path. What makes our program unique is that it is free of charge, allowing our participants to receive culinary training without economic obstacles or barriers that other institutions might have. While COVID prevented in-person training, that did not stop us from continuing to teach as we shifted to virtual lessons, providing take-home ingredient boxes and online classes.
One of our FST program graduates, Chef Anthony Scardino came to Inspiration Corporation (IC) almost 10 years ago to start working towards a career in the foodservice industry. He gained a “better understanding of how to efficiently do [kitchen/cooking] tasks” through our program. Training at IC not only taught Tony vital kitchen skills, but also taught him how to apply and present himself in a professional manner to better prepare him for interviews and to work in kitchens. When asked why people should support this program, Tony responded by saying when looking at experience and background, “IC doesn’t hold it against individuals when other accredited training places might”.
“I look at it as less of a cooking school and restaurant, and more as a community.”
After completing his training, Tony went on to work at popular Chicago restaurants like Publican Quality Meats, Au Cheval, Formento’s, and Table Donkey and Stick. While working in other kitchens helped Tony polish his cooking skills, he was inspired to go back to his Italian roots and make pizzas. His passion for pizza making lead to his current business “Professor Pizza” where Tony makes and serves Grandma-style pizzas for the city of Chicago to enjoy through pickup, mobile catering, and pop-ups. These Grandma- style pizzas have simple yet high quality ingredient. Tony also serves limited edition specialty pizzas he calls his “Extra Credit Series”. Today, Tony is continuing his love of pizza making and educating the masses on the skills he has learned along the way. You can check out his website here! We were also fortunate enough to have him come back as a guest lecturer for our Foodservice Training Program this past spring.
Here are some tips and tricks from Chef Tony:
- Remember when topping a pizza, less is more!
- Don’t blend tomatoes for the sauce, it changes the color of tomatoes and incorporates air
- Always bring your dough to room temperature before going to stretch it
The foodservice industry is expanding and providing more job opportunities. Our Foodservice Training Program gives students the support and skills necessary to start their careers and reach their goals.