Chicago chef teaching inmates culinary skills, life lessons

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Chef Bruno Abate is one of Chicago’s best chefs.  He owns the popular Wicker Park restaurant Tocco, where the authentic pizza is a slice of his native Italy right here in Chicago.  

He was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundation – but it has nothing to do with the creative dishes he makes at Tocco.

Instead, Abate is being recognized for a unique program he started at the Cook County Jail, called “Recipe for Change.”  He works with inmates at the jail, to teach them culinary skills – and life lessons – so they can find jobs in the restaurant industry once they’re released from the jail.

“Anything you do in life,” Abate said, “There is a recipe for making the change for yourself and for other people.”