Chicago chef teaching inmates culinary skills, life lessons

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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.”


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