Ciao Pizzaioli!

Appears in the July 2018 issue.

In the art of pizza, “Chicago-style” is at the top of the food chain. Expats miss it and natives take it for granted: We have the best pizza in the country. It’s no surprise, then, that the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli—Italy’s most prestigious pizza school—has opened a new state-of-the art culinary facility in west suburban Lisle.

The North American Pizza & Culinary Academy (1970 University Lane, pizza- offers culinary classes to students of all levels. Pizza is the focus here, but the facility also offers a variety of culinary classes (think knife skills and mise en place) for adults, kids and teens. Become a Certified Pizzaiolo by completing NAPCA’s five-day pizza program—bragging rights included—or host your kid’s birthday party or a corporate event for a cheesy feast.

“Our [mission] is to create an environment that is not intimidating and will get people excited about cooking,” Pizzaioli says, “no matter what their walk of life.” Professional development is also a focus for NAPCA: “There has been a distinct drop-off in skilled labor over the past five years. If we can focus on education while getting people excited about careers in restaurants, pizzerias and bakeries, we can bring new people to the labor force.”