Hall of Fame

Spizzirri knows pizza like Michelangelo knew marble.

Pat Bruno, Chicago Sun-Times Food Critic

Leo Spizzirri

Maestro Pizzaiolo Leo Spizzirri isn’t just a chef with some good pizza recipes in his repertoire. He’s obsessed with all things pizza and wants to share his knowledge with you!  Leo’s passion towards pizza and food is so inviting that you’ll gain the confidence to want to try his recipes on your own.

As a first-generation Italian-American, the significance of delicious, well-crafted food is practically part of his DNA. Spizzirri’s love for pizza was fed by his earliest childhood memories. He spent hours watching, and assisting, his Mom and Nana Gilda in the kitchen while they created all kinds of traditional Italian dishes. They encouraged his love for food and tolerated his perfectionist manner as well as the messes that came with all his experimentation.

Since then he’s gone on to be trained by Head Master Graziano Bertuzzo and 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani. Chef Leo Spizzirri holds the distinction of being 1 of only 100 worldwide Master Instructors from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in Venice, Italy.  A Chicago-native, he’s had a hand in local pizza operations like Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza, Francesca’s Restaurant Group, as well as Labriola Baking Company and Bakery Cafe.  

Chef Leo has spent a lifetime supporting the pizza and baking industry with his expertise in dough rheology and high speed manufacturing.  His responsibilities in commercial artisan bread and frozen pizza have led him to stand in the forefront of dough and pizza innovations where he has supported major national brands across the United States and Canada.

He’s the Corporate Pizzaiolo at The BG Hospitality Group and in charge of pizza operations for the Gia Mia Pizza Bar brand.  Chef Leo is also a member of the World Pizza Champions Team.

While his expertise has given Spizzirri the chance to travel the world, make regular appearances on television programs like Dr. Oz, and make pizzas for celebrities like Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Mr. T, Ludacris, Frankie Munoz, and boxing legend Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, ultimately, he’s passionate about teaching people of all ages and all experience levels how to take their pizza craft to the next level.

The “Ask Chef Leo” social media and YouTube channels were created to offer tips, tricks, recipes, and tutorials for both the pizza professional and the at-home foodie.  He created these channels to bring some of himself into your home and your life. 

His outer tattoo wearing, punk rock loving persona is unmatched by his technical knowledge and relaxed teaching style.  He will encourage you to learn from your mistakes and inspire you to experiment on your own to become your own “Culinarian and Pizzoligist!”

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