The Order Sons of Italy in America’s Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin honored Chef Bruno Abate as Humanitarian of the Year and State Rep. Anthony DeLuca as Columbus Patriot at their 93rd annual Columbus Banquet on Oct. 7 at Villa Brunetti in Franklin Park.
Chef Bruno Abate
Born in Naples and raised in Milan, Chef Abate has a passion for food and fashion that was inspired at an early age by his parents. His mother was an accomplished chef and his father was a tailor.
Abate opened his first company in Milan selling fish and caviar to high-end restaurants. His extensive travels around the world helped him appreciate fine food and design and eventually led him to Chicago.
Abate realized his vision of marrying authentic Italian cuisine with modern design when he opened his first restaurant, Follia, in the city’s meat packing district and currently at Tocco in Wicker Park.
Abate launched Recipe for Change to offer dignity and opportunity to inmates at Cook County Jail through the introduction of healthy food, good nutrition and the art of quality cooking.
Much more than in a traditional cooking class, Recipe for Change challenges its students to meet the expectations of the most rigorous culinary arts school in the world. Expectations in the kitchen and cellblocks are set high.
During sessions that span three months, inmates learn the importance of teamwork, focus and accountability in addition to the finer points of cuisine. They are expected to memorize intricate recipes and demonstrate knowledge of kitchen safety protocols along with proper serving and table manners.
“I also try to teach love of life and simplicity,” the chef explains.
Rep. Anthony DeLuca
Rep. DeLuca has faithfully served the 80th District since 2008. He is the chairman of the Cities & Villages Committee; the vice-chairman of the Police & Fire Committee; and a member of the Appropriations-Public Safety, Business Occupational Licenses, Insurance, Mass Transit, Business Growth & Incentives, Public Safety, and Tollway Oversight committees.
DeLuca continues to push state government to be more transparent while tirelessly fighting for measures that will expand development in the region with the goal of creating more good paying jobs.
He supports term limits and fair redistricting to make state government more accountable to those it serves. DeLuca also sponsored legislation to stop politicians from announcing taxpayer funded projects within 60 days of an election for personal political gain. He has voted repeatedly to cut his own pay and that of other elected officials.
With nearly 25 years of experience operating a third-generation family owned business in Chicago Heights, DeLuca understands the challenges businesses face in the today’s economy. DeLuca is working to cut through red tape that makes it more difficult to do business in Illinois.
DeLuca served as a member and president of the Bloom Township High School District 206 Board of Education for eight years and mayor of Chicago Heights for six years before being elected a state representative.
He has been honored by the IANU Foundation, Italian American Executives of Transportation, Cook County Farm Bureau, Independent Voters of Illinois, Will County Farm Bureau, and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
DeLuca has been active in the community for many years as a coach and director for Chicago Heights Small Fry basketball and as an active supporter of the Chicago Heights Drama Group.
Born and raised in Homewood and Chicago Heights, DeLuca graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School and Elmhurst College. He and his wife are the parents of three children.