Millennium Park | Sept 22 - 24
"I got my first foodservice job the day I was able to get a work permit" said Tony Mangano. Beginning his culinary journey at 14, as many do, in a kaleidoscope of fast food restaurants and foods elective courses offered at school, a true passion was born. "I knew it was what I wanted to do because jumping out of bed in the morning was always new, and different, a passion I'd never felt before." Enrolling in the vocational program at 16 was a bold next step. Undaunted by intense physical labor and long hours there was no room for doubts. Thriving on challenge and reassured by family Kendall college came next, "that I knew would change my life". In 2007 Tony advanced as an intern in a fine hotel with a 4 star Italian steakhouse. Quickly a love for the cold line grew. Working under the fabulous chefs Rick Tramonto, Gail Gande and Ray Stains of Chicago's Nellcote. "I expressed my dreams to make something of myself and opportunity arose." Pastries, cold fish and another successful internship led to shadowing the executive of renaissance hotel. Mastery of the fine points of hotel and banquet service, and large volume cooking followed. Cafeterias in corporate companies, hotlines in Italian steakhouses, Irish pubs, and French bistros all provided new knowledge and fresh challenges. Whether serving barbeque with Dave Raymond owner and CEO of Sweet Baby Rays or fine specials at the Burnham park yacht club, the executive level had been reached with success. "After a year and a half of pouring out my heart and soul into Italian influenced seafood, I felt like I was missing something, I wasn't done learning." Tony accepted an opportunity at Pearl Tavern to expand upon his past opportunities and has yet to disappoint Executive Chef Carlos Contreras.