About Us

At the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy, our goal is to get everyone as excited about food as we are. Cooking is a life skill that gives back in the most rewarding ways, you get to eat your work! From novice to full fledged fellow foodies, our classes are designed for people of ALL ages and skill sets.

Our state of the art cooking school specializes in interactive education. The hands on and demonstrative classes are led by dynamic professional chefs versed in all cuisines, and our pizza classes are led by a Master Instructor. We also host hands on and demonstration classes for private parties, corporate events for team building classes or client appreciation events.

We’re here to show you how easy, fun and rewarding cooking can be.

Leo Spizzirri


Co-Founder / Master Istruttore, PFC

Leo Spizzirri is a native Chicagoan and lifelong pizza lover who grew up in his family’s bakery. Leo is an artisan pizza and bread maker by trade. He was certified as a pizzaiolo by 11 time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani at the International School of Pizza. He completed his studies at the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in Italy under headmaster and world pizza champion Graziano Bertuzzo. His work has been seen and tasted all over the world both as an international pizza competitor and as an instructor. Leo a respected authority in Chicago style pizza and lives in Carol Stream, Illinois with his wife Melisa and their daughters Angelina, Isabella, and Giada.

Anthony Iannone

Chef Anthony

Co-Founder / Chef Instructor

Anthony Iannone is a native of Queens, NY. He grew up in his family restaurant, Iannone’s Restaurant in Hicksville, Long Island. After graduating from Johnson and Wales he went on to become the Head Chef for the Bice restaurant group in New York which brought him to Chicago, Miami, LA, Cleveland and Washington D.C. He later moved to Perth, Australia to work with Sorrento Restaurant and Vaticano Restaurant in Mexico City.

In 2000, he moved to Chicago to start a Boar’s Head Brand Distribution hub, but you can’t keep a chef out of the kitchen too long. He began teaching classes out of Casey’s Butcher Shop and Famous Liquors in Lombard where he honed his skills for education.

Like every great educator, his passion is contagious. Opening The North American Pizza and Culinary Academy has been the natural progression in his lifelong journey of food. He currently lives in Medinah, IL with his wife and daughter.

Renee Gabbett

Chef Renee

Director of Culinary Operations / Chef Instructor

Renee Gabbett grew up around food in her family Italian pizza pub in the western suburbs of Chicago. She started working in both front and back of the the house, catering and cooking and working as a private chef. She attended culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago. While attending culinary school she assisted at a cooking school in Chicago.This is where her passion for teaching home cooks the art of cooking was ignited. She has extensive experience managing and consulting at various privately owned and large corporate chain retail cooking schools.

She loves to focus her time on meals that make sense for the everyday chef, meals for the family and meals that shine for a dinner party. She currently resides in the Chicago area with her husband and son.

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