Alumni Spotlight: Adriano Piazza
The Culinary Arts alum is the Chef-Owner of Pronto Cucina Italiana in San Clemente, California
“My culinary voice is education. I want people to understand food and understand what they eat, because, we are what we eat,” Chef Adriano says.
An Institute of Culinary Education Los Angeles Culinary Arts graduate, the Sicilian native grew up cooking with his grandmother and his mother, which laid the groundwork for a career in food. After graduating from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piemonte, Italy, the Piazzas moved to Southern California in 2016, where Chef Adriano began his career as a food and beverage buyer.
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“I decided to enroll in culinary school because I really wanted to get more hands-on and complete my education,” he says. “Culinary school changed my relationship with food by making it even more personal. Bringing the love that I have and making [a career in cooking] possible...I was learning about food, but I was also learning about the beauty of the camaraderie of the kitchen. It really changed me."
After finishing school as one of the first graduating classes from ICE's LA campus, Chef Adriano's ambition continued to drive him. When the perfect spot for a restaurant opened up in his beloved town of San Clemente, he knew it was meant to be.
Chef Adriano opened Pronto Cucina Italiana in 2021, with a mission to change diners' perspectives about authentic Italian cuisine. What began as a simple delicatessen has now expanded to a full sit-down restaurant. Menu items at Pronto include fettuccine Bolognese, bucatini carbonara, strozzapreti in verde and a variety of pizzas (think quattro formaggi and prosciutto e rucola).
Next door is the newest addition to Pronto, the Italian market, which stocks a wide range of goods, from imported pastas to specialty liqueurs.
Chef Adriano's passion for Pronto is very evident to every customer who steps through the door, even if the inside of the restaurant looks different from the last time they were there. He's continually improving the space and menu — his labor of love for Pronto and for the community who supports it.
“I always want to come here because I always want to change something to make it look better, feel better, just be better,” he says.
See what Chef Adriano’s up to in the video below.