bruno Abate - Founder / president
Born in Naples, Italy and raised in Milan, Bruno Abate was inspired at an early age by his parents for his passion for food and fashion. Bruno 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 in 2002, where he combined his passions. In Chicago, Bruno brought together his vision to marry authentic Italian cuisine with modern design when he opened his first restaurant Follia in the meatpacking district and currently Tocco in Wicker Park. The Concept was simple, make authentic Italian Cuisine with the finest ingredients and give diners an experience like they were in Italy. Today, Bruno brings his passion for food to young men from the Cook County Jail in a program appropriately called Recipe for Change. RFC provides art education as well as culinary education, job skills training and mentoring to instill the value of work and personal responsibility to the inmates. Restoring basic the human dignity typically stripped from those incarcerated in the American prison system, is essential if we want those affected to become productive members of society after their release. Bruno’s mission for change is inspiring young men each day to do better and be better, not only for themselves but for their families and ultimate our communities.
Breana Hernandez - EXECUTIVE director
Continuing a lifelong quest to help change the world, Breana joins Recipe For Change eager to merge her passion with expertise. Her extensive knowledge of the nonprofit sector has been shaped by previous roles within highly regarded institutions such as the American Lung Association, National Museum of Mexican Art, and Ronald McDonald House Charities. In collaboration with the Board of Directors and staff, Breana will elevate RFC’s organizational strategy and programmatic impact. She has a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Administration and a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Outside of work, Breana loves to explore new cuisines, read, travel, and spend time outdoors.
Adriano Bruzzone - Head pizza Chef
Chef Adriano Bruzzone grew up working at his family's restaurant where he learned all aspects of running a business, he went on to perfect his skills managing an Italian cafe in the Loop for two years. Blending both his experience and his Italian roots, Chef Adriano shares his passion for pizza with the detainees of Cook County Jail. Responsible for Recipe for Change’s daily operations Adriano teaches detainees the basics of the kitchen which include making fresh dough, assembling the pizza, utilizing a professional deck oven and executing all orders in a timely matter. Known for his attention to detail, Chef Adriano has earned the respect of everyone that works with him. Adriano has helped to create an environment for detainees to decompress and focus on building both life and culinary skills. Off the clock, Adriano utilizes his IT expertise to build and maintain websites for both RFC and local restaurants.
Avril greenberg - Teacher / Nutritonalist
Registered Dietitian, Certified Research Chef Nutrition and Culinary Educator, Recipe for Change 25 years experience in the culinary arts, as a restaurant entrepreneur and manager, research chef, nutrition educator and clinical dietitian. Work experience includes Clinical Dietitian at Rush University Hospital and community nutrition advocacy as a Nutrition Educator and Chef at the Native American Indian Center of Chicago. Avril has developed recipes for corporate and private industries which have included Rush University wellness programs and the head of the President’s Council on fitness during the Obama administration.
With over twenty-five years of experience in the financial markets. Peter started as a runner in the Chicago futures markets and joined brokerage firm optionsXpress in 2002, where he eventually became Executive Vice-President. He was responsible for customer service, routing/execution, and institutional sales, with over sixty-five employees in his organization. He utilized his deep understanding of financial markets and his passion for his clients to help optionsXpress grow until its acquisition by Charles Schwab in 2011 for $1.2 billion. Peter served on the Board of Directors of the International Securities Exchange from 2006 until 2010. Peter has always been active in his community. He has served on several boards and committees and currently serves on the Finance Council and volunteers at the soup kitchen at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Chicago. He was an advisor to the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College Center for the Study of Financial Regulation. He is married to Cathleen and has two children, Janey and Joseph.
Carolyn Kurtz served from 2011 to 2016 as General Counsel and Vice President, Government Affairs of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care ("AAAHC"). Prior to serving as the AAAHC General Counsel, Ms. Kurtz served represented the AAAHC in government and public affairs. During her decade tenure at AAAHC, Ms. Kurtz represented the organization before state and federal regulators and was responsible for the review and negotiation of all contracts, including Business Associate Agreements with all accredited organizations. She was also responsible for AAAHC compliance with government and military contracts, including those with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard non-hospital medical treatment facilities, and a cost reimbursement contract with Health Resources Services Administration. Ms. Kurtz led the organization’s successful effort to become a federally recognized accreditation organization for Qualified Health Plans on the exchanges as well as for Federal Employee Health Benefit Plans. Most recently, Ms. Kurtz managed the acquisition of a competing accrediting organization. In her community, Ms. Kurtz has served as an elected Park Board Commissioner of Winnetka Park District, including two years as Board President. During her term as President, the Park Board approved a plan to build the first LEED certified public project in the town of Winnetka.
Ryan got his first taste of the restaurant business working as a bartender and waiter to help pay for his college expenses. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Math from the University of Illinois – Springfield in 1994, Ryan moved to Charlotte, NC and worked for an Oracle Corporation for 4 years. In 1998 he joined a large Oracle Consulting partner based in Washington, DC, where he ultimately served as National Director of Sales and Marketing. In this position he was responsible for the firm’s growth into new east coast markets, and management of the organization’s sales staff. He stayed with the company until 2003, before moving back to Chicago. While working in the world of finance in Chicago, Ryan began to plan his career as a restaurant owner. It was during this time that he and several other restaurant owners began to envision their restaurant concept, and eventually purchase the premises at 321 N. Clark Street, called Bridge House Tavern on the River (www.bridgehousetavern.com). Bridge House Tavern exceeded its pro-forma budget in each of its seven years of operation and became one of the most popular restaurant destinations along the Chicago River between 2011 and 2018. After three years of success under his belt at Bridge House Tavern, Ryan opened up Compass Bar Chicago (www.compassbarchicago.com), which offers over 150 Craft Beers and Brick-Oven Pizza. Compass has been open for 4 years, and consistently hits 1 million in revenues. In early 2017, Ryan partnered with the BOKA Restaurant Group at the Hotel Lincoln, and is the Managing Partner for The Kennison restaurant, The J. Parker rooftop bar and restaurant, and Elaine’s Coffee Call. Over the last 8 years, Ryan has shown his passion and dedication to the restaurant business, as well as being a strong advocate for non-profits.