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Gino Haznedaroglu

Gino Haznedaroglu

Originally from Turkey, a country known for its fine food and emphasis on hospitality, Gino’s first exposure to cooking was when he was only able to crawl, following his mother in the kitchen-a curiosity which rewarded him with a burn on his hand that remains to this day.

Gino came to the U.S. when he was 25 years old to continue his college education and completed a degree in business. But it was his upbringing with Turkish hospitality that drove him to seek out a culinary degree as well. As a host entertaining many guests, he found himself wishing to learn how to cook for larger parties. Soon thereafter, Gino embarked on a culinary career that exposed him to a variety of foods.

Having worked for some of Chicago’s finest Japanese restaurants, including North Pond, Izakaya Mita, and the award-winning Momotaro, allowed him to experience Japanese culture as well as the cuisine. He is now a chef at Carmella’s Italian Bistro in Appleton, Wisconsin. “ As my journey took me from one restaurant to the other, I felt as I was traveling to that part of the world, and in a way, experience the culture, the people, and learn a great deal of information on the way they cook their meal.”

Not only does he enjoy cooking for others, but he has a passion for sharing his knowledge. Gino taught the art of cooking as part of an after-school program for disadvantaged youth in Chicago, a rewarding experience for both student and teacher.

For Gino, the act of cooking connects him with others: “I cook because it’s an expression of love to those that eat it.”

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