Which FUSD schools did you attend and when?
Centerville Junior High
Washington High School Class of 1991
What are you doing now?
I am a chef and restaurant owner. I currently own 21 restaurants and a retail shop in California and Las Vegas. I am an author of two cookbooks and a children’s book. I am the Owner and Master Instructor at the International School of Pizza in San Francisco. I certify 36 chefs per year in pizza. I bring a team to represent the U.S. each year to the World Pizza Championships in Italy. I have been fortunate to win 12 World Titles, 2 Food Network Gold Medals, 4 Guinness World Records, and have been a television personality for the last 20 years on various shows around the world.
How did your time with FUSD help prepare you for your career?
At that time in the 1980’s and 1990’s, FUSD was very diverse. We had some amazing teachers and counselors. Our athletic programs were great. I played sports for both the city and for Washington High School. I was on Student Council, took leadership, was into photography and worked on the school newspaper. I was an average student when it came to grades, but was a part of several outlets that made me who I am. Washington had such a great spirit. From Spirit Week to Powder Puff, the school always came together. It was a special time and I was proud to be a part of Washington’s 100th graduating class.
Who are some of the teachers/staff who had the greatest influence on you?
From Washington - Mrs. Chu - Home Economics and Math, Mrs. Bentley, Coach Ingram (Weights/Football), Coach Fields, Coach Lawson (Soccer), Coach Arvin (Badminton) Mr. Perlman, Mr. Ficken, Mr. Mangini, Mr. Wheeler, Mrs. Freitas, Mrs. Krebs, Mr. Kato. From Parkmont – Mrs. Mkanany, Mr. Clayson (Principal) and so many others.
What advice do you have for current students?
Take courses that make you happy and don’t worry what other people think. Enjoy yourself and take part in athletics, dances, powder puff, peer counseling, homecoming, student council, journalism, yearbook committee. All play an important role in personal growth and help build a foundation.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
We were the 100th graduation class at Washington and it was a special time. Do I think about my high school years? All the time! It was memorable and exciting. I felt that I started to find my personality in high school and made friends for the rest of my life. I felt that at the time, being that it was centralized between all the other high schools, Washington was diverse in music, people, fashion, cars, you name it, and we all got along. Sure at times kids had their opinions and differences, but at the end of the day it all worked out. The teachers and staff at all the schools I attended were very supportive and paved the way to become who I am today.
‘Where Are They Now’ update from August 2018