The Wood-Fired Blog
Students at high tables in culinary schoool

Classes, Classes, and More Classes at the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy

Oct 19, 2018Posted by Forno Bravo

Chefs Leo Spizzirri and Anthony Iannoni opened the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy (NAPCA) just outside of Chicago this past year. Their goal and dream is to bring high quality, international culinary education, pizzaiolo training, general cooking classes, and a whole lot of fun with food to the Midwest and beyond!

Pizza Courses

On one end of the spectrum, its all about pizza. NAPCA hosts one, three, and five-day Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli training courses. The curriculum is based on the proven methods and content used at the oldest pizza making school in Italy and is taught by certified Master Instructor, Leo Spizziri, along with other guest chefs. These small, hands-on certification classes prepare chefs to become artisan pizza makers, grounded in tradition, but with the understanding and skills to take the art form to creative new expressions. Students have flown in from all over the country to participate! The chefs shared that they love using their copper-tiled Forno Bravo Napoli and other Forno Bravo ovens when teaching these courses because of their flexibility and consistency. They are the ‘goto’ ovens in their stable!

5 men - table of pizzas

New Pizzaioli in Training

Napoli pizza oven - Pizza Peels

NAPCA’s custom tiled, wood and gas fired Napoli140 is ready for action.

General and Specialty Classes

On the other end of the spectrum, NAPCA’s fall lineup of classes is incredibly diverse, utilizing both their in-house staff and several guest chefs as instructors. These are classes designed for folks who enjoy cooking for friends and family and maybe want to expand their menus and palates, or improve their skills a notch. Examples include a knife skills class, Saturday morning “perfect pie” making courses (Chef Anthony shares that “The trick is to use real butter and bit of vinegar for a flaky crust;”) and Date Night Out events, like “Pizza Pairings” with wine or beer, a “French Flavors” class, or how to make fresh pasta. They are even offering a special class called “Holiday Desserts” with award-winning chef and TV star, Gale Gand.

Chef Gail Gand

Special Holiday Dessert Class with Chef Gail Gand is coming to NAPCA

Adult Students at tables - Forno Bravo Pizza Ovens in Background

An evening class at NAPCA.

Custom Curriculum

Finally, the school also does custom courses for individuals and restauranteurs. These courses can focus on an event, like Chef Leo’s recent class on Pizza Sauces that was held at the Chicago’s US Pizza Museum They can also provide support to a person opening a restaurant that wants business coaching, along with pizzaiolo training, or help train a home chef looking to learn a new dish or skill.

3 men and napolino - Chef Leo teaching

Chef Anthony and Chef Leo met up with US Pizza Museum founder Kendall Bruns to see the Napolino Pizza Oven on loan from their showroom to the museum. Later, Chef Leo taught a special on-site class on pizza sauces.

How to Connect

Check out the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy’s website for their full schedule, or their facebook page for regular updates and photos, and give them a call if you find something that interests you. Let’s get the word out on this fantastic resource to the pizza-loving and foodie communities! (You can also find several of Chef Leo’s Recipes in our Community Cookbook on the website for a preview of his style and food philosophy.)


Have any questions?