September 7, 2011, on FoodMafia.com
Anthony Gambino has established a strong reputation as a restaurant owner and operator with more than 20 years of experience in the food industry. Gambino was born into the restaurant business and his first years of experience came from working in his father’s pizzeria. In 1988, at the age of 18, Gambino opened his first restaurant Trattoria Peppino, a quick, self-service Italian restaurant in Elmwood Park. In 1995, Gambino opened his second restaurant Cucina Paradiso, a contemporary Italian restaurant in Oak Park. Cucina Paradiso has been recognized by food critics and patrons alike and has been featured in the prestigious Michelin Guide Chicago, Zagat, Chicago magazine and more. In 1999, Gambino added to his food service pedigree and opened the catering business 2MayToz Event Catering with his brother Nick Gambino. In April 2011, the Gambino brothers expanded beyond Italian and opened Burger Boss, an elevated fast-casual burger concept in Elmwood Park. The brothers have plans to open additional Burger Boss locations in the future.
By Anthony Gambino, Co-Owner and Operator of Burger Boss and Cucina Paradiso
I learned a great deal about the restaurant business working for my father at a young age. Growing up, he owned Nancy’s Stuffed Pizza and I did everything from making deep-dish pizzas and cooking to washing dishes and bussing tables.
When I was 18 years old, I took what I had learned and opened Trattoria Peppino – a quick-service Italian restaurant recognized by many publications as serving some of the best Italian “cheap eats” including pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and salads.
Not knowing much about full-service Italian dining at the time, my brother Nick and I then opened Cucina Paradiso in Oak Park when I was 25 years old. We quickly learned how to run an upscale establishment, and have enjoyed great success as well as support from the local community and food critics alike.
I took on a new venture a few years later and opened a full-service catering company that specializes in weddings, corporate and social events; my brother and I work at over a dozen premier venues, producing some of the best catering food and service available.
This year, Nick and I opened Burger Boss in Elmwood Park. We wanted to reinvest in the neighborhood where we grew up, and provide a fresh take on burgers while creating both a premium fast food and environmentally progressive business.
Burger Boss items are made-to-order from superior, all-natural, and organic ingredients as well as 100-percent Angus beef and locally-sourced produce.
As a completely different concept from our other endeavors, we tried to make Burger Boss as environmentally-friendly as possible – using recycled and sustainable furnishings, biodegradable cups and energy-saving lighting.
The restaurant business is in our blood, and we’re not slowing down any time soon; we see ourselves opening more Burger Boss locations in the Chicagoland area over the next three or four years.