Chris Bianco is the head chef and owner of Pizzeria Bianco, a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2005, he opened Pane Bianco, a shop serving open focaccia which is regularly voted the best sandwich in Phoenix. Winner of the James Beard Award for best Chef in 2003, Chris has been lauded for making the “best pizza in America”. His simple menu has customers queuing down the street to taste the freshest ingredients, topping handmade wood-fired dough.

Originally from the Bronx, Chris credits his Aunt with igniting his passion for good, simple cooking. Chris flew to Arizona, after winning plane tickets in 1985 and remained there, developing a food philosophy which has garnered worldwide recognition from critics, customers and fellow chefs.

His food is a product of relationships with farmers, local producers, family, customers and staff. He says “there’s no mystery to my pizza . . . In the end great pizza, like anything else, is all about balance.” Bringing his cooking philosophy to a wider audience in Phoenix, he has designed restaurants for the Wigwam Resort and a new music venue, The Crescent.

He works with several charity projects, including Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation for childhood cancer. Chris hopes to improve nutritional education in the young by setting up a foundation to promote healthy and happy relationships with food.

Love of fresh local produce, brought Christ to the UK, where he teamed up with Jamie Oliver to open Union Jacks in 2011, a restaurant which combines Chris’ pizza with the best traditional British ingredients.

Chris’ book Pizzeria Bianco will be published by Harper Collins in 2013. This collection of recipes is the secret to the food that Chef Nancy Silverton has described as “a life changing experience.”