Dean Diluciano’s culinary career rounded full circle when the executive chef steered his upscale dining and catering pursuits back to his hometown, Elyria. As a 14-year-old, he cooked pizza pies at a local joint up the road from Lorain County Community College (LCCC), and a few years later he pursued a media broadcasting career on campus.

“I realized I wanted to get back into the culinary scene, so I chose that path that led me to where I am now,” Diluciano says. The executive chef for LCCC oversees the dining program for two facilities, along with opening Corner Bistro in the Health Science Building. Additionally, Diluciano instructs non-credit culinary classes open to the community with hands-on experiences like a Thanksgiving side dishes class.

Diluciano  attended Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and continued his study and career at the former Classics on Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland, a fine-dining institution and the city’s only four-diamond restaurant in its time. He was promoted to executive chef within his first year.

Next stop: Manhattan-based Restaurant Associates Inc., where he opened the Severance Hall dining program in 2000, along with adding venues in the following years. This grew to venues including the Cleveland Botanical Garden and Cleveland Museum of Art, along with luxe catering off-site.

When Restaurant Associates was acquired by Bon Appetit Management Co., he carried on and traveled across the country to train, learning new styles and techniques.

Diluciano joined Zack Bruell, which led to managing catering for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and large-scale events like VeloSano Bike to Cure. “I was brought on to build their catering business,” he relates.

“I’ve learned from these experiences,” Diluciano adds. “With my style of cooking, I keep it simplified where I want the food to be the focus and the flavor is about what we are cooking,” Diluciano says.

Now, he has returned to the root of his culinary adventure.

Executive Chef Dean Diluciano