Luigi "Gino" Croce
Of Scott Township, passed away on Saturday April 15th, 2017 in his home surrounded by family after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. His loss has left our hearts and our tummies empty. Born 84 years ago in Bellosguardo, Italy, he came to this country by boat 51 years ago and boy, were we lucky he did. He is survived by a devoted loving wife of 54 years, Dorothea (Allenspach), and his three sons Michelangelo (Jhobanna), Benedetto (Theresa), and Roberto (Beth); a brother he loved very much Serafino "Jerry" (Judi) and extended family in the U.S., Switzerland, and Italy. He was a beautiful and loving Nonno to his grandchildren Elisabetta, Luigino, Giuseppe, Leila, and Guiliano who will miss him dearly. A handsome man on the outside who was beautiful on the inside, his sense of humor and big heart always ensured that everyone around him was happy. His love for family, food, and wine was apparent in everything he did. His passion for food and strong work ethic were instilled at an early age while working on his parents, Rosa and Michele's (preceded in death), land. Hard work and homegrown was a way of life, a philosophy he embraced. A renowned chef, more often known as "Chef Gino", he began his culinary work at various hotels and restaurants in Switzerland and upon his arrival to the U.S. he delighted and satisfied clients serving as executive chef at The Park Schenley, St. Clair Country Club, Franco's in Fox Chapel and Lucca in Oakland. He also worked tirelessly to open his own restaurants, serving as executive chef and owner of Gino's in Scott Center and the award-winning Bocconcino in Sharpsburg which he opened with his son, Benedetto. He was a proud member of The American Culinary Federation, Chefs and Cooks Association of Pittsburgh, The American Academy of Chefs, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. He prepared sixteen gourmet dinners for the "Press Old Newsboy Charity" and was honored to cook for Ronald Reagan's Inaugural celebration in Washington D.C. His strong hands kept a meticulous garden where he grew all of the ingredients for his pasta sauces, pressed bunches and bunches of grapes for his irreplicable and highly coveted "Gino Vino", and were always being lent to family and friends when needed. Of all of the things he did with his hands, we will miss his hugs the most. Ciao Nonno, we love you.
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