Cafe Society

Smashburger, Live Basil and Tom's Urban chef Andrew Selvaggio : "You don't learn a trade; you steal it"

Andrew Selvaggio Live Basil Pizza, Tom's Urban and Smashburger smashburger.com, livebasilpizza.com, tomsurban24.com

This is part one of my interview with Andrew Selvaggio, chef of Smashburger, Live Basil and Tom's Urban; part two of my chat with Selvaggio will run tomorrow.

"Food was a huge part of my life, of my family culture, of ritual and reward," remembers Andrew Selvaggio, the 55-year-old corporate executive chef of the sprawling Smashburger chain, Live Basil Pizza and Tom's Urban. Raised in Chicago, Selvaggio was born and bred into a family of restaurateurs: His dad owned a bakery and his grandfather ran a pastry shop. They, along with Julia Child and Graham Kerr (Selvaggio admits he couldn't tear himself away from old-fashioned food TV), paved the way for his future in cooking -- a successful future that started in the tiny kitchen of La Petite Cuisine, a long-gone French restaurant in Illinois.

See also: Live Basil Pizza opens today in Glendale with a new look -- and new things to come

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson