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Chicago chef's prison pizza program: 'I use food as a weapon to change people's lives

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Wednesday on TheBlaze Radio, Chicago native Mike Opelka told the story of Chef Bruno Abate's "Recipe for Change," an innovative rehabilitation program at the Windy City's infamous Cook County Jail.

Abate, who also operates Tocco restaurant in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, visits the prison daily to supervise the program which teaches inmates how to make delicious personal pizzas. The individual pies are sold to other prisoners in the facility, a skill Abate says will translate to a better life once they are outside of the prison walls.

Thursday on “Pure Opelka,” Mike interviewed Chef Abate. "I use food as a weapon to change people's lives," Abate explained.

The Italian immigrant talked about the origin of the program and his strong belief that teaching inmates how to make pizza offers the prisoners a better chance at succeeding once they integrate back into society. And, Abate has the statistics to back it up his belief. According to the chef, 200 inmates have completed his program and only one has returned to prison.

"I hope other people understand how beautiful it is to help others," Chef Abate told Opelka.

To see more from Mike, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “Pure Opelka” weekdays 12-3 p.m. ET, “Pure Opelka Replay” weekdays 10-1 a.m. ET & “Pure Opelka” Saturdays 6–9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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