CHEF ANTON TESTINO
Anton Testino is a first generation Italian born on August 26, 1973 in Weehawken, NJ. He's a celebrity chef, reality TV star, author,celebrity spokesperson and restauranteur. Anton specializes in Italian American cuisine. He is a standout reality TV chef, first appearing on Food Network's Chopped in 2010. In Spring of 2014, Anton shined on Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen Season 12. Inthe past year, Testino has opened up two restaurants in his native state of New Jersey. He also penned his first autobiographical cookbook Cooking-with-Confidence which launched in August 2014.
Anton Testino was born on August 26, 1973 in Weehawken, NJ to a chef father and mother Francesca who was from Bari, Italy. His father left his life at an early age, leaving Anton, his older sister and mother to fend for themselves. His mom was an Italian immigrant with no education who had to take on numerous jobs to survive. And had to move Anton and his sister throughout NJ including Newton, Sussex, North Bergen and Paterson. As a teen, Anton and his family finally settled in Pompton Lakes, NJ.
Testino worked at a local pizzeria at the age of 12 to help his mom out. He was stationed at the front window of the restaurant making pizza to draw attention to the business. He was diagnosed with a comprehension deficit disorder, dyslexia and ADHD at an early age so when he entered High school, football helped him get through the tough years. That was until he was injured his senior year. Anton turned back to what he knew best, Food.
In 1991, Anton Testino attended Morris County Vocational Tech in Denville, NJ for culinary arts. He graduated at the top of his class. He won many amateur competitions. In 1992, he was accepted to Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. There he furthered his education until 1993 when he dropped out due to lack of finances. The eager chef still couldn't be stopped, so in 1995 Anton opened his first restaurant, Antonio's Pizza, Pasta and More. It was located on Route 5 in Edgewater, NJ. He was very successful for a year and a half when Edgewater underwent major construction hurting his business forcing him to close in 1998. Testino then worked at several restaurants in Northern New Jersey continuing his hands-on education.
In 2009, when he worked at his family's restaurant, Tony's Touch of Italy, he became known throughout the community and with their support, he tried out for Food Network's Chopped. Anton made it on Season 5 of the show and in October of 2010, his episode "When Octopuses Attack" aired. With his national exposure, he was able to give back to the community and contribute his time for charity work. Cooking for Kids at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is just one of the charities he is proud to be a part of.
In 2012, Testino auditioned for Hell's Kitchen, and in March 2014, his season aired. He competed against the largest group of chefs in the show's history, where he excelled and became known as the fearless New Jersey chef. After appearing on the show, St. Joseph's honored him as a celebrity spokesperson. He is also now affiliated with Habitat for Humanity and American Homeless Association.
In 2015, Anton went back to where he started, Morris County Tech, to donate his time to give the students culinary demonstrations and do motivational speaking.
Also in 2015, Testino opened up his new restaurant, Axton's, named for his son.