Class: 1977Inducted: 2021
John R. Piancone was born on January 13, 1959 in Neptune, New Jersey. The first child for John Sr. and Ethel Piancone, and the eldest of four siblings to Chip, Donna and Anna Piancone. John attended Holy Spirit in Asbury Park from 1965 until 1973 where he served as an altar boy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. From 1973 until 1977, John attended Asbury Park High School, where he was part of the varsity football team and freshman basketball team.
These formative years opened the doors to John’s true passion and calling: the food and hospitality industry. John Piancone Sr., alongside his brother, Louis Piancone, (both whom immigrated from Italy) opened and operated an Italian Bakery and Delicatessen shop on Main Street in Bradley Beach. John worked at the store after school, where his love for the industry took hold.
John was able to hone and practice his craft at APHS, as part of the Vocational School Food Service his junior and senior year. John continued his learning experience at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York from 1977-1979. He his culinary and hospitality learning while interning with Hyatt Hotels in Honolulu, Hawaii.
After graduation, John returned to Bradley Beach to work at his family business. Using all of his knowledge, John expanded the business, adding catering, gourmet baskets; and renovations for the bakery and deli.
In 1992, John turned an adjacent bar next door into La Nonna Piancone’s Restaurant. The restaurant was a great success, with wait times for two-three hours, and a 4-star review from the Asbury Park Press. John was the head chef and owner until 2006. He also added Piancone’s South in Brielle in 1997.
John worked at Princeton University as the Chef Manager of the Rocky Mathey Campus from 2008-2019, where he educated about his passion and practiced sustainability. Currently, he owns and operates Johnny Piancone’s Restaurant in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he continues to feed the Jersey Shore authentic Italian dishes.
John lives in Wall Township with his wife and business partner. Cindy Piancone. He loves spending time with his family at the Jersey Shore, and visiting his daughter, Francesca, in Chicago.
John’s favorite quote and life motto is, “One of the most important requirements for learning how to cook is that you also learn how to eat” – Julia Child