Chef DiFronzo has held the position of Culinary Arts Instructor at The School of Hospitality of Administration and Management at Boston University for the past 6 years. He is the Executive Chef of The Union Oyster House in Boston, a landmark restaurant which opened its doors in 1826 and is America’s oldest continuously operating restaurant. As he runs this immense kitchen operation, Chef DiFronzo consistently works with his team to serve the finest and freshest seafood to the restaurant’s visitors from all over the world. In 2014, The Union Oyster House received an “Achievement of Excellence Award” from the American Culinary Federation. Prior to that, the restaurant was named the “7th Best Seafood Restaurant in America” by the readers of USA Today and 10 Best, and in 2012, was named one of the “10 Classic Restaurants in the World You Must Visit” by Forbes Magazine.
Having been trained in classical cuisine, Chef DiFronzo’s culinary experience spans 38 years at various restaurants in the Boston area. His experience includes being the Traveling Executive Chef at American Food Systems from (2002-2012), which is a local restaurant chain made up of 8 restaurants: Grassfields Restaurants in Waltham, Danvers and Andover, MA; Jimmy’s Steer House Restaurants in Saugus and Arlington, MA; Prime Bar Grill in Wayland, MA; Jimmy’s Tavern and Grill, Shrewsbury, MA and Mario’s Restaurant in Lexington, MA. He was the Executive Chef of the Cambridge Sail Loft Restaurant, Cambridge, MA, from 1989-2002, as well as he was also the Executive Chef of the Coyote Grill Restaurant, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA from 1999-2002; previous, he held the position of Executive Chef at the world famous Dini’s Sea Grille and prior to that, Chef DiFronzo was the Corporate Executive Chef of The Lily Company, a national restaurant group that owned and operated Lily’s, Cricket’s, Tia’s, The Commons, La Strata, (all of Boston, MA), Lily’s of Philadelphia, Lily’s of San Francisco, The Sunset Grill and the Palace Nightclub, Saugus, MA.
He has also been enormously active during the last 20 years with other aspects of the culinary industry in donating his time to local and national organizations, with a strong focus on supporting the efforts of aspiring culinary students. As well as he supports many charitable fundraising events.
Chef DiFronzo is one of only 800 fellows of the American Academy of Chefs (AAC). He also is a member of the following organizations: ACF Epicurean Club of Boston, the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the World Association of Chefs Society, the Les Aims d’Escoffier Society of Boston, Chaine des Rotisseurs, L’Ordre des Canardiers, Normandy, France and the Professional Associate of Italian Chefs, Milan, Italy. He also holds the honor of being the first chef from Massachusetts to have been inducted into the Les Disciples d’Escoffier International, USA. In addition, he is one of only 2300 who is certified as a Certified Executive Chef(CEC) and one of 300 certified as a Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA) by the American Culinary Federation.
In June of 2015, Chef DiFronzo was elected the National Vice Chair of the American Academy of Chefs in which he had been serving as one of the Northeast Regional Directors of the AAC (2007-2015) and he was reelected in 2010 as the Financial Secretary of the ACF Epicurean Club of Boston (2010-2015). In addition, he serves as a member of the Massachusetts Restaurant Associations Educational Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, a Trustee of the ACF Massachusetts Chefs de Cuisine Scholarship Fund, a Trustee of the Paul J. Pantano Scholarship Trust Fund, also serving on the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation National Senior Chefs Committee (2013-2015), as well as he is a past Advisory Board Member of two schools, the Minuteman Regional High School Culinary Arts (2004-2014) and the Medford High School Culinary Arts (2005-2008).
In 2009, Chef DiFronzo was Chairman of the American Culinary Federation’s Northeast Regional Conference held in Boston, MA which was hosted by the ACF Epicurean Club of Boston. He has served as The Massachusetts State Representative for the American Culinary Federation (ACF) (2007-2009), the American Culinary Federation National Strategic Planning Committee (2006-2007) and the American Culinary Federation National Culinary Historian Committee (2012-2013). ACF Epicurean Club of Boston Chairman of the Board of Directors (2006-2009), President (2001-2005), Financial Secretary (1997-2000). Since 2006, he has been serving as ACF Epicurean Club of Boston’s chairman of the following committees: Membership, By-Laws, Scholarship, Apprenticeship, and History and also serves on many other standing committees.
In his spare time, Chef DiFronzo avidly collects culinary memorabilia, books, and photos, and has made three donations of many one-of-a-kind items to the Schlesinger Library’s Culinary Art Collection at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Some of the items donated by Chef DiFronzo include items dated from 1894 to 2007, such as hundreds of photos of chefs, dinners and culinary arts salons, menus, minutes of meetings, and news articles from over 80 USA culinary associations and 2 international culinary associations.
A nationally recognized Chef who has received some of America’s most prestigious awards, Chef DiFronzo’s recent honors include the American Culinary Federation National President’s Medallion (2014, 2007 and 2001), The Canadian Culinary Federation National President’s Medallion (2014), the (ACF) Northeast Regional Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professional Award (2014 and 2006), the Chaine des Rotisseurs Award of Merit (2014), the (ACF) Heroes Award (2013) and the (ACF) National and Northeast Regional Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award (2010). He was also given the American Academy of Chefs Outstanding Service Award (2012), and from the ACF Epicurean Club of Boston was twice named Chef of the Year (2004 & 1998) as well as receiving their Leadership Award in 2006.