Pizza Gallery & Grill’s Executive Asset
Since November 1989 when Pizza Gallery & Grill opened its doors at its original location in downtown Melbourne, residents have responded to the casual one-of-a-kind bistro and made it a local favorite. Pizza Gallery & Grill, now located in the Avenue in Viera, is known as much for its art gallery ambiance as for its eclectic menu. Diners can view exhibitions featuring local artists while enjoying the Italian-based menu. Original creations include unique pizzas named after famous artists, including the Van Gogh, Warhol, Picasso, Davinci, and O’Keeffe and featuring ingredients such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken cordon bleu, and even a loaded baked potato pizza.
For the first 23 years after its inception, Pizza Gallery & Grill possessed originality and artistry. How could one possibly improve upon this? The answer is simple — by hiring Chris Dickman as the Executive Chef. For over a year now, Chef Chris has brought Pizza Gallery & Grill to a new level of amazing.
Chris grew up in Rockledge, and, from an early age, his dual passions became music and food. His parents were in musical theater, with Chris spending many hours in the green rooms of community theaters as his parents performed on stage. Chris also took the stage when shows required younger talent. He later competed vocally as he grew up, aspiring to pursue a career in music.
However, food, its preparation and enjoyment, were also in Chris’s genetics. Chris learned from his two grandmothers,
one from Russia and one from Sicily, finding himself as comfortable in the kitchen as on stage. At 13 years old, Chris began his career in restaurants by washing dishes in his mother’s restaurant. As Chris became an adult, he moved away from professional musical aspirations and moved toward his second passion — food.
Chris graduated from culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. His background is in French fine dining. He took six years of French language and added to his formal French culinary education by becoming a certified sommelier. This rare training yielded experience
and knowledge that make Chef Chris an asset to any restaurant. In 2012 the fortunate restaurant to obtain this combination was Pizza Gallery & Grill.
Since joining the team, Chef Chris spends at least five days a week in house collaborating with his staff developing
new appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, pizzas, and desserts. When the new creations appear on the menu, the team member or members are given credit on the menu next to the item. He has developed pairings of wine or craft beer with gourmet food, as well as specialized menus for different occasions. The most recent was a romantic Valentine’s Day wine dinner and a St. Patrick’s Day theme Gastropub beer pairing, both of which sold out quickly. Pizza Gallery & Grill’s slogan, “Where Food Becomes Art” is the perfect playground for Chef Chris and his Team! He emphasizes the importance of “food with finesse” and provides servers and bartenders with additional training on wines and wine technique.
Despite his career path, Chef Chris will always possess a love of music. He is now the praise and worship leader for the contemporary service at Advent Lutheran Church in Suntree. His devotion to music and community continue to be core to his identity.
For Pizza Gallery & Grill patrons, though, it is fortunate that this artistic, innovative, and talented chef has joined the team. The harmony he has brought to the restaurant, its menu, and various additional touches have made a local favorite, even better than perfect.
Pizza Gallery & Grill is located at 2250 Town Center Avenue in Viera. For more information visit PizzaGalleryandGrill.com or call (321) 633-0397.