Chaz Romano was born the third son of a seven-child Italian family in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. As a young boy, Chaz had a craving for just about every kind of food, especially cheese. At the young age of 24, while squatting in his parents’ basement, Chaz stuffed a string cheese in a leftover Olive Garden breadstick and microwaved it. The rest is history.
Since inventing stuffed-crust pizza and selling the rights to Pizza Hut for an unknown sum of cash and unlimited fountain soda, Chaz has been at the forefront of almost every major fast-food innovation, advising some of the biggest restaurant chains in the country on how to infuse more goodness into their products.
What are you working on right now?
Working with scientists in Alabama to engineer chickens that actually produce nuggets instead of eggs.
3 trends that excite you?
Bacon everything – No matter what food you intend to eat, I can guarantee it would be better if wrapped in bacon. I’m glad to see America is catching on.
Using chicken as bread – KFC’s revolutionary idea that bread was overrated and what American’s want is more meat. Though I preferred the name “Flap Wrap.”
Flavor’s Crazy Cousin – Burger King’s Jalapeno & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger. A backyard favorite brought to fast-food grills nationwide thanks to BK’s cheese and vegetable infusion technology, which I helped develop back in 2005.
How do you bring ideas to life?
A blender, calking gun, Costco membership and lots of patience. Occasionally I require the help of an assistant with a strong grip and iron-clad stomach.
What inspires you?
Architects are inspired by ancient Greece. Technologists are inspired by Steve Jobs. Nuns are inspired by Mother Theresa. I am inspired by that guy who finishes the free 64 oz. steak and then orders a side of fries. That’s a true hero.
What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
Sometimes you think that enough cheese is enough cheese. But there can never be enough cheese. Keep pushing the cheese to dough ratio and one day you will be famous like me.
What is one book and one tool that help you bring ideas to life?
The Bernstein Bears and Too Much Junk Food. I burnt it in a pizza oven and never let the thought of too much junk food enter my brain ever again.
In regards to tools, I recently installed a roasting pit. It is awesome.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Yumashups! – A secret online menu for cult followers of all Yum! Brands restaurants (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silvers and A&W) that allows them to order custom delicacies. Did someone say Popcorn Chicken Nacho Cheese Chalupa and a Mt. Dew?
Who is the one person you’d love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Morgan Spurlock, director and lead in Supersize Me. I’d love to give that guy a piece of my mind.
Why are you so awesome?
I invented stuffed crust pizza. Next question.
Are you single?
Technically yes, but I have six cats and many lady friends.
I’m not on Twitter or Facebook. But you can find me every year providing motivation to food enthusiasts at “Pig Out In The Park” in Spokane, Washington.
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