Garlic Hall of Fame

The Garlic Hall of Fame honors Daytonians who have had an impact of the local food scene. Some are famous names, some are unsung hero’s but all have had a special relationship with the garlic clove.

The 2021 Inaugural Class of Hall of Famers:

Vic Cassano, Sr.
founder Cassanos Pizza King
A son of Italian immigrants, Victor J. Cassano Sr. and his mother-in-law, Caroline Donisi, opened Cassano’s in 1953, and grew the chain to 125 stores.  Cassano went on to become a well-known humanitarian throughout Ohio, knowing well the struggles of others and eager to give them a hand. According to a Dayton Daily News story, Cassano attributed his kindness to knowing he’d be held accountable after death. “When you get to those pearly gates, you’re going to be judged by what you do for your fellow man,” he said.


Elena  Disalvo
founder Mamma DiSalvo’s

Elena DiSalvo opened Mamma DiSalvo’s restaurant on July 8, 1979, with the help of her husband, Rinaldo, Elena’s father Pasquale Berarado and their three sons, Nicola, Rinaldo Jr. and Roberto. Mamma DiSalvo’s restaurant started out small, serving their own family recipe from the Abruzzi Molise Region of Italy. Even though Mamma DiSalvo’s has grown over the years, their traditions remain the same and the business is now being run by her son Roberto and grandson Vincenzo.

John Fantauzzo
Cocina Manager at Sons of Italy
John Fantauzzo has been running the kitchen as a volunteer at Bella Villa Hall since 2005, when not coaching football.  Coordinating a volunteer cooking crew and making  the meals for the monthly membership meetings, supervising the cooking demos and making the sauce for the Fall Festa.