“Life’s too short to eat lousy pizza and drink cheap wine.”

Renato Riccio

A member at Gleneagles Country Club, Plano, Texas, since 2009

BY CLAIRE JURKIEWICZ / PHOTO BY TREY HILL — Summer 2014

Who he is: President and founder of Renato Ovens, a Dallas-area company that manufactures and distributes custom cooking equipment, such as brick pizza ovens, charbroilers, and rotisseries.

Back story: In Italy, Riccio grew up around the family pizza business and worked in restaurants as a teenager. At 20, he moved to New York, and he eventually made his way to Texas, where he opened a Dallas pizzeria. In 1981, he began selling his Italian-style cooking equipment so others could experience the natural, earthy tastes from his youth. “Wood-burning ovens in combination with flour-made products create an aroma you can’t get any other way.”

Look who’s cooking: He counts California Pizza Kitchen, Hyatt Regency, Oberoi Hotels, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and Shangri-La Hotels among his corporate clients; and celebs such as Troy Aikman, Neil Patrick Harris, Don Henley, and Jimmy Kimmel fire up his products in their homes.

Special delivery: Riccio personally installs every product. “I make sure the users understand the equipment. I bake their first pizza, and I like to see their faces as they eat it, cooked by an authentic Italian chef with his name on their oven.”

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