Harold Allston, owner of the Great Impasta for the past ten years, learned his craft first at his grandmotherʹs apron. His Louisiana relative would fix large family meals every morning and night using fresh vegetables and fruits delivered by neighboring farmers, sometimes serving the ducks she raised in her backyard. Harold would scurry under foot, more hindrance than help, but always comfortable in the heat of the kitchen. During his years at the University of Illinois, he paid the bills working in various restaurants as a cook. After college, he left the Midwest for several years to hone his skills on the East Coast. When he returned he was taken under wing by ʺPapaʺ Piero Faraci, the father of the Great Impasta. This relationship led to the opportunity to own the business. With great perseverance and patience, Mr. Allston has continued the restaurantʹs legacy of great food, great service and community involvement.

Harold was featured in Difference Makers 2010: An eBlack Champaign-Urbana Publication.