John Tamburino also known as “Mr. T” was born on December 27th, 1948 in Queens, New York. His passion for cooking was passed down from his mom Lena Tamburino. She loved being in the kitchen, adding food to your plate and watching you enjoy her dishes. John attended New Mexico State University and graduated with his bachelors degree in secondary education. He later went on to get his masters degree in organizational development. Following his accomplishments in school, John served and cooked for the United States military. Once released, John opened his first deli business in Inwood Long Island, New York, the “Inwood Corner Deli” in 1977. Shortly after his first deli venture, John opened “Tamburino’s” in Cedarhurst, New York where he spent the next 8 years.

In 1986, John moved out to Scottsdale, Arizona to establish the name out west. Three years later, Tamburino’s earned “The Best of Phoenix.” Following his multiple deli businesses, John switched career paths and began his teaching career in 1991. Over the next 20 years, Mr. T fulfilled a long list of roles, including: physical education teacher, middle school principal, high school assistant principal, athletic director, director of human resources, and high school culinary arts teacher. During this time, he won the Arizona teacher of the year award in 1995, and left a positive influence across a wide range of schools. During his teaching career, John also spent his time coaching both club and high school athletic teams.

Mr. T is currently retired where you can usually find him enjoying a glass of wine, listening to Frank Sinatra and cooking a hearty meal for his family. John has been married for 38 years to his wife Chris, and has 4 children; Melissa, Christine, Erica and Johnny. John also has two grandchildren, Dylan Everett and Christine Esme.

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