Enzo “Frank” Gronda, 83, passed away peacefully to be with the Lord surrounded by his loving family on July 17, 2012. Enzo was born on June 7, 1929, “on the kitchen table” in Hartford to the late Remo and Emma (Biola) Gronda. He was a graduate of St. Peter’s, St. Joseph Cathedral and Hartford High School. Serving proudly with the U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict for over four years, he received the Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars. He went on to continue his education at the Culinary Institute of America in New Haven; C.C.S.U.; and the University of New Haven receiving a degree in Restaurant Management. Enzo started his career as Bakery Manager at Mayron’s and Baggish Bakeries in Hartford. He continued on as Executive Sous Chef at the Hartford Golf Club under the guidance of his mentor and best friend, Joseph A. Marino. He then pursued a challenging career as Chef/Instructor for the Vocational Technical School system at E.C. Goodwin R.V.T. School in New Britain, CT. Soon receiving the title of Senior Dept. Head and teaching there for 30 years in the Culinary Arts program. It was the first program of its kind in the State of CT and copied by schools in RI and Mass. He impacted the lives of hundreds of young culinarians. He was also an Adjunct Professor in the Hotel & Restaurant Department for seven years at Manchester Community College. In 1955, Enzo and a group of his peers founded The Connecticut Chefs Association. Together they developed a Hotel & Restaurant – Food and Beverage Exposition. The show’s main feature was a competitive Culinary Arts Salon. This brought people from Connecticut and throughout New England together. With the Chefs Association, Chef Gronda also developed a strong culinary training program for men of the inner city, at the Open Hearth. This later became a model program for other similar inner city training programs. He was also instrumental in raising monies for many charities including The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and culinary scholarships. In 1990 Chef Gronda became President of the Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of Connecticut. He was also a former member of the Knights of Columbus Council 02533 Glastonbury. Besides his wife of 60 years, Joan (Taylor) Gronda, he leaves his children, Ann and Craig Popielarczyk, Robert and Cassie Gronda, Susan Ronan, Paul and Christine Gronda, and Carol and Charles Zoef; his eleven grandchildren: Eric, Ryan, Danny, Sean, Patrick, Matthew, Zachary, Blake, Brianna, Natalie and Gina. Also his two great-granddaughters Gianna and Genesis. He is also survived by his brother John Romolo Gronda and his wife Jean as well as several nieces and nephews. Friends may gather with his family during calling hours on Sunday, July 22, 2012 from 4 – 8 p.m. at Dillon-Baxter Funeral Home, 1276 Berlin Tpke, Wethersfield, CT. The funeral will be held on Monday, July 23rd at 9 :00 a.m. from the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 a.m. in St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, 285 Church St. in Hartford. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. Military honors will be accorded Frank at the church Monday. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Enzo’s memory to:
Les Amis d’ Escoffier Society of Connecticut Frank Gronda Scholarship Fund c/o Frank Cameron, President P.O. Box 595 Danielson, CT. 06239
Lincoln Culinary Institute Frank Gronda Scholarship Fund c/o Eric McPheat 85 Sigourney St., Hartford, CT 06105
Or charity of the donor’s choice.