The Worldwide Leader in Summer Enrichment

For more than 35 years, Explo has been a worldwide leader known for academic programs that are engaging, fun, and inspiring. Here’s how we do it. 


On EXPLO Live

Deep in the kitchens of the Hotel Colonnade's Brasserie Jo — where Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director Nicholas Calias reigns supreme — students get a rapid fire introduction into the world of a busy and bustling restaurant kitchen.

Throughout the years, more than 50,000 students have experienced a summer of inquiry, investigation, adventure, and exploration at one of our innovative academic enrichment programs.

Executive Chef
A third-generation chef, Nicholas Schiarizzi follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, chef of the Old Boston Lobster House, and his father, Executive Chef of the Copley Plaza Hotel. Schiarizzi began his career in the culinary arts as a 13-year-old apprentice and earned his BA in business. A military veteran and Sheraton Management Training graduate, he opened Domenic’s Restaurant and Catering Company in 1975. Though very successful, Nick closed the restaurant in 1988 to focus on catering. By 2007, with a staff of 165 full- and part-time employees (almost all personally trained by Schiarizzi), company sales exceeded $2.5 million. After 36 years manning the helm of Custom Catering by Domenic and Anthony, Schiarizzi sold the business to set out on a second career in teaching. He has taught culinary courses to both high school students and adults, as well as the industry-standard ServSafe food handling course. Schiarizzi serves on several culinary advisory boards — most notably Les Amis d'Escoffier Society of Boston — volunteers at the Boys and Girls Clubs, and is a consultant and mentor to many in the industry. In 1995, the Society recognized him for his devotion to the industry, citing him for bringing honor and prestige to the culinary profession. In 1992, the Epicurean Club of Boston, America’s oldest professional chef society, named him "Chef of the Year." Schiarizzi has earned numerous other culinary and business awards over the years, and is passionate about cooking, helping others, and mentoring those who seek his advice.

Founding Chef
Chef Jerome Picca brings over 30 years of cooking and teaching experience to the table as the Founding Chef for Explo Chef. He is a graduate of the renowned Culinary Institute of America. Early in his career, Jerome worked under star chef Susan Spicer, and then at the age of 25, he opened his first restaurant, The Seasoned Chef, where he cooked for delighted crowds there for 11 years. Jerome has served as the Executive Chef at Sebastian's Catering in Boston, the Regional Chef Manager for Rita's Enterprises, and the General Manager for Blackstone Caterers in Rhode Island. He has also taught extensively — having trained professional chefs at the Culinary School of Washington. In 2007, Jerome opened a second restaurant, Small Plates Restaurant and Tapas Bar in Cambridge, MA, to rave reviews. After a stint as Harvard University's Chef Manager, Jerome is now Executive Chef at North Hill.

Head of Programs, Explo at Wellesley
Elliot Targum began working for Explo in 1997. Prior to becoming the Head of Programs at Explo at Wellesley, Elliot held many positions at Explo, including Residence Director, Programming Director, and Dean of Day Students. Elliot was a founding teacher at a Boston charter school and taught math and science in the Cambridge, MA, public school system. Elliot is known as an "idea factory" and one public school teaching colleague described him as "the most progressive teacher in the district." Elliot's interests and talents are broad. He was a math correlation specialist at Riverdeep, Inc., working on interactive mathematics software, and he worked with Games-To-Teach, a partnership between MIT and Microsoft's iCampus. In addition, he is the founder of EB Tutoring and juggles flaming torches during the summer at Explo. Elliot is a graduate of Haverford College and earned his M.Ed. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he concentrated in technology and education.