When Maurizio Cutrignelli, the head chef at Maurizio’s, enrolled at a culinary school in Bari, Italy, there was one tiny problem: there wasn’t any room for him in the kitchen. Not one to be turned away, Cutrignelli cut his teeth in the bartending and waiting school while teaching himself how to cook. This same go-getter attitude served him well as he went on to learn English (again, self-taught) and moved to California to open his own restaurant. While Cutrignelli’s story is remarkable, it’s hardly unique among the ranks of San Jose’s chefs and restaurateurs. If the chef hasn’t stopped teaching himself new recipes, it’s only to stay one step ahead of an increasingly crowded field.