Josh, an eight-year-old boy from Chicago, is packing his bags for the trip of a lifetime. Josh has diseases of the nervous system, but that doesn't stop him from pursuing two of his passions, cooking and traveling. So when he was asked for his wish request, no one was surprised that he wanted to make pizza in Naples, Italy. Kretschmar Master's Cut Premium Deli Meats and Make-A-Wish Illinois teamed together to grant Josh's wish, which he will depart for on June 2. But before bidding him bon voyage, Kretschmar prepared Josh for his journey with a cooking tutorial hosted by Kretschmar spokesperson Certified Master Chef Brian Beland.

Josh will set out for Italy June 2, where he is slated to visit Rome, Naples and Sorrento. During the week-long trip, he will make his favorite food, pizza, in Naples. Kretschmar gave Josh a head start on the cooking lessons, though. Today, Josh and all of his friends were treated to a cooking demonstration at The Chopping Block hosted by Kretschmar representative Chef Brian Beland, who knows a thing or two about making pizza. Beland is a Certified Master Chef and works as the Director of Food and Beverage Services at Country Club of Detroit. His hands-on demonstration has Josh ready to put his skills to the test in Naples.

"We are very excited for Josh and his family and we're honored that we could help make his wish come true," said Mike Sargent, brand manager for Kretschmar. "It's obvious that he has an adventurous spirit and I know he'll have a great time on his trip to Italy. Experiences like this make our relationship with Make-A-Wish extremely rewarding and we're glad to continue opportunities like this throughout 2014."

Kretschmar is granting three wishes in 2014 as part of a $105,000 donation made to Make-A-Wish. It is the second-consecutive year that Kretschmar has supported the organization. Kretschmar granted this wish on behalf of its Master's Cut line of super-premium deli meats.

"The anticipation of the wish is a wonderful part of the process that lifts a child's spirits, providing strength through some of the tougher times," said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Illinois. "We are thankful for the support from Kretschmar for this opportunity to get Joshua excited and keep his mind focused on his wish to visit Italy this summer instead of his next doctor's visit."

Kretschmar is a part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. For more information about Kretschmar Master's Cut, please visit

Source: Kretschmar Deli