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Lifestyle : Taste of Italy 2012
1HERSA1 E014 AG4962432AA-200312 www.madeinitaly.com.au Now Open Rose Bay 9363 1432 Pyrmont Trattoria - 9518 7555 Sydney CBD - 9299 0900 Chinatown - 9211 9080 Pyrmont - 9518 8182 Restaurant: Phone (02) 9960 7168 Open daily for Breakfast 711:30am, Lunch 123pm & Dinner WedSat from 6pm. Providore: Phone (02) 9960 7162 Open MonFri 7am6:30pm, Sat 7am6pm & Sun 7am5pm. GOOD FOOD GUIDE SHOPPING Helen Greenwood & John Newton 201 2011 Visit our online store www.fourthvillage.com.au Specialty Coffee Professionals 73 St Johns Rd Glebe Phone: 9566 4499 Breakfast & Lunch Monday Friday 7am 3pm Sat 7:30am - 3:30pm Sun 9am - 12:30pm firstname.lastname@example.org www.manoespresso.com PRIME GRASS FED RUMP $26kg only available @ themeatboutique.com.au 14 Tuesday, March 20, 2012 smh.com.au good living taste of italy special report Napoli’s chosen few Find a ‘real’ pizzaiolo and they will tell you simplicity is the key to a great pizza, writes Carli Ratcliff. In his father’s footsteps . . . Via Napoli pizzeria’s Luigi Esposito; (right) his signature margherita. Photos: Steven Siewert ‘We like to be able to see the mozzarella, not cover it.’ Roberto Taffuri L ocal water, naturally aerated local flour and tomatoes grown in the rich soils of Mount Vesuvius, with 450 degrees of heat and just 45 seconds on the base of a wood oven, make the world’s best pizza, Luigi Esposito says. A third-generation pizzaiolo, or pizza chef, Esposito was born into the business. His father and grandfather were pizzaiolos and for many years the family owned and ran La Pagnotta, a pizzeria in the heart of Naples. It was here that Esposito, at 14, began his apprenticeship. ‘‘I’d go there straight after school every day,’’ he says. He was soon inducted into the revered Vera Pizza Napoletana Association as an accredited pizzaiolo, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. The association also accredits pizzerias worldwide which uphold the traditions of Neapolitan pizza. Esposito’s pizzeria, Via Napoli in Lane Cove, is rated number 379 on the official list. The best pizza he’s eaten? ‘‘A margherita made by my father or grandfather,’’ he says. His dream is to open a pizzeria in Sydney just serving margherita – tomato, mozzarella and basil – and marinara – tomato, garlic and oregano. For now, he’s turning out a few more toppings and a handful of seafood entrees. ‘‘I want it to be just like a pizzeria in Naples,’’ he says. ‘‘Chaotic, fun and simple.’’ Pizzaiolo Lucio de Falco, of Lucio’s Pizza in Darlinghurst, was also born in Naples. Like Esposito’s, his pizzas are traditional Neapolitan. He also started work at 14. ‘‘My uncle and aunt had a pizzeria in Naples,’’ he says. From there he moved north, to Isola d’Elba and later to Corsica, but has always worked in Neapolitan- style pizzerias. ‘‘Pizza was born in Naples,’’ he says. ‘‘ When employers hear that you are a Neapolitan pizza chef, it’s like business card. You always find a job.’’ His favourite pizza? ‘‘Margherita at Pizza Antica da Michele in Naples,’’ he says. It has plastic chairs, plastic tablecloths and just two pizzas on the menu: margherita or marinara. The head pizza chef at Cavallino in Terrey Hills and Ventuno in Walsh Bay, Roberto Taffuri, arrived in Sydney six years ago. Born and bred in Verona, he heads a team of five Italian-born pizzaiolo. ‘‘Our pizza is slightly different to Neapolitan pizza,’’ he says. ‘‘In the north the pizza is even thinner, with less crust than in the south.’’ Using pasta madre, a small piece of dough from the previous day’s batch, as a starter, Taffuri mixes his dough every morning before proving it for at least 24 hours. His favourite pizza? Also a margherita, eaten on a road trip with his father in Caserta, just north of Naples. ‘‘Eighty per cent of pizza chefs will say margherita,’’ he says. ‘‘When we [pizzaiolo] eat pizza, we focus on the dough and the mozzarella. We like to be able to see the mozzarella, not to cover it with toppings. That way we can tell how the oven is working, and how they have made it.’’ But every pizzaiolo, whether from Italy’s north or south, has his own recipe and own methodology. ‘‘Some put lardo [pork fat] in the dough, some vary the time they prove the dough, some cook the pizza at a lower temperature,’’ Taffuri says. ‘‘I have no secrets. The best pizza is made with love and patience. You have to have patience, and the best ingredients.’’
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