The best pizza makers have gathered in Naples as it hosts the biggest event in pizza making – the Pizza Olympics.
Participants in the event had come in from different places, most of them surprising and unexpected. A Japanese Pizza Chef had joined the said event and has shares that the experience was satisfying.
"The biggest satisfaction is having Neapolitans at the end of the meal compliment you for the pizza," says Japanese Chef, Masa. The said contestant is an owner of an Italian restaurant in Japan, named Masaniello.
"He almost had my name," adds Masa with a grin. "I had to choose that name for my restaurant."
The Pizza Olympics not only featured the best chefs in the world but also showcased some workshops, seminars on doughs, bacterias and yiest, and pizza-loving events.
"We've launched a very specific gathering, focusing on products, preparation and the make-up of pizza," said VP of the Association of Real Neapolitan Pizza Massimo Di Porzio.
Different people, different styles and a lot of learning in the event as different chefs share their strategies in pizza.
"Our chemical analysis focuses on flour, tomato, mozzarella and olive oil, the best products for making a true Naples pizza," says Professor Vincenzo Sogliano from the department of food science at the University Federico II in Naples.
"In my restaurant 800 Degrees, we make the real Neapolitan pizza that I learned how to make from Peppe Miele, a Neapolitan who has brought true pizza to the US for years. I got my love of pizza as a college student in Minneapolis. There was a great Italian pizzeria nearby and I loved it. I even tried to get them to hire me but they wouldn't. But pizza was still in my destiny." Said Anthony Caron from Los Angeles "I'm teaching Americans how to love real pizza. They're used to crispy pizza. Eating my pizza for the first time always provokes interesting reactions. But they always love it and come back for more," he added.
It's not for gangsters," he jokes. "It's for families who love simple Neapolitan pizza, as opposed to, let's say, American pizza. I import all of my ingredients from Italy, and the taste makes customers immediately forget their habit for crunchy pizza."said Alex Sanduliak who owns Lucky Luciano Pizzeria in Russia.
"I learned how to make pizza in Naples a year ago from Gianni Improta in his pizzeria Al 22, but at the moment in my pizzeria Big Pizza I only make focaccia.” Said Dragan Petkovic of Belgrade.
The genuine Neapolitan Pizza has been a battle to be seen across the world but the President of the association aims to let the world know of its genuine taste through the event.
"Next year,' he says, "we'll bring this event all over Europe, from Paris to London and Madrid to Berlin, to broaden our horizons even more."