Pizza is not just tomato sauce and melted cheese. Pizza is an art. The important pizza. These are the words that accompany the trailer for Chef’s Table: Pizzathe docu-series of Netflix that tells about food and the best chefs in the world. The new season, coming on September 7will be dedicated entirely to the art of pizza and therefore could not miss theItaly. Two of the six episodes will in fact feature two Italian master pizza makers: Franco Pepe and Gabriele Boncthe.
Franco Pepewith his Pepper in grainshas made known to the world the small Caserta village of Caiazzo. His Wrong daisy legendary and its pizzas, in general, are considered among the best in the world. Descending from a family of bakers and pizza makers, he has been collecting awards for years, such as the best pizza chef in the world at the Best Chef Awards 2021.
Gabriele Bonciborn in 1977, the baker and pizza maker who innovated the Roman slice pizza. Its, in fact, unlike the traditional low and crunchy, tall and light. It started from a small 24 square meter room and opened branches up to Chicago and Miami. He, too, continues to collect prizes like the three wheelsthe highest recognition of the Gambero Rosso Pizzerie d’Italia 2022 guide.
How to explain the pizza
The two have earned the honor (but also the burden) of telling their art to a global audience like that of Netflix. Not an easy task, given that the platform is also aimed at that part of the world that does not have the same food culture as ours. Therefore, how pizza is explained to the world? There is only one way to explain pizza to the world: you have to make people curiousexplains Gabriele Bonci. The first food consumed by man, thousands of years ago, was hummus. The second was the pizza. We are talking about something important and this already attracts people. Curiosity is the best food in the world.
At times, intriguing also means transmitting a message, a vision, such as that of Franco Pepe: You have to be careful when it comes to pizza. In recent years I have worked hard to make it recognized not only as good food, but as a healthy food. With the help of the nutritionist biologist Michelina Petrazzuoliwe donated a scientific approach to pizzacreating the functional menu, which transforms it into a balanced food, in line with the percentages and nutritional values suggested by the Mediterranean diet. Visions and paths that we find in the series, described by Pepper as a large production: We have been in contact for three years, sporadically they also came to Caiazzobut when the Covid I was afraid that everything could fade away. Then, instead, they told me: ‘Netflix wants to invest in you‘. So 22 people arrived from Los Angelesa monstrous organization, in constant contact with the California. We recorded for about a month, then they had to synthesize it all in 50 minutes. Not an easy job for them, but for me too it was difficult to accept all those cuts (laughs ed.). However, it is the right synthesis of what my life path has been, both working and personal.
Beyond the present
One aspect, that of the dualism between private life and professional career, which we will find again as one of the central points of the series. It can also be seen from the trailer, where we see the two pizza chefs telling moments of uncertainty and difficulty. By now everyone knows how to make pizza – he explains Bonci -, so I preferred to do an introduction on my next life. Think of this episode as a 40-minute trailer on what my future will be. my movie, but I’m not acting. And when we ask him if we will see a Gabriele Bonci more human and less entrepreneur / pizza maker, he replies: More human, but also inhuman. This depends on the interpretations. In the episode I talk about my work, agriculture, my creed, how I live. I show person and character: the first exists, the second is created. Human side that also emerges in the story of Pepper: Netflix has focused heavily on narration of the difficulties that I met, from a personal point of view, to achieve my goal. Because winning projects are often celebrated, but the path taken to get there. Chef’s Table will teach those kids who want to create something: without sacrifice, without sacrifice, you won’t get anywhere. Ideas alone are not enough. I left the family business to get to where I am now.
The turning point
Bonci and Pepe, despite having had two quite different careers, are united by a meeting that changed their life. For Boncithe turning point was the visit of Anthony Bourdain (late American cook, gastronome and TV personality) to his first Pizzarium of Prati: Tony and I we had a wonderful day together. He was shocked by my pizza, I can say really shocked. We were in this little room, which they were at the time 24 square meters. I never forget the first bite of him: he pulls out his eyes, looks at me and says: ‘You are a Martian’. And this was his blessing. I always remember it, always, always. Franco Pepeinstead, he found himself in his Pepe in Grani Jonathan Goldthe first food critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. One day I found this big man in the pizzeria, eating and taking notes on a notebook. Stopped for three days, but I didn’t know who he was. Then I get a phone call: ‘Look, you’re hosting a Pulitzer Prize, came from Los Angeles on purpose to taste your pizza ‘. I at that moment did not even have the ability to understand who Jonathan Gold was, are those things that come without you looking for them. Thirty days later she writes to me to ask for photos. These are the images that she used to write the article about Food and Wine: ‘I probably ate the best pizza in the world at Franco Pepe’s‘. A few years later, at an event a Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to let him taste my pizza again. When asked what he was like he replied: ‘Sa di Caiazzo’. I still carry those words in her heart.
The popular pizza?
After those meetings Bonci and Pepe embarked on a path of innovation, which led them to modify various aspects of their field of belonging. But net of all the changes, and given the recurring price controversy, pizza still a popular food? Pizza as popular as one is popular today paycheckor the cost of electricity. Become popular when there is something wrong behind itexplains Bonci. When boys are exploited, paid in blackwhen no receipts are made, there becomes popular, otherwise, if you follow the rules, it can’t be. Good things are made of good things, this is the ethics of food. Today we only think about the consumer, but it is time to consider the producers, because doing business costs. Giving dignity to work costs money. Franco Pepe he says: I work every day to make pizza does not lose its identity. But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be an evolution. Just do me the pleasure of don’t call it gourmet pizza. Everyone can enter my pizzeria, from the wealthiest to to those who have 5 euros in pocketto. At the beginning of the evening my interns propose a two euros of the libretto pizzas with oil, tomato, oregano and garlic. In doing so, the pizza remains popular. Then you can choose whether to eat a classic pizza (covered average 28 euros) or go to the tasting room (covered average 40-50 euros) up to the Authentica, which goes up to 120 euros. This is the evolution.
How to keep up with the costs
But in the most uncertain period of recent history, with inflation, the energy crisis and the pandemic, how do you produce a good that aims to be excellence?
The recipe of Bonci simple: Observe, believe in the avant-garde and change the rules. If the rule is to put the ‘garbage’ on the pizza, in order to lower the prices, I raise them, I advise you to eat less and let you taste a quality product. A margherita, at the Pizzarium, goes to 16 euros per kg. But, if you eat the one with ham, you pay 35 euros per kg. The reason? To have a good ham, the pig must live two years. We make sacrifices, not massacres. The product must then mature for another two years. That ham took four years to finish on your pizza. You have to know what you eat. Apart from the economic one, there is a crisis concerning the way of workinghe reveals Pepper. To create profit, the company must invest in skills. Today it is increasingly difficult to find resources trained. It is not possible that the hotel school does not provide courses for pizzeria and bakery, basic addresses must be offered. So as to allow companies to tap into it and continue to innovate, create jobs, carry on excellence. Now you just have to watch them on September 7 on Netflix.
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