I got this in my email this morning. Not sure from who, but happy to know of it!
John KRibalta introduces new Neapolitan pizza dream team as they celebrate one year in NYC
New York, NY, May 13, 2013: When Ribalta launched in late April of last year, it’s “Pala” pizza and focus on traditional Italian pizza dough singled it out. Committed to being the best pizza in New York, Ribalta recruited a pizza dream team dedicated to providing the most delicious, fun, and truly Neapolitan pizza experience in the city.
Leading the restaurant’s reinvention is the new team from Naples, who have already made their reputation in New York City’s pizza world: Rosario Procino, former founder of Keste pizzeria, and Chef Pasquale Cozzolino, former Executive Chef at Dellaroccos in Brooklyn Heights and Pizza Arte. For Procino and Cozzolino, Neapolitan pizza is more than a method of making pizza that’s taught in Naples. It’s a complete dining experience that’s reflective of the Italian city’s rich, unique and vibrant culture.
Owned and operated by Italians dedicated to the craft and art of Italian cuisine as well as the creativity, the communality and the gregariousness of their native Naples, all this can now be found on E 12st Street in the heart of Greenwich Village.
Real Neapolitan Pizza
Much has been made of the subject in the NYC dining news, but under Procino and Cozzolino, Ribalta is the only pizza restaurant in the city run and staffed by Neapolitan front of house and chefs/ pizzaiolos. “Pizza was our first food,” says Procino, “ We didn’t really have to learn about it- it’s so basic and essential to our lives.” And with their superior skills noted while they were at Keste and Pizza Arte, New Yorkers agree that these two individuals are a beloved part of the American pizza experience.
What makes the pizza experience different, and exceptional, under Procino and Cozzolino?
The Natural Yeast
Ribalta has a special relationship with an Italian mill that handcrafts “Le 5 Stagioni” flour blend. Chef Cozzolino brought from Italy a piece of this “natural yeast,” which has gone through a regeneration process every day for the last 80 years. The chef uses this original piece of dough to continue this Italian regeneration tradition inside the walls of Ribalta. The result is a lighter, more balanced pizza, made through a process that is authentically Neapolitan and not replicated anywhere else in New York.
Contrary to popular belief, Rosario and Pasquale do not believe that toppings have anything to do with whether a pizza can be considered authentically Neapolitan. The standards are strict about yeast, dough, maturation, and method- but when it comes to the ingredients for toppings, Neapolitans, like their city, have always shown their creative sensibilities, and willingness to experiment and have fun. While the new Ribalta menu includes a section that features more traditional Neapolitan pizza toppings, diners also have the opportunity to add their own preferences by creating their own pizza, from a list a selected ingredients by Procino and Cozzolino.
Ribalta’s most popular pie remains a favorite under the new team. The Zola with radicchio, sweet Italian sausage, gorgonzola, mozzarella & truffle oil and the Norma with eggplant, cherry tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, tomatoes & mozzarella highlight this specialty.
House made pastas
Chef Cozzolino’s menu includes staples such as Ziti alla Genovese (veal ragu), Nero di Seppia (spaghetti, squid ink, calamari, San Marzano tomatoes in a Barolo sauce) and Paccheri al Baccala (cod, Gaeta olives & Sicilian capers).
Ribalta will double as the New York installment of the esteemed Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli (SIP), founded in Italy in 1988 as a place to teach pizza aficionados the science behind the perfect pizza and to certify them in making traditional Italian pizzas. This summer, Chef Cozzolino will launch with pizza and fresh pasta making courses, while professional courses will begin in the fall.
Chef Pasquale Cozzolino Bio
Born and raised in Naples, Italy Chef Pasquale Cozzolino has always had a passion for the kitchen. Chef Cozzolino’s first job was working at a local pizzeria at the age of 16. He attended I. Cavalcanti culinary college in Naples, and was apprentice to some of the best chefs in Italy, including Gaetano Esposito – the great grand nephew of the inventor of the Neapolitan pizza margherita, who is considered one of the best pizzialos in the world. Chef Cozzolino’s own unique culinary style is one that blends and reinvents Old World traditional recipes to a New World cuisine. Cozzolino went on to become Executive Chef of Pizza Arte in 2011, and was most recently Executive Chef at Dellaroccos in Brooklyn Heights. He has received a diploma as “Ambassador of Pizza for Neapolitan Pizza” from the Neapolitan Pizza Verace Association and in Award of Excellence in traditional Margherita pizza making from the Association of Neapolitan Pizza makers.
Rosario Procino Bio
Procino was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where he paid his way through school by working in local pizzerias and restaurants. He moved to New York in 1998 and worked for 6 years in telecommunications before pursuing his true passion of working with Italian food and culture. After managing East Coast sales for Academia Barilla (the world’s largest pasta producer), Rosario found his true calling when he opened the authentic Neapolitan pizzeria Keste Pizza & Vino in 2009. Within just a few months, Keste was ranked among the best pizzerias in New York and in the county.
NY, NY 10003www.ribaltapizzarestaurant.com