This is Tony Gemignani. Seems like some of you may be coming out to Pyzano's on Oct 20th. If so It would be very important that you call and get on the list. I am near 100 pre orders already and I may have to cap it sooner or later. After reading your reply's I see that some of you are quite excited and some of you are a bit scepical on the out come of my win. The win was indead great. I will say on my side of it that the competiton was profesional, The organization Margherita Regina is a very great one at that. I seemed to read something that stated that that association was secondary.. Not even close. Several VPN's are togehter in that association including Ernesto Cacciali and Gaetano Esposito. I visited several pizzerias and was very impressed with all of the operations. Several pizzaiolos competed from Naples and all of Italy. There was a Japanese competitor as well who has a pizzeria in Japan called Napuli - thats how he spelled it. He was trainned by Ernesto and he is quite impressive. The compettion was run by almost all VPN's they were either judges or organizers. Very helpful as well.
Someone stated in a post that the big guys didn't compete from Naples. I do not know all the contestants but when it does come to a VPN pizzaiolo whos has generations in the pizza business you tend to understand that they really have nothing to prove by competing they are a bit past that now.
The event did bring a lot of people the Neapolitan category at the World Championships only brings about 18. This was was twice as many so the talent was there. Some Caputo competitors that i have seen in the past were there as well. Even though it was sponsored by San Felice
Ernesto did have San Felice at his pizzeria when we visited.. I saw other pizzerias have it as well. So San Felice is quite popular in Naples along with of course Caputo.
For some of you when it comes to an internathinal compettion that is considered World Class the USA isn't well like especially in the pizza business. I have gone to more competitons in my time than most and have seen a lot. I don't think the ball is on my court when competing in Italy especially Naples. I am one who is sceptical as well. Out of any pizza I have ever made in a wood buring oven I would have to say that the one I won with was the best. The balance, color, dough, char, size, and taste was pretty great.
I know some of you would like to know in detail other aspects of the pizza. I went with the Margherita. You have the right to choose 3 kindss Margherita Extra, Marinara, or Magherita
I used a cold rise method, By hand, Fresh Yeast, water from Napoli (slight taste of sulfer), Sea Salt, San Felice, let sit for a bit of time before mixing by hand. added salt last. cut and ball in to 220 grams let the dough rise in Stainless for 8 hour rise then tranfered to wood for the remaining 8 -9 hours.
Brought 2 Cento DOP with me just in case the brands in Naples were not good. I was right the ones I found were a bit young , not ripe, and not flavorfull. De seeded and de veined the Tomatoes. discarded the packing juice. Placed in wood bowl. I did see some alot of seeds in mosdt competitors sauce.. I am a bit picking and try to get them all out. Seeds then to be bitter. I did a video on this on our team web site and in the test I found Cento to be one of the best
Bought the basil in Naples
dop extra virgin olive oil in a copper pizzaiolo decaner
Used Mozzarella Fior di Late from Naples cubed it, and had it packed in a cheese cloth placed on wood bowl
The technique part of the compettion is the hardest. hand formation with dough which there are a few different types I went with a standard NY push and slap. Everything is a spiral motion sauce, sea salt, mozz, basil oil. Then I asked a VPN to hold the peel up to the marble. you then have to transfer the un cooked pizza to the peel. Which in the Naples humitiy was quite hard the competiton is at an open tent like structure.. Propable 90 degree's with 6 wood buring ovens around the way. I saw some contestants had problems.. I made my pizzas into a 10 inch when trasfered it became approx 13 round no football shape- that what they want to see. the ingredients going in were all at room temp. I think that was important especially in a near or over 900 oven.
The bake was great. The oven was good and hot..Clean as well. some ovens were not clean. I asked to have mine brushed.before. I rotated evry 15 second just under 90 pulled it out and it was great. 2 VPN checked the bottom pressed the dough then I was off the the other set of judges. i did see other ovens not bake as well. I used another oven for the classic side of the competiton and it wasn't very good. but thats how the compettions are
the outside rise of the dough was perfect not to thick not to thin and was the center. Nice char on top and on bottom, The judges seemed to like it. They questioned me on several things, weights, dough, cheese, bake etc..Someone said it wasn't fair that they were asking me so many questions sometimes they like to do that with US competitors. I answered all of them. Sometimes they ask terms that deal with weights and they think we don't know what we are talking about. I used Grams instead of oz for dough weitghts when I explained.
They tried it twice. asked for more. Which is in common for judges. One VPN told me mine was well balanced inlike some others.. He said not too much salt. They tried several pizzas before mone and had more to go. That was a good sign. I save one for me and shared it with the team
That night When they called my name I was pretty blown away..I knew the pizza was as good as it came out but you never think you would win 1st.. It was special. Glad I could share this with you. Several Italins were not too happy, several were. Looking forward to meeting some of you on the 20th. I have a forno Bravo coming in.. i hope i does the job. I talked with the owner who also worked at Mugnani. He seems to be ok with it. I said I like it hot he said no problem.. Thats the only thing I think I am worried about especailly when it is not you oven. I think it will be fine. looking forward to it.The ingredients arrive next week. San Felice. San Marzano etc... We will have a great time. I hope this answers some questions and summersie's the event