The project behind Pizzana was born during a house party hosted by actor Chris O’Donnell. There, Daniele Uditi, Naples-born pizza and bread artisan, met Candace and Charles Nelson, owners of the well known Sprinkles Cupcakes, a chain of bakery shops. The Nelsons fell in love with Daniele’s pizzas. They also discovered their shared love for good food and commitment to use only fresh top-quality ingredient. Together with the O’Donnels, they decided to open Pizzana, a pizza restaurant that combines Neapolitan culinary tradition with the vibrant Californian spirit.
“In Southern California, there are plenty of top-quality and fresh ingredients. I really love going to the market and select them myself, like I used to do while I was living in Italy. I only cook with fresh ingredients” Chef Uditi explains “I think it is important to get to know my suppliers and build a relationship of mutual trust.”
Daniele Uditi started his career as a baker in his family’s bakery in Caserta. His aunt taught him this antique art, which still influences Daniele’s pizza today. “I still remember the aroma of warm homemade bread mixed with the smell of the smoke of the wood-fired oven. All these small details made me love this profession.”
From his family, he inherited the passion for baking and the technical skills to create a unique pizza. The dough is created with a blend of Petra flours personally selected by Chef Daniele himself, mixed with the starter of Daniele’s aunt, which he still keeps alive.
“Unlike my family, I have always been passionate about pizza. While they were making bread, I used to take the dough, roll it out and create my first pizzas with tomato sauce and mozzarella.” The love for fresh ingredients and the attention to details is a prerogative of Daniele’s restaurant: “For example, the plate on which we serve our pizza is perforated in order to allow the steam to disperse and preserve the crunchiness of the pizza dough.”
Daniele Uditi respects Neapolitan tradition, but at the same time he loves experimenting with new combinations of ingredients. “Before being the Italian product par excellence, Pizza Margherita was an innovation itself” he states. Following this idea, Daniele created the Neo Margherita with San Marzano PDO homemade tomato sauce, fior di latte, Parmigiano and basil crumb. Pizzana also offers Cacio e Pepe pizza, with fior di latte, provola di Agerola, Parmigiano cream and cracked black pepper. The food critic for Los Angeles Time, Jonathan Gold defined it “a little miracle”. There is also Diavola pizza, with spicy salami, charred shallot, and the perfect mix of nduja from Calabria and romesco, a Spanish sauce made with peppers.