Giovanni Barbieri fell in love with New York three years ago, while he was visiting the Big Apple to practice his English. He soon realized that NY was the place to be, and decided that he wanted to open a pizzeria there.
However, before leaving Italy, Giovanni attended the Università della Pizza, the pizza-making course organized by Petra Molino Quaglia. Thanks to this course, Giovanni was able to create the exact idea of pizza he had in mind. He started serving his pizza in the family kiosk in Schio, a town in the Veneto region. The pizza was a great success and it gave him the right boost of confidence to make his dream come true. The BIGA pizzeria was opened on 13th November 2018, in Lower East Side, New York, and Giovanni decided to take Petra flours along with him in this new adventure.
Giovanni has clear ideas about the product that he wants to offer his customers. His pizzas owe their unique textures and flavors to the biga technique used to prepare the dough. The pizzas he produces are very different from other pizzas on the market. The pizza base is fragrant, light and crispy. With this technique, Giovanni prepares three different styles of pizza. The first is a traditional round pizza, prepared using Petra 3 flour or a mix of Bonsemì, Petra 3 and 9, for a whole grain version. The second is a peel pizza, and the third is its filled version. Both of them are prepared using Petra Unica or Panettone flour. All these flours ensure a higher content of fiber and proteins, allowing each bite to be tasty and healthy at the same time. The hydration rate of both doughs is very high, 75% for the round pizza and up to 90% for the peel pizza. The biga rests for 20 hours at room temperature, and then the dough leavens in the refrigerator for another day.
Giovanni, following his family tradition, is proud to offer a high quality service: “The best part of my job is to make other people happy. I love seeing their happy and relaxed faces while they are enjoying a pizza at BIGA.”
A lot of things have changed since Erik Martirosyan, born in Armenia, raised in Russia and finally established in Los Angeles, opened his first small pizzeria in Hollywood in 2007. The sensibility of Erik and his willingness to research, discover and improve has taken him very far. From a fast food pizza cooked in a gas oven, to a high quality pizza dough cooked exclusively in a wood-fired oven.
“I decided to offer a more artisanal pizza to my customers. I moved my pizza place to another area of Los Angeles, and I start paying more attention to the dough making techniques.”
During years of experimentation and research, Erik was introduced to Petra flours: “I saw the differences that the dough can make if prepared using top-quality ingredients and following the right techniques”. On April 1st 2013, Erik opened Wood SilverLake, his new pizzeria. For over seven years, he has been preparing and serving a Neapolitan inspired pizza, with a crispy and thin base using Special flour by Petra.
“At Wood SilverLake we want to offer a complete experience to our customers. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, the food is simple, tasty and healthy. Our distinctive flavor is given by the wood-fired oven, which gives a golden brown color to our pizzas and add a smoky and charred hint to them. The Margherita is the most favorite choice, but we love to experiment with different ingredients. Our customers love the pizza with truffle for example”.
Pizza professionals from around the world have convened in the Las Vegas Convention Center for Pizza Expo 2019 in record numbers.
About the Show: International Pizza Expo is the world's largest pizza industry show with nearly 500 exhibiting companies on the show floor. Pizza Expo is the place for independent and chain pizzeria owners and managers to one-stop shop for nearly any needed product or service – and see what’s new in the industry!
International Pizza Expo was a great success and Petra would like to thank all the new U.S Petra Selected Partners nominated in Las Vegas.
Discover their stories and their fabulous pizzas on our website.
Anthony Mangieri opened his first pizzeria in 1996 in New Jersey, his home state. Back then, Neapolitan pizza was unknown to American customers, and Anthony was the first to introduce this style of pizza.
The leavening process of the dough which lasts two days is never refrigerated and sourdough is essential in this preparation. For Anthony, it is all about the dough. It is different every single day because it is influenced by different variables, like the weather for example.
At first, there were only 4 pizzas on the menu, because the importance has always been the quality of the dough, its taste and texture. When the pizzeria was moved to San Francisco in 2010, Anthony decided to introduce two other pizzas: Ilaria, with smoked mozzarella, fresh cherry tomatoes, arugula, dedicated to his wife and Apollonia, with bufala mozzarella, Parmigiano, egg, salame, black pepper, garlic, basil, inspired by his daughter. Back to NYC in 2018, Anthony added another pizza, Concetta, inspired by his cousin, with San Marzano tomatoes, Piennolo, Corbarino, home made tomato sauce and a sprinkle of pecorino just out of the oven.
“It has always been all about the dough” says Anthony, “ the perfect pizza for me has a deep rich aroma of bread and an airy crust. It needs to be naturally leavened and digestible.”
For this reason, Anthony focuses on the ingredients. They are top quality, truly Italian, starting from the flour. “Petra flour is fresh, delicate and nutritious. It performs exceptionally well during the creation of the starter.” A mixture of Unica, Special, stoneground Petra 3 and 1330 sprouted wheat flours are used. But Anthony is always experimenting. “The next fun experiment will be with Allegra, and Panettone for the motherdough.”
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.”
Pizza, as every New Yorker is fond of telling you, is the food of the people; cheap, tasty sustenance sold by the slice. But in Los Angeles, pizza has another dimension, as anyone who has ever considered dropping six grand on a custom pizza oven can attest — in certain circles a wood-burning Italian-made behemoth is as necessary as a fire pit or a screening room. Famous pizza virtuosi make regular stops at the homes of talk show hosts and sitcom auteurs, who know that a perfectly made Margherita is worth its weight in osetra caviar. Pizza is also the food of the rich.
Daniele Uditi, chef of the chic Brentwood pizzeria Pizzana, earned his bones at his family's bakery near Caserta, the buffalo mozzarella capital of Italy, and in Naples, home of modern pizza, before he moved to Los Angeles. He probably became well known when actor Chris O'Donnell rescued him from a dead-end restaurant job and hired him to cook for him and his friends. Uditi's pizza was a poorly kept secret, even among a lot of people who don't run in Hollywood circles — he was regularly touted as a celebrity chef in Italian newspapers. So it became almost inevitable that he end up with a Brentwood restaurant of his own, in partnership with O'Donnell, wife Caroline O'Donnell, and Candace and Charles Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes.
People line up for hours outside Pizzana's blue, tiled dining room, gazing wistfully at the great, domed oven, passing the time with frozen yogurt, acai nibbles, or the other options on the block. Once they finally get to a table, there are nicely realized versions of the fried things you might expect in Naples — crisply fried zucchini blossoms, plates of fried baby artichokes cascading over charred, wood-roasted hearts — as well as roasted meatballs, or billows of lovely, soft chicken liver pâté served with sweet tomato jam. The croutons for the little gem Caesar salad are baked to order in the pizza oven. The shaved Brussels sprout salad holds as many toasted pistachio nuts as it does leaves.
Piazza becomes Ambrogio15’s first executive chef since its opening in summer 2016 and steps into the role as the face of the creative kitchen where he will play a lead part in the restaurant’s planned expansion, both in terms of new recipes inspired by Northern Italy and future restaurant locations.
Coming from the kitchens of Padova, Veneto in northeastern Italy, considered the hometown of “pizza gourmet” where the world’s top pizza chefs have developed a style that inspired Ambrogio15’s menu, Piazza is influenced by names like Renato Bosco and Simone Padoan, a candidate for the first Michelin Star ever given to a pizza restaurant.
His most recent role as head pizza chef at the historic Trattoria Ballotta, founded in 1605 more than 400 years ago, aligns with Ambrogio15’s commitment to a long fermentation process and stone ground Petra flour during the creation of gourmet-style pizza. And also the sourcing from those using sustainable and organic farming techniques.
Piazza’s knowledge will be a key factor in Ambrogio15’s expansion, beginning with the restaurant’s second location opening in the Little Italy Food Hall, adjacent to the Piazza della Famiglia, this summer.
Denis Dello Stritto started his career in the food sector very young. He was working in many restaurants in Northern Europe (Holland, France, the Netherland, etc) during winter, while he was coming back to work in Italy, in particular in Sardinia, over the summer. But his career took him to Brazil and finally to the US, where he worked in different restaurants and hotels, for example the Four Seasons in New York.
Denis discovered Petra flours while searching for a flour to make pasta with. He tried Gran Pasta by Molino Quaglia and was very impressed with the result. The flour was really stable and easy to work, the taste of the final product was delicate but consistent and authentic. He tried Special, or the stone-milled Petra 3. “The key aspect in the making of a simple product, such as pizza, pasta or bread, is the choice of ingredients. They need to be top quality in order to ensure a perfect result”.
Denis prepares products that are really loved by his customers. For example, the fried pizza with guanciale (pork cheek) and sea urchin, or burrata and Parma ham. The main ingredients in Denis’s fried and deep pan pizza are sourced directly from Italy. Flour, cheese and tomato are responsible for the final taste of the dish, therefore, they need to be top quality.
“Usually, chefs are pictured as being closed in the kitchen for long hours, and in a sense this can be true. However, my job allows me to meet with many different suppliers. Together we share ideas and opinions, and this constant search allows me to develop my recipes and discover always new ingredients. While being in the kitchen, I am also connected with the world around me.” Denis wants to share with his international customers the historical and cultural side of Italian culinary tradition. His main goal is preserving the integrity of ingredients and territory.
“The wheat for Petra flour line is sourced from local Italian farmers. These flours are able to give strength to farmers’ work and highlight their commitment to a more sustainable agriculture.”
Only a few steps away from the Nets Stadium in Downtown Brooklyn NYC, you can find Pizza Secret, a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria. Rosario Granieri, the owner, executive chef and pizzaiolo, worked for big companies such as Eataly and Rossopomodoro and had the chance to travel the world before opening the pizzeria of his dreams in July 2018. Since then, he has been sharing his love and passion for Neapolitan food with his customers.
Passion for good food runs in Rosario’s family. This tradition has been passed on from one generation to the next. It started with his grandfather, a pastry maker, followed by his father, a chef, and finally Rosario and his eight siblings, many of whom are pizzaiolos themselves. He learned all the secrets to make a perfect Neapolitan-style pizza in its very birthplace, Naples city center, where he worked in the pizzeria owned by his family. Today, he is still living up to his family tradition, running Pizza Secret, an American pizzeria with a Neapolitan beating heart.
Pizza Secret is fueled by one of the oldest wood-fired brick ovens in New York which bakes perfect traditional and gourmet pizzas. The pizzeria offers other delicious Neapolitan nibbles, for example crocchè, meatballs, bruschette and fresh pasta dishes.
Americana is the most popular pizza, an American take on the traditional Italian Diavola, topped with pepperoni, spicy honey oil and basil. The Bufalina is another best-selling classic, with buffalo mozzarella and basil. The fermentation of the dough takes up to 36 hours and is prepared using stoneground n°3 Petra flour and cylinder-milled 5037 Petra flour. All the main ingredients come from Italy. The flour, San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and olive oil are top quality Italian ingredients.
The topic will go across the board, from interactions between climate and cereal cultivation techniques, to milling, to the transformation induced by fermenting dough, to a more complete vision of how pizza interprets the advantages of the Mediterranean diet through its local variations.
Returning to a right interpretation of the value of carbohydrates in the Mediterranean diet has been our goal for quite some time.
So much so that in 2012 we were among the promoters of the Manifesto della Pizza Italiana Contemporanea which was then written and signed by some of the most prominent culinary experts in Italy.
Since then, in every edition of PizzaUp (to this day the only technical meeting dedicated to Italian pizza) we’ve invited academics, journalists (above all, Paolo Marchi, a strong supporter of the need to give a nutritional value to pizza, and to extend the tenth point of the Manifesto), bloggers, cooks, communication, architecture and marking experts, opinion makers, and science populisers.
We’ve asked each one of them to stimulate the participation of the attending pizzaioli in inspiring theoretical and practical workshops, offering plenty of new ideas so that they would serve pizzas based on the Mediterranean diet.
In the PizzaUp 2013 conference proceedings, Eleonora Cozzella (La Repubblica) wrote with regards to the format presented on that occasion for a traditional Neapolitan pizza recipe based on 180 grams of dough: «The aim is to develop a new way of making pizzas paying attention to health. Starting from the idea of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Which is based on whole-wheat cereals».
Today, 5 years later, we’ve made great strides in all the areas of pizza making, and the recent news that even a professional like Franco Pepe has now joined the Manifestowith his work, paying the right attention to nutrients and to using a lighter base for the pizza, is one more proof of how the work done at PizzaUp in 2012 and 2013 is current and useful.
Ambrogio 15 is the project of three young Italian entrepreneurs who studied Business Management at San Diego State University. After the graduation, Giacomo Pizzigoni, Luca Salvi and Andrea Burrone decided to stay in San Diego and open a pizzeria, a place where they could promote the idea of Contemporary Italian gourmet pizza. A new concept that was unknown to San Diego customers. They dedicated the pizzeria to Milan, the city that brought them together and that represents their innovative and dynamic spirit.
On the menu, the customers can find the traditional round pizza, a crunchy and light filled focaccia and Nuvola, a deep pan pizza, soft as a cloud. All the options are prepared using Petra stoneground organic flours, Petra 1, 3, 5, and 9, that preserve all the nutrients of wheat. The pizza at Ambrogio 15 has won the favor of American and Italian customers who can finally find an authentic healthy product which is easy to digest and delicious too.
The kitchen is run by Daniele Piazza, the 26 year old executive chef, who trained with the pizza chef Riccardo Scaioli. Giacomo, Luca and Andrea are very proud of the quality of their ingredients, that are carefully sourced from Italy, and every day they share this passion with customers.
Who was the first pizzaiolo in the past 25 years to bravely use an innovative idea in the making of dough for pizza?And who was the first to use fresh and seasonal ingredients? Who first enhanced the connection with farmers and soil? Who did redefine the balance between water, flour and yeast so as to make a lighter dough? And who was the first to imagine and create a fine dining future for pizza?
There are people who use their ideas and their passion for their work, to make their innovative vision come true. Not just to surprise or for the sake of coming first, but to give a contribution so that the values they received in the past can be shared in the future.
These people are witnesses of what was good in the past, and spontaneously dedicate their life so that those good products can have a future, creating original and contemporary consumption experiences and products. By doing so, they become role models, and show a charisma that induces others to give variety to the original idea, finding new expressions that enrich the food culture.
It is to these pizzaioli, and to those of the future, that the Almanacco is dedicated. It illustrates the turning point that made them change the world of pizza while making sure that these original pizzas are not overshadowed by soulless copies.