Local Taste

Passion for Pizza

A journey of taste through the stories of nine pizza chefs who seasoned one of the most famous Italian foods in the world with the flavors of the Amalfi Coast

By Francesca Faratro

Pizza, a World Heritage food, is one of the most spoken words and one of the first that every child begins to pronounce. It is one of the most consumed foods around the world, painted with an array of colors resembling a work of art. On the Amalfi Coast, with Tramonti, who wrote the history of pizza starting from the Middle Ages and then strengthening itself in the nineteenth century, it has conquered many young people who have opened pizzerias around the coast. In their activities, in command of the oven and with their leavening, they hand down the tradition, bringing the gastronomic symbol of Italy to the table.

Elena Secrii and Pietro D’Amico – Divina Vietri, Vietri sul Mare

“We share love first and then work – say Elena Secrii and Pietro D’Amico – We both abandoned our previous studies and worked respectively to devote ourselves fully to the common passion: pizza.” In their Vietri Sul Mare, gateway to the Amalfi Coast, they have already been conducting Divina Vietri for some years, where experimentation with doughs is their success. With a direct dough, a maturation of at least 48 hours, and a mix of two flours (type 1 and 0), the couple offers the classic tastes with a careful look at the seafood proposals, paying homage to the territory with combinations that have the local fish such as octopus on the pasta, anchovies, salmon, and tuna. The menu changes according to the seasons while the timeless tastes no, those always remain the same.

Carlo Fiamma, Il Piennolo, Cetara

After taking his first steps at a pizzeria in his hometown Corbara, Carlo Fiamma begins to refine the style of his pizza, adopting a more Neapolitan model. After an experience at a pizzeria in Rome, he returns to Campania with a wealth of techniques and knowledge. With Gianluca D ’Uva, he decides to give life in 2019 to Il Piennolo, the pizzeria in Cetara a few steps away from the sea. His pizza is contemporary, with a pronounced edge and subjected to a long leavening. On the other hand, the direct dough is made with a blend of 0 and 1 flour with 75% hydration. “For me, all the pizzas on the menu are unique, but the one I love most is Sant’Agata – says Carlo – It is topped with cream of yellow Corbara tomatoes, red tuna from Cetara, confit red tomatoes, black olive powder, and basil”.

Ciro Brandi and Gaetano Buonocore – Al Mare Bistrot, Maiori

Ciro Brandi, a genuine Neapolitan, has been “adopted” by the Amalfi Coast for some years, precisely in Maiori, where he continues his professional career. “I am a chef, and after several experiences, I also decided to wear the clothes of a pizza chef and, with my owner Gaetano Buonocore, bake pizza made by putting into practice the secrets learned at Al Mare Bistrot.” Ciro’s pizza is constantly looking for new ideas to offer a product characterized by good digestibility, given by a leavening of about 48 hours and a dough made with quality flours. Classic tastes cannot be missing between tradition and innovation, but also the most original ones will conquer.

Vincenzo Cerchia – Masaniello, Maiori

Vincenzo Cerchia, originally from Angri, brings the round pizza to the Amalfi Coast and the reinterpretation of this one: the panuozzo. “I tasted it as a child nearby Gragnano for the first time, and over time, it became one of my favorite foods, I became an expert in making it for my customers,” says Vincenzo. The pizza, obtained with a leavened dough for about 32 hours, is first baked at 350 ° for 1 minute. Then, after the subsequent filling, it passed in the oven to finish cooking. There are several flavors to choose from, but the most popular version is mozzarella and bacon or in an entirely local proposal with provolone and lemon.

Pamela Viggiano and Francesco Maiorano – Trattoria San Francisco, Tramonti

The love for traditions binds them first as spouses and then as colleagues in their Trattoria San Francisco business. Pamela Viggiano and her husband Francesco Maiorano, in love with the typical flavors, bring back the tastes of the same dishes they prepare for their tavern on the pasta disc. «We like to make a pizza as the Tramontine tradition requires, defended by the name DE.CO. and obtained with the same methodologies used by our ancestors that have allowed us to pass it down to the present day,» said Pamela and Francesco. The dough made by a combination of quality flours rises for 24 hours and is stuffed with products, among which the ingredients marked by the Slow Food brand or those at km0 stand out.

Sergio Siniscalchi – Mimì Pizzeria & Kitchen, Ravello

“Since I was a child, I loved spending my days watching Uncle Federico at work in his historic Pizzeria at 22 in the heart of Naples. I still remember the smell of freshly baked pizzas and the movement of his skilled hands ready to create masterpieces of taste. “Thus begins to tell Sergio Siniscalchi who, paying homage to those childhood moments, he churns out pizza at the family pizzeria “Da Mimi” in Ravello. Passionate about tradition and constantly looking for the best local products, his pizza is made with direct dough and leavening for about 24 hours. To dress it the excellence of Campania with an eye to purely coastal ingredients such as colatura or Sfusato Amalfitano.

Andrea Bellogrado and Biagio Nacchia – Don Antonio, Amalfi

Eager to bring a quality product to Amalfi, Andrea Bellogrado had just started the Don Antonio pizzeria a few months ago. With an expert pizza maker in the oven, Biagio Nacchia, originally from San Marzano Sul Sarno, the young man from Amalfi has a particular focus: pizza in its various forms and with a purely Neapolitan style. It will be challenging to choose between the baked or fried version or perhaps opt for one of the many flavors on the menu, classic or more original. The dough, with 75% hydration, has a 36-hour leavening. “For the first time in Amalfi, I wanted to bring a bit of Naples with its delicacies. – says Andrea Bellogrado – I focused my attention on the timeless pasta disc that the world envies us and on variants such as Montana, fried calzone with ricotta and cicoli, and street food delicacies: irresistible! “. The most popular pizza is the “Gialla e Rossa” with yellow and red datterini tomatoes, basil pesto, mozzarella, and buffalo daughter.

Francesco Carrano and Simone Abbondati – Hostaria Acquolina, Amalfi

Simone Abbondati, chef and owner of Acquolina, with always young and greedy ideas, surprises guests in his tavern located in Pogerola, a hamlet of Amalfi. Instead, Francesco Carrano is in the oven, and together they carry on a concept of pizza that harks back to the style of the Neapolitan one. “Starting from a base of top quality flours, exclusively from Campania, we make a dough that has at least 48 hours of leavening, very hydrated and stuffed only with excellent products. – Simone and Francesco say – Cooking in a wood oven will be necessary, capable of transmitting a perfect flavor to the pizza”. The quality of the materials used will do the rest with classic and gourmet combinations. Do not miss the “Acquolina” pizza with pumpkin cream, Agerola provolone, sausage, courgette flowers, and grotto pecorino.

Claudio Criscuolo – Criscito’s, Praiano

With a passion for pizza from an early age, Claudio Criscuolo, originally from Minori, felt a bond with white art as a child. “As a child, I loved spending hours and hours at the bakeries near my house to smell the smell of freshly baked bread, feeling strong emotions,” says Claudio. Starting with the bread and its relative leavening, he later approaches the disc of dough, stealing tricks and secrets from the numerous bakeries in the area. Then, perfecting the techniques and expanding his studies, specializing in mother yeast, in 2016, he founded “Criscito’s” the Pizzeria that leads to Praiano with his partner Anna, his right shoulder and sweets clerk. «My pizza is a reasoned Neapolitan, that is a reinterpretation of the traditional one, obtained with a dough based on type 0, 1 flour, durum wheat and spelled. – Claudio continues – To complete the magic is my mother yeast that I have been keeping alive since 1996. “His pizza, obtained with autolysis and leavened by the dough and the addition of extra virgin olive oil, has a leavening that reaches up to 48 hours. The ingredients to fill it are all first choice, many of which, purely seasonal, come directly from the Criscito’s garden. Do not miss the “4 souls”, a pizza with four different flavors offered in two cooking methods: fried and baked.

Useful addresses

Divina Vietri, alley Passariello 31, Vietri Sul Mare, SA, divinavietri.it, IG. @divinavietripizzeria

Il Piennolo, Piazza Cantone 5, Cetara, SA, IG. @ilpiennolo

Al Mare Bistrot, Corso Reggina 2, Maiori, SA, al-mare.it, IG. @almarebistrot

Masaniello, via Casale dei Cicerali 6, Maiori, SA, masaniello.biz, IG.@ristorante_masaniello

Trattoria San Francisco, via Comunale Polvica-Paterno, Tramonti, IG.@francescopamelamaiorano

Mimì Pizzeria & Cucina, via San Francesco 12, Ravello, SA, mimiravello.com, IG.@mimi_pizzeria_cucina

Don Antonio, via Pietro Capuano 42, Amalfi, IG. @don.antonio_pizzeria

Hostaria Acquolina, via Vagno 4, Amalfi, SA, hostariaacquolina.it, IG. @acquolinaamalficoast

Criscito’s, via Guglielmo Marconi, Praiano, SA, criscitos.it, IG. @criscitos

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