Neapolitan Pizza has finally hit Vancouver and the city has at least a dozen or so places that are serving the authentic pies that adhere to the strict standards required. There is in fact an Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli, a governing body that teaches the craft of Neapolitan pizza making and certifies pizzerias as true Neapolitan Pizzerias. Roberto Caporuscio is the current US President of the association. Previously a cheesemaker, Caporuscio trained in Naples and now calls New York home. He’s the chef at two restaurants In New York that have been rated “#1 in Pizza in New York” by New York Magazine as well as in the top 25 “Best Pizza Places in the U.S.” by the Food Network; Keste Pizza & Vino and Don Antonio by Starita Pizzeria.
Caporuscio certifies the chefs at Famoso Pizzeria and made a trip in to Vancouver to catch up with Commercial Drive’s Chef Don Letendre to present a delightful meal including the Pizza Del Papa “Pope’s Pizza” that was actually sanctioned by Pope Jean Paul II (so it can’t be sinful) as well as present the procedures behind pizza making.
Caporuscio is a true Italian but needed minimal translation as he charmed the audience with his pushing and prodding of the dough; there is no aggressive tossing the pizza dough up in the air for this chef.
The dinner began of a Piccolo Morso, Italian for Amuse Bouche, this bite was a crisp bruschetta topped with peppers, onions and prawn.
The Prosciutto Mozzarella Balls where crafted with fior-di-latte cheese, wrapped with prosciutto and baked in a Campania flavourful tomato sauce that required a spoon to finish as I couldn’t leave a drop on the plate.
Next up was the Pizza Del Papa, made in the colours of the Vatican and truly certified by the Pope. Butternut squash creama served in place of tomato sauce and smoked mozzarella, peppers, zucchini, basil and olive oil completed the tasty pie.
The Pizza Del Re was spread with a truffle spread, topped with mushrooms, prosciutto di parma, fior-di-latte, and olive oil. The truffle flavour was delicate and definitely not the fake oil that is often used. This is one of the top pizzas that I’ve had the pleasure of biting into.
Dessert was an Affogato, a shot of espresso on top of a scoop of ice cream. I went with salted caramel, but nutella or vanilla were options. Can’t believe I’ve not tried this before. And it cuts down on dishes!
Italian wines were served with the dinner. Lightly bubbly Canella Prosecco to begin and a smooth Villa Matilde Aglianico followed by a fuller bodied Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico.
Was an honour to meet Chef Caporuscio. I may not make it to Naples for the training, but my home pizza skills have improved. Now to get to New York to check out his pizzas there.