Why “A Tutta Pizza” Made Us Fall in Love with Pizza (Again)
Welcome to the first edition of A Tutta Pizza Fest: A pizza-lover paradise, a pizza theme park, and a pizza school (sort of), all in one day.
In December, the art of pizza-making made international headlines when UNESCO recognized the Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiolo as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. To celebrate this recognition, we at Foodiamo saw the ad, read the names, checked our calendar, and went to Hollywood Palladium for one of the most coveted events of the 2018 LA Food Bowl: A Tutta Pizza Fest.
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What was it? If you were wondering what kind of event was going to be… well, I have to tell you that I am so glad that I single handedly ate every slice, fetta, pezzo, zoccolo, ritaglio, quadrato (kwuaa-draa-ttto aka square) di PIZZA that was offered to the lucky ones enough to have been there. You didn’t come? Too bad for you.
I also went because I wanted to see and say ciao to many of my Italian friends, the ones who cooked and gave you the pizza: yes, Gianluca, Mario, Adriano, Sofia, Mimmo & Francesco, the wonder-duo of Mario & Peppe of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the father & son combo Enzo and Andrea Coccia, Maestro Vito of Pizza Prova (who left his pregnant wife at home just to make you a pie!), Luigi & Gioele from Il Romanista, the DeSano team etc. And also, Marino Monferrato of Eataly LA, Genny & the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce team, Valentina of RAI, Valeria of the Italian Cultural Institute, Emanuela from ENIT…
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The other reason was to talk with Tony Gemignani, 12-time world pizza champion, master instructor at the International School of Pizza, owner of 22 restaurants. Among other things, he showed me his love for his art, for pizza, for flour, for ingredients, for people, for respecting the craft. He surely is a true pizzaiolo. Too bad I have not tasted his pizza… well next time. Stay tuned for the full interview to come up on Foodiamo!
Among the other highlights: a pizza fritta cooking demostration by Enzo Coccia, the Craft of Making Pizza talk (Tony Gemignani, Mimmo Bruno of Di Stefano Cheese, Coccia, Zack Pollack) moderated by LA Times Jenn Harris (I loved her when she asked Coccia how to best eat/reheat pizza the next day!!), and another talk on the global diffusion of pizza with Jonathan Gold, Daniele Uditi, Nancy Silverton and Phil Rosenthal.
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Also, as part of the Extraordinary Italian Taste campaign – a promotional and educational project conceived by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with Assocamerestero– there was this workshop called Flour and Egg: The Magic of Pasta, which highlighted the queen of the Italian table.
For one day we felt like the Beatles… all we needed was pizza. More pizza. Lotsa more of it. And we got it. Even though it was not enough. Should have been more pizza.
Photos by Raffaele Asquer and Roberto Croci for Foodiamo. All rights reserved. Thanks to Silvia Carluccio of Live Nation and Jen Betts of Innovative PR for the kind assistance.