Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It doesn't surprise me at all that this year's 'king of pizza' is Japanese. I've had some of the best pizza of my life here in Tokyo. (And I'm a 3rd generation Italian-American from New York.) There's Partenope in Ebisu, for example. Outstanding. And Salvatore's, a ubiquitous chain, always excellent, even when home delivered! (I apologize, Joe of Four Corners in Pelham. So sorry, Mr. Fascati of Brooklyn. Get over yourself, Patsy Grimaldi. These guys do it just as well, if not better.)

Here's the story about the Nagoya pizzaiolo who won a recent chefs' contest in Naples, copied off the GVCI (for Gruppo Virtuale Cuochi Italiani, or Virtual Group of Italian Chefs) website:

Pasquale” Makishima triumphs at the International Championship of Pizzaiolo

The Japanese Akinari "Pasquale" Makishima was elected the miglior pizzaiolo (best pizza maker) of the 9th International Championship of Pizzaiuolo Naples-Caputo Trophy. Akinari, who has added ‘Pasquale’ to his name in honour of his maestro pizzaiolo, Pasquale Parziale of the Pizzeria Parziale on Corso Umberto, Naples, subjected himself to a competition lasting two days between 150 pizzaioli gathered together for the occasion of the ‘Vulcano Buono’ (‘Good Volcano’) of Nola near Naples. Second place went to the Neapolitan Vincenzo Caciali and third was won by Vincenzo Sandrico.

At the 8th International Championship, in 2009, Akinari already won third place and was nominated the Ambasciatore dei Pizzaioli Napoletani (Ambassador of Neapolitan Pizzaioli) to Japan. This year among those receiving the ‘title’ Ambasciatore della pizza napoletana nel mondo (Worldwide Ambassador of the Neapolitan Pizza) is Fabian Martin, an eccentric Spanish pizzaiolo from Livia, Gerona who, for the occasion of the Championship invented micro pizze-gelato, with mozzarella, parmigiano and gelato di pomodoro (yes, tomato ice-cream!).

For the organizers, presided by Sergio Micc├╣, who is responsible for the Associazione Pizzaioli Napoletani (Association of Neapolitan Pizzaioli), this Pizza Festival was “a true success in the number and quality of the participants.” From the Japanese delegation 20 pizzaioli arrived in Naples, along with seven French, five Spanish and ten American pizzaioli, among who was the many-time champion, Tony Gemignani.

“Ours is the only Italian championship that awards the pizzaiolo and not just the pizza – declared Carmine Caputo – because the difference is to be found in the skills of the person working beside the oven.” ...

Click here to read more.


goemon said...

Some of the pizza chefs at Salvatore Cuomo train in Italy first at a small pizzeria in Ischia (off the coast of Napoli):

Maryanne said...

Oh yes I had heard (or read) that chefs here go off to France and Italy to train for years before returning to Japan to open their restaurants..which is why French and Italian restaurants here are so spectacular (and often spectacularly expensive)...

Patrick said...

We are SO coming to visit you this Fall!