Pizza with bubbles at Da Ezio

Denis Lovatel’s format: a family recipe for the dough but with a creative topping

07-04-2015

"Pizza with bubbles" baked in the oven of pizzeria Da Ezio, in Alano di Piave (Bl), tel. +39.0439.779125, pizzeriadaezio.it

Dad Ezio Lovatel no longer needs to eat pizza, a look is enough to judge the dough. «Ezio, does you son really know how to prepare it well?». He stretches out his arms: «Well, you know, he’s not bad…», the biggest acknowledgement he could make, over here, fathers act as if they were grouchy. In fact, Lovatel senioris proud of Lovatel junior, «we have people coming from Vicenza to eat his pizza. And from Mestre!», and we came from Milan too.

That things would go this way was hardly in the plans: Lovatel jr, whose name is Denis, born 1975, had started quite a different career: he was a manager in a fashion corporation, «I often had to take clients out for dinner, I would choose good restaurants. This is how I expressed my passion for cooking» which was written in his DNA as his dad is a chef and opened his restaurant in Alano in 1977. Denis was asked to help since he was a child: no games, straight to kneading! The outcome: «I hated pizza».

Denis Lovatel with his father Ezio

Denis Lovatel with his father Ezio

Yet people change their minds, in life. In 2009, Denis Lovatel returned to Alano. Without any dangerous idea of turning everything upside down, indeed: «I chose to continue my father’s work», by adopting, first of all, his dough, which today is the same as then, though with some light correction. No Padoan style, therefore: at Da Ezio you have an apparently classic, round pizza, with a dough made with a poolish and a blend of ancient wheat varieties, slow leavening with mother yeast. During the cooking, the gluten structure breaks and crispy “bubbles” appear on the surface. The result is a fragrant and thin disc, with hills full of air, here and there: absolute lightness dominates, confirmed by numbers: «usually, the dough of a pizza weighs between 250 and 300 grams. In my case it never exceeds 180 grams».

The “normal” appearance is one of the secrets behind the success of Da Ezio’s pizza: no one comes here scared about offers that could sound a little too innovative, «so I can be slightly more daring when presenting an unusual topping», says Denis. Despite being self-trained, he sometimes accelerates on creativity. We tasted a delicate Burrata and Prawns (burrata from Andria, tartare of blue prawns from Caledonia and pistachios from Bronte), very elegant and nice, as well as a very vigorous I Frutti della Terra (macadamia nuts, a selection of gorgonzola and certosino cheese, cheek lard made with Cinta senese pigs, pears poached in cabernet wine), with a strong character that is delicately softened by the brilliant touch of the fruit, aromatised with wine.

The Colori Gustosi pizza

The Colori Gustosi pizza

However, the masterpiece is, in our opinion, Colori Gustosi (tomatoes, heart of burrata from Andria added at the end, taggiasche olives, confit date tomatoes, toasted almonds), a true triumph of flavours dominated by the incredible powerful aroma of the confit tomatoes. Excellent.

A final note: the Lovatel family is never still. Dad Ezio even ended up in Colombia, when in 1990 he opened a pizzeria in Neiva, 300 km from Bogotà, together with some partners («We brought the wood oven from Italy. As far as I know, we were the first in South America», he says). Denis’ trip will be shorter: Treviso, probably starting in the summer. Here he will also present some pizzas he’s been researching on with the help of a nutritionist: a low-calorie one, a vegan one and so on.


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