Pappalardo: creating a successful pizzeria (coming soon in Turkey too)

The pizzaiolo from La Cascina dei Sapori in Rezzato celebrates the 10th anniversary of his activity (he started at 19). His goals are now abroad...

07-01-2018

In 2017 Antonio Pappalardo celebrated the 10th anniversary of his La Cascina dei Sapori in Rezzato (Brescia)

La Cascina dei Sapori in Rezzato has reached its tenth anniversary. It was celebrated with three special dinner events with Mauro Zacchetti, Simone Padoan and finally, from Paris, Gennaro Nasti, patron at Popine and Bijou – the photo refers to the latter event, a few weeks ago. But what made patron-chef Antonio Pappalardo approach gourmet pizza some ten years ago (when he was not yet 19!)? Why did he leave the calm path of Campanian classics, given he was born in Castellammare di Stabia, though always based in Brescia?

Gennaro Nasti and Antonio Pappalardo

Gennaro Nasti and Antonio Pappalardo

Clearly, he’s the kind of person who has both the natural humbleness of the hard worker and the well-deserved pride of someone who knows he has brilliant ideas: «Let’s start by saying that when I first opened La Cascina my approach was different. I was aiming for a classic pizzeria-cum-restaurant like many others, with good but not excellent pizza, (farmed) fish, and so on». But it was an unoriginal, old format: «It was a stale model. Plus we were small and new. We had to compete with giants who were already using this format to make big numbers. Lower prices were the only way to be in that market: but how were we to keep some decent raw materials? I had no real opportunities. So, instead of trying to survive, after three years I decided to take my risks».

The team at La Cascina dei Sapori

The team at La Cascina dei Sapori

The risk was to focus on quality – it may seem absurd now, but indeed at the time it was a risk and Pappalardo was in fact one of the pioneers. Plus there was one more problem: he had no experience. «I started to study: I attended the Università della Pizza, which was essential. I worked hard on dough, topping, leavening. I was very curious. I often dined in great restaurants, so I could learn. I learnt the basics of pastry-making, then I worked at Alle Rose, on Lake Garda, which at the time was a prominent restaurant, so as to improve my cooking techniques. I met producers in person to understand their products». So out of whit, perspicacity and merit he started using fine dining concepts at La Cascina dei Sapori, the necessary step to create a contemporary pizzeria.

A (delicious) pizza by Pappalardo

A (delicious) pizza by Pappalardo

He still does so: «We take care of every detail, trying to improve service and hospitality». All this while the average meal is 25 euros… «Ten, actually seven years ago I wondered if clients would understand. Today I know they do, of course». The restaurant is always full.

Now Pappalardo has a new ambition, «I want to expand my work abroad too. I've been to Australia, where I launched a nice project with Stefano Manfredi (see: Italia-Australia a tutta pizza).  I'm now working in Turkey as well, with D.ream, a giant in the restaurant industry with many brands, including Mezzaluna. The latter has seven high quality pizzerias across the country. We're already doing a good job, but they asked me to create a pizza that can be even better, and will be part of the menu at Dynamic Pizza. The project set off in May. I believe that by February 2018 I'll be ready to present it to the public. I have a one-year contract with them. Then we'll see».
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Sections

Mondo pizza

Tutte le notizie sul piatto italiano più copiato e mangiato nel pianeta