Friedi Schmuck: from the Dolomites to the Hyblean Mountains

The story of Friederick, the pizzaiolo from Alto Adige who opened Piano B in Siracusa. And makes pizza in the style of Rome, Naples, and in the pan…

Friedi Schmuck

Friedi Schmuck

How come a pizza with a dough with Tyrolese spices, topped with mountain cheese, craft speck, graukäse and Gewurztraminer gelatine, is in the menu – or actually among the specials, presented in an event in Torino with Massimiliano Prete and Gabriele Bonci – of a Sicilian pizzeria?

Let’s step back: Friederick Schmuck was born 40 years ago in Rome. However, as you can easily tell by his name his father and grandfather were originally from Bressanone and he spent every childhood holiday in the shades of the Dolomites. Then, at 11, he moved to the island where his mother was born, to Siracusa. «I was raised in Rome, at Olgiata; I played with my friends outside, and consider myself a Roman. But I have a very strong connection with Alto Adige and its flavours, especially now that my father is no longer with us», he says. For many years now, however, his home has been in Ortigia.

After a long experience in the tourism industry, he widened his horizons and, influenced by his mother’s love for cooking too, he approached the world of wine and attended AIS’s courses. Then, in 2011, he decided to open a restaurant with pizzeria, Piano B: «In Siracusa there was no Roman pizza, the round, thin and crispy kind. So that’s what we focused on. But we also make pizza on the peel, which was unprecedented here. We brought a breath of fresh air».

Friedi returned to Rome for a few months, and attended the Api courses held by Angelo Iezzi and Massimiliano Bacich. His initialplan, however, was to take care of the dining room. When his pizzaiolo left, though, he had to put his fingers in the pie. Meanwhile, finding out about Molino Quaglia and attending the courses at the Scuola del Molino opened his horizons with regards to leavening and flour: «It was a turning point. From that moment on, I was totally captured by my passion for pizza. Who would have imagined I’d spend days on end in the pizzeria taking care of leavenings and dough. I can’t help it!».

He serves as many as five types of dough at Piano B: there’s the “Roman” pizza, thin (with balls of 180 g, as per tradition) and the “napoletana evoluta” type, with a nice and thick edge; there’s the dough with spontaneous fermentation, from hydrolysis, and the pizza cooked in a pan with a whole-wheat dough. «I’m currently working with Evolutiva too, a natural mix of original tender wheat, and I’m very happy with the results», Friedi continues.As for the toppings, of course, on top of Alto Adige and the best products he selects all around Italy, there’s wide space for Sicily and its excellences, as in the Nebrodipizza: smoked provola, potatoes, leek and pork jowl from black Sicilian pigs from the province of Messina, which you can add to a dough of your choice among those available.

Piano B
Via Cairoli 18, Siracusa
tel. +39 0931 66851

Translated into English by Slawka Scarso


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