Gianfranco Iervolino

Gianfranco Iervolino is certainly an atypical pizza-chef. If you ask him about his pizza, he easily dishes out numbers and chemicals and he wears a chef uniform instead of a t-shirt, despite the temperatures around the oven. When he takes the uniform off, it’s to go to sing Neapolitan songs from the traditional repertoire, his great passion and second job (he has also recorded two records). But, most of all, he’s not afraid to pronounce a word which many of his colleagues from his area consider pronouncing next to pizza as a shame: namely gourmet.

«To me, pizza is a dish in all senses – he says – and you need to be very careful as to what you put on top, as well as the dough. I believe a good pizza-maker also needs to be a bit of a chef, the difference is that they transform products while we create a dish from scratch, starting from water and flour. Since I began to make pizza, I’ve had the ambition to propose something different: 20 years ago my colleagues used to make fun of me because I wanted to use olive oil on pizza, instead of oilseed». Today he tries to use only the best, both with regards to condiments – Mondragone garlic, Cetara anchovies, fresh oregano from Vesuvius – and for dough, even though this means abandoning Neapolitan orthodoxy by using strong flours («in ancient times, however, they were used in Naples too, the refined ones arrived later» he explains «and in any case I always take inspiration from Neapolitan pizza: I’ve always loved it, even when I was a child and my father took me to a pizzeria, I got up and went to see the pizza-makers at work»).

He doesn’t back away from challenges, and with his project he has conquered a large public even in the restaurant in Boscotrecase where he arrived 2 years ago, convincing the owners of the American Bar to dedicate some space to quality pizza. It’s no surprise that on the occasion of Pizza Up 2012 he was awarded, together with Renato Bosco, Fabrizio and Marcello Pasinelli and Ruggero Ravagnan for his Communication and Popularization.

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Gianfranco Iervolino was born in 1974 in Torre Annunziata, Naples. Always passionate about food, he graduated in 1990 as a technician in hotel activities. After an internship in luxury hotels he went to the UK and began to work in the kitchens. On returning to Italy he worked as dining room manager and then as barman and deputy kitchen chef to starred chefs until, in 1997, almost “by chance” he happened to run a pizzeria and (re)discovered the love for the “white art”. After 2000 he worked in many restaurants, continuing his project and receiving prizes and success. Two years ago, the meeting with Nino Prisco, owner of Lucignolo, meant the start of a project dedicated to quality.

by

Luciana Squadrilli

giornalista, napoletana di nascita e romana d'adozione, cerca di unire le sue tre passioni: mangiare, viaggiare e scrivere