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Donatelli: after studying and experimenting during the lockdown, he’s now back at work with energy

Entrepreneurial skills and innovative vision: the dough have evolved, and there’s a new line of cocktails in bottle. Plus a supersecret project with mozzarella...

«One of our most popular pizzas… It it because

«One of our most popular pizzas… It it because burrata, added at the end, is the solution to all of the summer problems?!». These are the words of Daniele Donatelli, two restaurants in San Giovanni Lupatoto (Verona), Donatelli 3011 and Donatelli Pizza & Birra

During the almost three months of forced closure, Daniele Donatelli was one of the few Italian gourmet pizzaioli who didn’t reinvent himself as a delivery place. Born and raised in a take away pizzeria, while acknowledging that it has trained his kneading muscles and nourished his knowledge of all the possibilities offered by raw materials and his daily research on the varied inclinations of the clientele, even when he opened his Donatelli 3011 in San Giovanni Lupatoto (Verona) two years ago – where he pulls out of the oven all sorts of leavened products from dawn to late at night – he chose not to close his other place, Donatelli Pizza & Birra, favouring diversification.

Pizza Bufala

Pizza Bufala

«So when I had to close one, I fully focused on the other», he says given he certainly doesn’t have a lazy meditative inclination, and in fact he used all his energy every single day of the lockdown to put into practice all the new ideas he had had for a while: an evolution of the dough for both the pizzerias, of course, and a line of cocktails in bottle which he’ll launch soon - «because the world of leavened products is not just about pizza» - and a still super-secret project with mozzarella, «the main ingredient in every pizzeria».

Carbonara tartufata

Carbonara tartufata

So this was for Donatelli hardly a time for a break, but a fertile time - «because I spent it entirely at work» - and generous too, «because since I had opened the new place I hadn’t had the opportunity to find this concentration». This allowed him to experiment even with the delivery of his daily offer at Donatelli 3011, where not only has he developed a trifold work, what with classic round pizzas with a blend of Petra 1 and Petra 3, roman style pizza and focaccias with a high-hydration dough served in slices, but he has also got used to use three different types of oven: wood, electric and embers.

Tonno and cipolla

Tonno and cipolla

«In these weeks I worked to gradually introduce in the delivery menu some high quality new raw materials, without increasing the prices – he explains – but my obsession is still the dough: I spent hours and hours working by myself in the lab, I followed all the strange ideas that came across my mind, trying to dare even more, but most of all I was able to focus once again only on mother yeast, which now characterises even more the aromas of our pizzas, and on the research of the perfect water to support this improvement in the dough. I finally found the ideal one, a special French water, which comes from a natural source, with which I could prove how this element can make a huge difference, technically speaking».

Daniele Donatelli has thus reopened with plenty of energy, encouraged by the fact that «clients too seem to have overcome their fears and have shown they couldn’t wait to be back» at 3011, whose name refers to the RAL colour of the evocative red bricks.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

Donatelli on the pages of the Almanacco della Pi

Donatelli on the pages of the Almanacco della Pizza

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Concetta Bonini

Born in 1987, she’s a professional journalist stubbornly tied to Modica. She’s a sommelier on constant training. Every day she travels around “continental Sicily” in search for food and wine stories, people and businesses. She’s convinced every farmer deserves a novel 

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