In two months’ time, our resident pizzaiolo, Danilo Fontana, will be taking part in the World Pizza Championships. We wanted to ask Danilo what to expect from an event such as this and exactly what it involves as he prepares for this year’s competition.
Campionato Mondiale della Pizza 2016
That’s the official name of the 25th instalment of the world championships, taking place from 11 to 13 April 2016 in Parma, Italy. More than 600 pizzaiolos from all over the world will compete in 12 different disciplines, being assessed by renowned top chefs and leading pizzaiolos who have been recognised with a “Spicchi di Pizza” award. These awards, which translate as “Slices of pizza” in English, are similar to the Michelin stars awarded to gourmet chefs. The only difference is that the “Spicchi” are awarded exclusively to those who have mastered the art of pizza-making.
Danilo and his passion for pizza
Danilo has been in LAAX for three years, wowing diners in the Camino restaurant with his delicious creations. He discovered his passion for Italy’s national dish at an early age: in the building where he grew up, in Capua, near Naples, there just happened to be a large pizzeria, and Danilo would visit the pizzaiolo there every day, looking over his shoulder and even being allowed to help out now and then. So it was only natural that he went on to complete a diploma in pizza-making in Naples, after which he worked at various locations all over the world, before coming to LAAX, where he now uses all his skills and experience to delight our guests. The Camino restaurant is the perfect place for Danilo to practise for the world championships. Every day, he experiments on how to create the perfect dough and make the best tomato sauce, producing up to 300 pizzas on busy shifts. The master is certainly perfecting his craft, and we’re keeping all our fingers crossed for Danilo that he takes the World Pizza Championships by storm. He is being more modest, and thinks that a place in the top ten is realistic.
By the way
Margherita is Danilo’s favourite pizza, and even though he spends almost every day in front of the pizza oven, this wonderful dish is still his favourite food. He cannot tell us what pizza he will be making at the world championships just yet, but one thing is for sure: that pizza will taste fantastic!
Danilo also has a top tip for you at home
The most important thing when making pizza is to make it with love and passion. You should also use the very best ingredients: San Marzano tomatoes have a distinctive flavour, and the best mozzarella is fior di latte, which is made from cow’s milk and produced using a special method.