Pizza saved my life!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Napoli, the metropolis of the south, lively, chaotic, confusion on the streets, the exciting, crowded old town – fascinating in every way. Many Neapolitans love and hate the City at the same time.

Danilo is 31 years old and 100% Neapolitan. He himself says that growing up in Napoli was not always easy. The conditions are hard and there are many young people who fall by the wayside. For some of them it is a rocky road, often even an impossible one, to get away from the City and to move away.

He moved to LAAX in 2012. Previously, he worked at Shoreditch House in London and in Toronto, Canada. In the Ristorante Camino at signinahotel he is our head pizzaiolo. He is a real whirlwind and definitely brings some Italian flair and passion into the restaurant. By the way, he came fourth at the Pizza World Championships in Italy in April 2016!


So, we thought we would take the opportunity to chat with Danilo about food, we could have gone on for hours!

What are your childhood memories of food in Napoli?
We had a small farm near Napoli, where we produced our own salsiccia and pomodorini. My grandmother often stood in the kitchen and spoiled us with her dishes. We also had a buffalo to make our own mozzarella. These are experiences that I will certainly always remember.

For us Italians, eating is the most important thing in life. :-)

What are you looking forward to eat when you go home to Napoli?
Fish and seafood! In a seaside town, fresh fish is the best you can eat.

Which dish will you order?
Frittura di pesce, Zuppa di cozze, Insalata di Mare, Pizza...! When I come back to LAAX I will definitely be 10 kilos heavier!

Italy has the best kitchen in the world?
It does indeed! We have delicious ingredients, which are prepared with a lot of passion. It doesn't matter which restaurant you go to - the kitchen brigade always tries to get the best out of itself. Eating in Italy is a cultural experience.

What is the best pizzeria in Italy?
"Pepe in Grani" in Caiazzo. The pizzeria is located in a small town, 40 kilometres from Naples. They purchase their high-quality products exclusively from local producers. The menu is very simple and closely linked to the tradition of the products. A visit is a must for every pizza fan. At some point in your life you also have to eat at the Antica Pizzeria da Michele, it is an institution in Naples.

What makes a Neapolitan pizza so special?
The first thing you have to ask yourself is why you want to make pizza - you have to have a passion for it. Afterwards it is important to understand the composition of the dough - this is the be-all and end-all. It also takes time, because you have to know and understand every little detail about the ingredients. Pizza is not just tomatoes or mozzarella - stories and cultures are behind it.

And what's about the ingredients?
In Napoli, Fior di Latte Agerola,"DOP", Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes are very essential to make a good pizza.

What is your favorite pizza?
One word is enough to answer this question - Margherita.

What type of wood do you use for the wood-fired oven at Ristorante Camino?
We only use beech wood, it's the best!

Just recently, I saw a pizza with French fries. What do you think of that?
No?! Your imagination must have been playing a joke on you. :-)

Red wine or beer with pizza?
Beer - we never drink red wine when we eat pizza.

Pizza Hawaii?
The saying goes that "each time someone orders a pizza Hawaii a person in Napoli dies". Pizza Hawaii hurts our hearts.

What are your plans / ideas that you would like to realize at the Ristorante Camino?
More D.O.C. pizzas, special ingredients and more gourmet variations. With a varied offer we would like to try to meet the demands of our guests. (DOC by the way stands for Denominazione di origine contrallata, i. e. a designation of origin of the products).

What does your dream pizza look like?
No tomato sauce, edible flowers and local meat.

Dear readers, are you hungry after reading this blog post? Danilo and the entire Ristorante Camino team are looking forward to your visit. We are sure the menu offers something for everyone.

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