Guido Grasso is a part-time actor and comedian, and a full-time restaurateur. He opened Sapori di Napoli in 2010. What made you decide to open a restaurant? I was in LA, trying to be a movie star and my career wasn’t really going anywhere. I had been delivering pizza for Joe’s Pizza, which is from New York but they had a restaurant in LA, so I had learned a lot about how to make a good pizza from them, and I combined that with what I had learned from my mother’s pizza and the rest is history.
Jeremy Filosa is a sports journalist at 98.5 FM. You’re Italian. Can I assume you have a lot of experience with pizza?Ha! If you mean experience eating it, then yes! You know, a lot of people don’t realize, but if you go to Italy, the word ‘pizza’ originally meant cake. So when I was a little kid and we’d go to Italy, the word hadn’t really been Americanized yet. You can still order a pizza di chocolata, for example, which is just a regular chocolate cake. So people would offer me a piece of pizza and then they’d give me a piece of cake. It was pretty confusing. But the kind of pizza we’re talking about here, my mom used to make it for us all the time, still does.
Alex Despatie is one of Canada’s most successful and respected athletes. A world champion diver and two-time Olympic medalist, he now works as a TV and radio broadcaster. Are you a fan of pizza? I actually love pizza. I don’t have it too often, but I just came back from Italy and I had some absolutely amazing pizzas over there. It’s great because it’ll give me a good base to judge all the pizzas we’re going to be judging for Pizza Week.
Anne-Lovely is a lifestyle journalist for Journal de Montreal and 24 Heures. So, are you excited about Pizza Week? Of course! I love pizza! What’s your favourite kind of pizza? I’d have to say that Margherita is one of my favourites because it’s just simple but it’s so good. I also really like Calabrese because I love sausages and spicy food.
Amy Blackmore is the Executive and Artistic Director of the “St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival”. She’ll be judging pizzas in the gluten-free category. Is it hard to find gluten-free pizza in Montreal? I grew up eating pizza all the time. When I was a teenager, me and my friends would get together every Saturday night and order an extra-large pizza with suicide hot sauce on it for, like, $9.99 with a two-litre bottle of pop, and we’d sit around crying while we ate it because it was so hot, but we just loved it.
It’s always inspiring when two people meet, fall in love, and decide to start a new life together. The only thing that could possibly make for a better story is when that new life involves pizza! Tara and Sasha Bouis met in the British Virgin Islands. Tara was a shoolteacher, working for the summer as a scuba diving instructor, Shasa was on Wall Street. The couple fell in love and decided to spend their lives together in paradise.
When it comes to pizza, Nick DePalma came by his credentials the old-fashioned way. The Chef and owner at Inferno Restaurant and Caffe San Simeon grew up working in Trattoria dai Baffoni, the Little Italy restaurant his grandparents opened in 1966.
In business for 23 years and counting, Café Epoca is a Little Italy institution and an important and respected member of the local community. Owner Paolo Musto has built his reputation with an unwavering commitment to quality, traditional values, and keeping things simple. So tell me about your approach to pizza. We do a very basic Italian thin crust pizza. We use a very good tomato sauce, a nice mozzarella, and all the toppings and ingredients are simple and fresh. We use an authentic Napolitan-style sauce, no garlic, no oregano, just olive oil and salt. Depending on the pizza style or recipe, we might add some fresh basil or arugala.
Eric Dénommée spent years working in Montreal’s most renowned restaurants and learning from some of our city’s finest chefs. In August 2015, he opened Pizzeria Melrose with his partner, Paolo Olivera, and it was an almost instantaneous success, quickly becoming one of the most popular spots in NDG. Your restaurant has a very interesting look. This is a historic place. For over 50 years, the building we’re in was a furrier, a place where people bought and stored their fur coats over the summer.
Spend a little time around pizza chefs, and you will quickly learn that they are extremely serious about their craft. The typical pizzaiolo is only too happy to engage you in a long and detailed discussion about ingredients, cooking techniques, and the longstanding rivalry between the Neapolitan and Roman versions of everyone’s favourite treat. This passion for authenticity and the highest standards took the pizza makers of Naples all the way to the European Parliament, where they lobbied for, and received a Protected Designation of Origin, or PDO, which lays out the requirements a pizza must meet to be considered [...]