Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Best Pizza in New Jersey?



The following interview is with Victor of Undici Taverna Rustica in New Jersey.
Victor claims to make the best pizza in New Jersey.

After listening to some of Victor’s responses, you will understand this is no idle claim.

Undici Taverna Rustica, has no equal in New Jersey or anywhere else. Their pizza is in a word: simply outstanding.
Honestly I was amazed at some of the information shared in this interview. Victor talks about his early influences of pizza, how he got into the business, his collaboration with Anthony Mangieri and more.
Albert:  Victor, thanks for taking the time to speak with me.

Do you have a memory of your first pizza? Please  describe it.

Victor: I made my first pizza as a child I was 3 or 4 years old at my father’s pizza parlor Rallo’s Pizzeria in Newark, New Jersey. They tell me it was pretty good maybe I had a knack early on.

Albert: Where did you grow up? How was the pizza?

Victor: I grew up as a child in Newark and then in My school days in Franklin Lakes New Jersey. The pizza was standard pizza parlor pizza. I ate the pizza but it never really impressed my as something delicious or gourmet.
Albert: How did you get interested in making pizza?

Victor: My dad was in the restaurant business his entire life so I was always around Italian food and pizza. My dad made a great pie in a conventional Bakers Pride oven. But he always used great ingredients his pizza’s were better than anyone else at the time.

Anthony Mangieri, at Undici Taverna Rustica i


Albert: Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana, is a legendary pizzaiolo. And I
believe he is from New Jersey. He is from what I understand, actually quite a purist when it comes to pizza.
You mention him as endorsing your pizza. Any endorsement from him holds a lot of weight in the World of Pizza.
How did you meet him?

Victor: I met Anthony riding bicycles; he and I share a passion for cycling. He rides more mountain bike then I do, I ride and race more on the road. But we used to ride together often. So we met on our bikes.

Albert: What is your relationship to Anthony?

Victor: He is a good fiend and my pizza mentor I believe he is the best pizza maker in America!
We made pizzas together at Undici my restaurant in Rumson New Jersey, for almost three months. We made so many pizzas together. He is a purest and that’s what I love about him.

Albert: Can you  give us an Anthony Mangieri anecdote or pizza story?

Victor: Sure as we were making pizzas I asked Anthony if the staff could eat them and he said no not until the pizzas are perfect.  About a week later they tasted the pizza, a purest with a passion that is lost in most American kitchens.

Albert: How did you learn to make pizza? Did you struggle with anything in learning how to make great pizza?

Victor: I always knew how to make good dough, I learned that from my father but getting it all right at very high temperatures is very difficult. This is what sets the great pizzaiolas apart. They understand the balance of heat, texture of the dough, the cheese it’s a true art. So it took me quite a while to get the wood burning oven down, every day is a challenge.

Albert: I understand you make Neapolitan pizza. And your pizzeria is in New Jersey. New Jersey is famous for their tomato pies.
How is your style of pizza different or similar to the Tomato Pie?

Victor: This is a great pizza, classic Napoletana pizza, san Marzano tomato, Bufala Mozzarella, Caputo“oo” flour, fresh basil and really good extra virgin olive oil. Plus we use a three day dough so the dough has great character and life.

Albert: What makes your pizza the “best in New Jersey”?

Victor: Passion, precision and purity.  I have a deep passion for Italian history and culture, so I try every day to put on the table the closest possible thing top Pizza Vera Napoletana. If you taste my pizza and you have been to Naples you will taste, see and smell Naples in every bite. Very few people in New Jersey are doing this the authentic way.

Read the Rest of the interview here at: Legends of Pizza, The Best Pizza in New Jersey  Interview

Victor of Undici Taverna Rustica


And if you want to make your own pizza I recommend my latest favorite pizza book:
My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home



pizza on earth, good will to all,

albert

1 comment:

CJ - Food Stories said...

Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!