In Napule restaurant pizzaiolo Giuseppe Irollo bakes probably the most delicious Neapolitan pizza in the city. The whole technological process is thought out to the last detail: pizza is cooked in the right oven that is built by the Italian expert Stefano Ferrara according to all the rules; delicious ingredients are brought from Italy; and, of course, the tastiest pizza is made by the skillful hands of Giuseppe.
Giuseppe Irollo is sure that delivery of pizza is not about delicious food at all. The right pizza is cooked for 1-2 minutes in the oven with a temperature of almost 400 degrees and lives only 10 minutes. After that it's not the pizza.
I decided to see everything with my own eyes and believe my own taste sensations. Meeting with Giuseppe and his translator Zhanna in Napule restaurant (9, Mechnikova street, Kyiv, Klovska metro) is an opportunity not only to know more about cooking and tasting delicious pizza, but also to chat and listen to melodic Italian language.
Giuseppe, what is your favorite pizza, and what will you cook for us today?
I like Margherita or Calzone a lot. We'll cook these two kinds of pizza together today, if you like them.
Yes, of course, excellent!
You are on the list of the best chefs of the city according to Focus magazine. In your opinion, what does it mean to be a good chef?
This is about responsibility for what you do and love for your job. Then it will be appreciated by the guests of the place who will come again and again to you.
Read: Matteo Boifava: Italian Chef in Kyiv
Should the chef follow modern trends or be an adherent of old traditions?
Pizza has a very ancient history, and it is a very traditional dish, but, of course, some new products are added in due course, the methods of cooking are changing, but in the original form pizza baking is a commitment to traditions.
How do you perceive Ukrainian clients? Are they different from Italians?
There is no big difference unless the Italians are more emotional in expressing their feelings when they eat pizza. If they like the food, then believe me, everyone will hear about it. In this sense, Ukrainians are more restrained.
Read: Visiting Andrea Nori in Kyiv
How do we eat pizza – by hands or with flatware?
By hands, of course, as in Naples. There pizza is a street food, and we eat it right on the run, we folder a small pizza several times, wrap it with paper and eat it. And in a pizzeria it is much tastier to eat pizza by your hands.
For all the years of life here do you think the Italians and Ukrainians are alike?
In some ways we are different, but in some others very similar. So Ukrainians follow the world fashion and trends more than any other nation. The Italians are less exposed to this. And if we talk about what unites us, this is a careful attitude to family values and the upbringing of children.
When you tell Italians about Ukraine, how do you describe it?
When I went to work here, many Italians, of course, were surprised: how so, usually Ukrainians come to work for us. In their opinion, Ukraine is a very poor country, and my decision was strange for them.
Have your feelings about Ukraine changed since you came here?
Yes, a lot. The difference is very noticeable and it is for the better. This is what Italy lacks, the process of positive changes. We stand still and even retreat back sometimes.
What kind of restaurants do you visit in Kyiv?
I do not have any favorite places but the one I work in. I really love sushi in Ukraine, I try them in different places.
Do you like Ukrainian cuisine?
I love borsch and Napoleon cake; in Napule restaurant there is the most delicious Napoleon.
What do you like about Ukraine?
Women are very beautiful here. If we talk about Kyiv I like modern architecture, modernity replaces the constructions of the Soviet Union period, and it's great.
After the conversation Giuseppe goes to prepare pizza, and we go to watch the process. It's worth saying that everything happens very quickly. Work with the dough and stuffing takes 5 minutes, then the pizza goes to the oven. A couple of minutes and the hot aromatic pizza is already served. Yes, with all confidence I can say that this is the most delicious pizza I've tried, and it's very nice to eat it by my hands, chatting with friendly Italian Giuseppe in Napule restaurant.
Interviewed by Anna Vishtak
Photos by Yulia Kurta