In the U.S. to attend last week's International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Antonio Starita (of Pizzeria Starita in Naples, Italy) stopped by Kesté Pizza & Vino for a one-night-only appearance.
The Kesté Crew and Compatriots
From left, Eduardo Duran (Kesté pizzaiolo), Rosario Procino (Kesté partner and host), Roberto Caporuscio (Kesté partner and head pizzaiolo), Giorgia Caporuscio (Roberto's daughter), Vincenzo Cacace, (Pizzeria Starita pizzaiolo), Antonio Starita (fourth-generation pizzaiolo and owner of Pizzeria Starita), Sergio Miccu' (president of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani).
Vincenzo Cacace (right) making pizza with Antonio Starita (left).
Partners in Pizza
Roberto Caporuscio and Rosario Procino, co-owners of Kesté Pizza & Vino.
We Know That Guy
Like Father, Like Daughter
Roberto's daughter Giorgia Caporuscio works alongside Starita's Vincenzo Cacace.
Antonio Starita (left) and Vincenzo Cacace have been making pizza together for more than 40 years.
A Brief Respite
The aluminum pizza peel here is fairly interesting. You can see it has a gridwork of perforations, which reduce friction and keep it light. The plastic handle you see in the left of the frame slides along the shaft so you don't have to touch the potentially hot aluminum.
Starita at Work
The molding of a masterpiece.
Hot Hot Heat
As is de rigueur with wood-oven pizzerias these days, the one at Kesté was built by folks who flew in from Naples. It runs at a temperature of around 950°F.
Hot Hot Pizza
Seconds after emerging from the oven, this Margherita is steaming.
The pie-builder gives the edges of the pizza a final few tugs on the peel before sending it on its way into the oven.
One of the more unique offerings of the evening was a pizza with smoked mozzarella and lemon.
Eduardo Duran carefully moves the assembled pizza from the make table to the oven.
In It Goes
Eduardo Duran carefully places the pizza into the oven.
Making and baking pizza is more physically demanding and tiring than you'd think. Eduardo Duran takes a breather between pies.
A burrata pie with basil and tomatoes.
Getting Hungry Yet?
The Regina Margherita, made with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, grape tomatoes, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
"The Kesté" is topped with tomato, prosciutto di Parma, arugola, gran cru, and extra virgin olive oil.