To celebrate the art of Neapolitan pizza, or ‘pizzaiuolo’, being added to the UNESCO World Heritage list of intangible cultural heritage at the end of 2017, Cucina Italian restaurant is thrilled to invite Italian Chef Pasqualino Barbasso, the world champion of pizza acrobatics to Hong Kong. From 1 to 6 May, Cucina will host the renowned pizza-maker who will be sharing his spectacular art and Italian culture with our guests. The Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong and Macao, Mr Antonello De Riu, will officiate the opening of “The Pride of Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo” on 2 May at Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel.
Neapolitan pizzaiuolo requires different phases relating to the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven to create the perfect pie. Spinning is the most important step, which helps to oxygenate the dough to the famously light texture for which Neapolitan pizza is renowned. The skill of handcrafting and the heart and soul of the maker reflected through his creations have made this a time-honoured social ritual, which is now recognised around the world.
‘The Pride of Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo’ opening ceremony will be officiated on 2 May (Wednesday) by Mr. Antonello De Riu. A special 4-course dinner ‘Piedmont meets Sicily’ (priced at HK$888* per person) will be served exclusively on that evening. The menu will showcase an award-winning pizza creation by Chef Pasquaino from Sicily, along with signature dishes from Cucina’s Chef de Cuisine, Chef Andrea Delzanno. There will also be an uncorking ceremony of the Tenuta Cantagallo e Le Farnete Diciotto 18L Toscana IGT 2016 by Guests of Honours, Mr. Antonello De Riu, Mr. Dalip Singh, General Manager of Marco Polo Hotels – Hong Kong, Chef Pasquaino, Chef Andrea and Mr. Ming Ng, formerly Chief Sommelier of three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation. This Italian Tuscan wine, recently awarded the title of “Best Everyday Drinking Wine” by the prestigious Slow Wine Guide 2018, will be served as free-flow throughout the special dinner.
“Originating from Naples in Italy, the art of the pizzaiuolo has been passed down for generations and requires great skill and dedication. We are delighted that Cucina has continued ‘The Pride of Italy’ programme with ‘The Pride of the Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo’ to celebrate the new UNESCO recognition. Diners will be excited by Chef Pasqualino’s world-class performance of dough spinning acrobatics and of course his delicious Italian pizza menu,” said Mr. Antonello De Riu. Chef Pasqualino adds: “I am so grateful to be invited as a guest chef to Cucina to celebrate the recognition of Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo, this is the greatest salute to my art and training as a pizzaiuolo.”
Chef Pasqualino started training as a pizzaiuolo at his family’s pizzeria in Sicily from the age of 17 and has more than 25 years of pizza making experience. He won the title of World Champion for Acrobatic Pizza for two consecutive years in 2001 and 2002 in the annual Il Campionato Mondiale delle Pizza (Pizza World Championship), followed by world tours of his gravity-defying pizza tricks. During the promotional period from 1 to 6 May, Chef Pasqualino will perform at Cucina during lunch at 1:30pm* and dinner at 7:30pm and 9:00pm. (*Except on 5 May)
In addition to Chef Pasqualino’s signature pizzas like the Arrotolata Pizza (HK$228, Artichoke Cream, Mozzarella, Artichokes, Parma Ham, Rocket, Shaved Parmesan) and Profumo d’Alba Pizza (HK$288, Mozzarella, Red Yolk and Truffles), Chef Andrea will also offer his personal twist to Chef Pasqualino’s famous Bolero Pizza (Burrata Cheese, Air Dry Beef, Rocket, Cherry Tomatoes) by adding the Acetaia Villa San Donnino 12 years aged Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP. While the authentic pizza menu is offered from 1 to 6 May only, the Gram Fume’ Pizza (HK$228) (Burrata, Smoked Salmon, Cherry Tomatoes, Vegetable Salad) will remain on the menu during the entire month of May to satisfy guests’ cravings for pizza.
Furthermore, Chef Pasqualino has selected a beloved local flavour, Char Siu, to create a special-edition Hong Kong Pizza (HK$248). “I chose barbecue pork because it is the most well-known Hongkong-style roast meat. Enhancing the barbecue flavour with classic mozzarella and smoked cheese, I hope this delicious pizza will appeal to the tastes and creativity of local gourmands,” explains Chef Pasqualino.
Address: Level 6, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Tel: 2113 0808 / [email protected]
*Prices are subject to a 10% service charge.