CTExclusive: ‘Best Pizzaiola’ Chef Michele Pascarella On Tradition, Creativity, & Artisanal Excellence

Dive into a flavourful conversation that unravels the essence of simplicity, innovation, and passion, defining Chef Michele's culinary artistry.

by Mallika Khurana
CTExclusive:  ‘Best Pizzaiola’ Chef Michele Pascarella On Tradition, Creativity, & Artisanal Excellence

In the realm of culinary mastery, there are few figures as revered and trailblazing as Chef Michele Pascarella, the visionary behind the acclaimed pizzeria, ‘Napoli on the Road.’ His name is synonymous with excellence; he is hailed as the ‘Best Pizza Chef in the World,’ a title he rightfully earned by clinching the prestigious Global Pizza Maker of the Year award at the illustrious World Top 50 Pizza Awards. Not stopping there, he secured the honour of ‘Best Pizza Chef in Europe’ at the European Top 50 Pizza Awards. He was also crowned ‘Best Pizzaiola’ at the esteemed Hospitality Awards UK by APCI. 

Exploring Chef Michele Pascarella’s Pizza Revolution

Chef Michele’s culinary journey began uniquely, wheeling around London with his iconic three-wheeler Ape Piaggio. He introduced contemporary high-crust pizzas to the UK. Later, he earned the rightful moniker of “pioneer of contemporary pizza.” India, ever the connoisseur of diverse tastes and global flavours, was fortunate to savour Chef Michele Pascarella’s genius firsthand. The collaboration between the Masters of Marriott Bonvoy and Culinary Culture brought this culinary luminary to the JW Marriott Goa. He certainly left an indelible mark on the Indian gastronomic scene.

Innovative Crusts, Unforgettable Toppings, And The World Of Pizza

The Vision Behind A Culinary Journey

Chef Michele delved into the very essence of his culinary voyage, sharing insights that transcended borders and cultures. He revealed, “Starting at the age of 11, I developed a curiosity and passion for showcasing the process of making pizzas to the people of the United Kingdom. This enthusiasm eventually led me to open my own street food business. The motivation behind this venture was to provide a unique and engaging experience for the public by preparing pizzas right in front of them, offering a glimpse into the craft of making pizzas.”

Global Culinary Encounters

His global expeditions have gifted him insights into various culinary cultures, and when asked about their influence on his approach, he highlighted, “Each destination I have visited so far has offered a unique perspective on pizza, showcasing diverse approaches, ingredients, and culinary techniques. This exposure to different pizza traditions became a source of inspiration and a catalyst for continuous refinement in my creations.”

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Innovation And Distinction

Chef Michele’s innovation is evident in his creations, rooted in fresh and seasonal ingredients. “Seasonal menus provide me with the opportunity to experiment with flavours and techniques, allowing us to update our menus regularly,” he explained. “We want to offer a dynamic, sustainable, and memorable culinary journey for our guests, ensuring that each visit is a unique exploration of flavours inspired by the best of each season.”

Crafting Unforgettable Dining Experiences

His commitment to excellence doesn’t falter when it comes to hosting unforgettable dining experiences. “Passion for my craft is the strength behind everything I do, and it fuels my commitment to deliver nothing but the best to those who experience my craft,” Chef Michele affirmed.

Tradition Meets Modernity

While honouring tradition, Chef Michele continuously seeks innovation. “We are committed to constant improvement and innovation, seeking ways to elevate and modernise the pizza experience,” he emphasised.

Surprising Flavours And Ingredients

A surprising ingredient that lifted a pizza’s profile? “Wasabi Powder. When I mixed it with ricotta on a crispy double-cooked pizza with soy-glazed salmon, the result was a unique and flavoursome creation,” he reminisced.

Italian Influence And Creative Inspiration

Despite global travels, Italy remains his wellspring of inspiration. “My primary source of inspiration is forever tied to Italy, the birthplace of pizza. In this country, I discover plenty of high-quality ingredients and a profound passion for food that continually fuels my creativity,” he shared.

Artisanal Touch And Personal Commitment

Maintaining artisanal quality and a personal touch? Chef Michele instills in his team the ethos of meticulous craftsmanship. “It’s about the minute details of every pizza prepared, treating each customer equally, and ensuring that it is reflected in every slice that leaves the kitchen.”

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A Pizza Symbolising Journey And Experience

Crafting a pizza that encapsulates his journey? “The beauty of a dish lies in its simplicity, with ripe tomatoes, rich cheese, fresh herbs, and crisp veggies coming together to create a delightful culinary experience,” he affirmed.

Perfect Pairings

And what about beverage pairings? “Personally, I really love to drink beer with pizza,” he declared.

Chef Michele Pascarella is a maestro in the world of pizza. His creations not only tantalise taste buds but weave a narrative of passion, innovation, and an unrelenting pursuit of culinary excellence.

Cover Image Courtesy: Press Release

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