La Cucina Restaurant, located within Riyadh’s Al-Faisaliah Hotel South was the focus of attraction last week as the celebrity Italian chef Danilo Sangrigoli demonstrated the making of that quintessential Italian export: pizza.
The guests at La Cucina were not only mesmerized by the demonstration but also developed a craving for a bite of the irresistible toppings and flavors that Chef Danilo combined in the wholesome meal.
Chef Danilo, an award-winning culinary master, renowned for creating the world’s longest pizza and breaking the record for the fastest pizza-making, entertained diners with his ‘pizza-acrobatics’, by spinning and whirling the dough in the air to oven-ready perfection.
Within an hour, the Italian chef had prepared pizzas with 12 different toppings.
Danilo remarked that he uses five basic elements to prepare the dough for the pizza, including flour, water (cold), yeast, olive oil and salt. “I use only cold water for mixing the dough. If the water is not cold, I add ice cubes to lower the temperature,” he explained.
He added that a 30-inch pizza is the most ideal size and the 34-inch one is for those who opt for a larger size.
Jetting in from Italy for the 10-day pizza extravaganza taking place at La Cucina from May 28 to June 6, Chef Danilo prepared and presented a menu of signature pizzas from the restaurant’s vibrant, interactive kitchen.
His flawless spinning of the dough – flying in the air and landing on his fingertips – is a technique that has earned him many a championship medal during his pizza-making career.
Chef Danilo’s visit to Riyadh also included a number of workshops for a variety of groups that were keen to learn the art of creating the perfect Italian pizza. These groups ranged from schoolchildren to high-profile women’s associations in the city.
Chef Danilo is the owner of the renowned international pizza academy Scuola Pizzaioli, and said that he splits his time between teaching aspiring pizza chefs and making guest appearances at fine dining establishments around the world. “This is my first visit to the Kingdom,” he remarked. “The possibilities of pizza-making are endless. Even if you are vegetarian or don’t like gluten, I will make you a pizza!”
The chef does not use any kitchen utensils like pastry-rollers to aid him.
La Cucina has become the casual-chic dining option to meet and enjoy the fine flavours of modern Italian cuisine.
Peter Finamore, Managing Director of Al Faisaliah Hotel, said that the hotel management was delighted to invite Chef Danilo to share his experience with people in Riyadh. “We are delighted to welcome our first celebrity chef to La Cucina, and to offer our guests an exciting and exclusive taste of gourmet pizzas from a true master,” he noted. “La Cucina has already earned a reputation as the city’s top destination for the modern generation, and Chef Danilo will certainly add a new depth of Italian flavour to the experience.
– Saudi Gazette