Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Pizza Masters of San Miguel de Allende

f you want to have some of the best pizza in SMA, and not necessarily the most expensive, here’s a list of the masters …  

Chef Davide Giribaldi cooks at his own restaurant, Cien Fuegos, in SMA and focuses on Neapolitan pizza. Early on in Chef Davide Giribaldi’s career, he was trained at pizzeria Mastu rafe in Imperia, a coastal city in the region of Liguria, Italy, where his teacher, Ciro Gentile, took his dough to a whole different level. Davide also hired Chef Luvia de la Rosa at Cien Fuegos; a Oaxaca born Mexican chef with an Italian soul. She makes great, Italian pizza with the best of them. 

Fulvio Carbonaro of Culinarian Expeditions is a certified Naples pizza maker who eats his pizza like any good Italian - folded with his hands. Fulvio claims he’s retired but we’re working on him to teach a class again when he returns from Italy later this year. This AVPN certified pizzaiuolo taught a 2-day pizza class in 2018 to eight SMA chefs. Fulvio’s wife, Gilda Carbonaro, runs Culinarian Expeditions, a culinary touring company that takes small groups to Italy and Mexico and also teaches cooking classes in her homes in both Italy and SMA. 

Chef Pablo Gil of Bennu acquired his pizza making skills cooking on the open fire at Hartwood restaurant in Tulum. Every crust at Bennu is made from sourdough, organic Mexican flour and is thin and delicious. Our pizza choice was the Marinara - a simple yet complex mix with the rich flavor of the Stracciatella. 

Chef Greta Ortega Casanas studied under Italian chef, Alessandro Neri of Albany Novella, Italy and is a product of Le Cordon Bleu in Mexico City where she majored in both cuisine and pastry. It’s no wonder she’s a master at the crust. In 2006, she was the first chef to plant a garden and grow vegetables and herbs for her restaurant, MiVida. We also think she’s totally mastered the art of Gelato. 

In mid-February, the master of everything, Chef Donnie Masterton, will open The Pizzeria at Mesones 53. We recently tried everything from a Brussels sprout and red onion pizza to one with Speck, honey and jalapeƱo. Even the cheese and Margarita pizzas didn’t taste like the typical variation. Stay tuned.  

One thing that these chefs have in common is that they all use top quality ingredients selected from the best farms and markets around Italy and San Miguel. You can taste the difference.