A couple of weeks ago we were invited to Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria for an event featuring the world acclaimed pizza chef Roberto Caporuscio from New York City. Famoso’s Chef Don Letendre has been spending time with Roberto for the last little while to learn some pizza-making tips from the master. During Roberto’s visit to Vancouver, Famoso decided to host this special event where Roberto prepares an exclusive three-course meal for the guests.
The evening started with a demonstration by Roberto on making pizzas. The dough is made of (very little) fresh yeast, water, Caputo “00” flour (highly-refined, low gluten flour imported from Italy) and a pinch of salt. That’s it. And because there’s very little yeast, it takes about 8-10 hour to proof, and the crust would end up to be much softer than other pizza crusts. The dough is being made into dough balls like mozzarella balls, and also has the soft, spongy texture of mozzarella balls. The kneading and stretching of the dough is quite a delicate process, bringing in air to the crust.
First, we had Piccolo Morso. It’s like bruschetta with prawn, peppers, onions and spinach on crostini. It’s a small bite but a good way to start our meal.
Next, Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls with Flatbread. This plate was addictive! The Campania tomato sauce was so flavourful, savoury and not acidic. Tomatoes from Campania (southern Italy) have lower acidity level and has a natural sweetness to it; they are great for making pizza sauce. The fior-di-latte (fresh, whole milk mozzarella) was rich and creamy, and gooey as you cut through it, and worked very well with the cured prosciutto. I had to stop Mr. from licking the plate.
Throughout the evening, Roberto was right there at the line to ensure each pizza come out perfectly.
And two types of pizza arrived at our table. First, Pizza del Papa aka “Pope’s Pizza”. Inspired by the colour of the Vatican City, this was blessed by the Pope. I really liked the natural sweetness from the butternut squash, and the use of fresh vegetables made this light and fresh. Overall flavours were a bit on the mild side for my liking, but the fluffy, airy pizza crust had caught my attention.
The second pizza was Pizza del Re, which was my favourite of the two. The use of mushrooms and truffle spread created an earthy tone, but the prosciutto di parma added savouriness and fior-di-latte added richness and creaminess to the pizza. It’s a flavour combination that I wouldn’t get bored eating them all the time.
Famoso’s pizzas are being baked in a 900F bell oven, which only takes 90 seconds to bake. It only gives the pizzas some light charred marks, and helps keeping the crust soft and light.
Currently neither pizza is on Famoso’s menu, but I hope they would seriously consider putting them on. If they do, I would definitely order them and would recommend you getting them too. And because they use very little yeast in the dough, it wasn’t heavy at all so I didn’t feel stuffed and gross even though I ate more than half of a 12″ pizza (plus appy and dessert).
To wrap up our meal, we had the Affogato. What a great idea to add gelato to a shot of espresso! The gelato acted as the cream to your coffee, and my scoop of Nutella gelato added some hazelnut and chocolate flavours. So good! Will try to make it at home.
Mr. couldn’t handle caffeine so he only ordered a scoop of Salted Caramel Gelato. It was creamy with a prominent caramel flavour, a hint of nuttiness.
It was great to see the pizza master in action. Overall, the quality of every plate was excellent. I never ate at Famoso before, but if this was an indication of what one could expect at Famoso, without a doubt I would go back again for some more Neapolitan pizzas.
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
1380 Commercial Drive, Vancouver