“OBSESSION IS THE NATURAL FOE OF MEDIOCRITY” - Anthony Bourdain
David became preoccupied with pizza in the late ‘90s after taking some pizza classes in the Bay Area. This preoccupation with the glorious world of pizza quickly grew into an obsession. David came to realize that true Napoletana pizza could only be made at 900 degrees -- 400 degrees hotter than the oven in his home kitchen. When he began hearing a voice whispering, “build it, and they will come.” He had an authentic wood-fired pizza oven hand-built in his backyard. There, he honed his pizza-making skills by hosting parties and wowing eager friends and family with his specialized creations. After taking several more culinary courses, he made a pilgrimage into the belly of the beast: the Accociazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) School in Naples,
Long Days and Sore Feet in Naples
At the AVPN, or “pizza boot camp” as David likes to call it, the pizza-making dogma aligned with his own ongoing quest for perfection. Micro adjustments were made to yeast amounts -- depending on the day’s temperature and humidity -- to coax the best flavor and texture from the fine Italian 00 flour. Using the best and freshest ingredients was the standard, and it was adhered to at all costs! At the end of the intense training, Pizza Master Lello Surace judged David’s exam pizzas as the best in the class, and David was declared The Maestro. Between classes at the AVPN, David interned at one of Naples’s pinnacle pizzerias, Pizzeria Umberto’s.
A Tasty Education in North Beach
After returning from Naples, David spent a week working with Tony Gemignani at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in the heart of San Francisco’s Little Italy. He immersed himself in the extremely fast-paced environment of pizzeria operations at Tony’s. Working the line at seven ovens -- yes, Tony has seven ovens, all of them different -- David learned techniques for making New York crust, Chicago thin crust, Chicago thick crust, and more. And he learned that traditional New York deck ovens and unique dough recipes created outstanding pizzas well suited for takeout and slices.
Local Pride and commitment to San Jose
A lifelong resident of San Jose, David remembers going to the Bank of America building at 12 S. 1st St. as a little boy with his mom when it was actually a Bank of America. His entrepreneurial ties to downtown San Jose started at Post and Market streets, where at age 13, David shined shoes for 50 cents a shine. David attended James Lick High School on the East Side, frequented downtown locations for high school photo assignments, and sold produce at the Berryessa Flea Market. So when the SoFA Market space became available, David says, “I jumped on it.” Located in the heart of San Jose’s newly rejuvenated SoFA district, Pizzetta 408 is your new neighborhood pizzeria. At Pizzetta 408, we believe in bringing the finest flavors of Naples to your table.
Only The Best
We embrace the core of all fine Italian cooking by carefully selecting fresh, locally sourced ingredients and premium imported ingredients, such as as D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes from Southern Italy. We honor ancient Italian and AVPN-approved culinary methods by using only fresh yeast and Italian 00 flour for our dough, which we create and form by hand each day. In true Italian tradition, when we build your pizza, we use a restrained and measured amount (casual smattering) of toppings to achieve the perfect balance between crust and toppings. Your pizza is then placed in a 900-degree oven and cooked in less than 90 seconds. This artisanal pizza preparation has been handed down from generation to generation, with its roots firmly in Naples, Italy.