Joe Farruggio Pens Memoir About Life as a ‘Pizza Man’
- Joe Farruggio, proprietor of the legendary Il Canale in Washington, D.C., has revealed a memoir, “My Identify Is Joe, and I Am a Pizza Man.”
- The native Sicilian rose from anonymity to turn into a famend chef to lots of the world’s strongest folks.
Joe Farruggio was simply 5 days off a ship from Sicily when he landed his first pizzeria job in New York in 1970. Now the pizzaiolo is a famend chef to essentially the most highly effective folks on this planet. And he’s telling his story in a brand new memoir, “My Identify Is Joe, and I Am a Pizza Man: An American Story,” launched by Fourth Lloyd Productions in October.
In keeping with the writer, the guide, co-written with Thierry Sagnier, is “the quintessential immigrant story, an entrepreneur’s story of rags to riches, demonstrating that, with braveness, intelligence and intuition, no dream is simply too excessive.” The memoir follows Farruggio’s footsteps from his childhood in Sicily to the kitchen of his world-renowned Il Canale restaurant in Washington, D.C.
The memoir is out there on Amazon for $29. Click on right here to study extra and order it.
After working and studying his craft in numerous New York Metropolis pizzerias, Farruggio moved to Virginia in 1977. He rapidly observed that Italian tradition and genuine Italian delicacies had been scarce within the nation’s capital. He discovered work at a pizza store in Manassas, Virginia, and earlier than lengthy his pies had been the speak of the beltway. He ultimately branched out on his personal, opening Joe’s Place: Pizzas and Subs, later renamed Joe’s Place: Pizza and Pasta, in Woodbridge, Virginia, in 1978 and increasing it to 5 places.
In 2008, Farruggio fell in love with Neapolitan pizza after a buddy talked him into spending a summer season in Napoli, Italy. “You realize, I actually didn’t know something about Neapolitan pizza at the moment,” Fuggarrio defined in his bio on Il Canale’s web site. “I knew pizza, New York fashion, effectively. However genuine and Neapolitan pizza, when you actually take note of the flavors, is like switching from darkness to gentle. Pizza Napoletana is comfortable, tender and juicy. You’ll be able to both eat it with fork and knife or by folding it along with your palms. Whenever you eat it, you’ll be able to style the juicy sauce and the buffalo mozzarella [and] San Marzano tomatoes.”
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He opened his Neapolitan pizzeria, Il Canale (named after the canal in Georgetown), in 2010. “I put all the things I had on the road,” he stated, “however I knew I had 40 years of expertise at that second to succeed.”
And succeed he did. Il Canale has turn into a star hotspot, frequented by journalists, actors and heads of state. Everybody from Hillary Clinton and Brigitte Macron to Nancy Pelosi and Ivanka Trump have feasted on Farruggio’s Neapolitan pies and different dishes. The menu is intensive, providing 17 pizzas starting from the Capricciosa and the Siciliana to the Mortadella e Pistacchio and the Tartufata, plus pasta dishes and entrees like Lamb Chops alla Griglia, Salmone alla Siciliana and Tagliata di Manzo.
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Il Canale is the one restaurant in Washington, D.C. to obtain the highest culinary honor from the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce and the Nationwide Institute of Tourism. It was named “One of many 70 Finest Italian Eating places and Pizzerias within the World” and considered one of Yelp’s “Prime 100 Locations to Eat” in 2022. It additionally holds the coveted Gambero Rosso title for being a “Prime Italian Restaurant” in D.C., amongst many different distinguished honors.
Farruggio enjoys sharing his life and enterprise classes with college students and entrepreneurs of all ages. For that reason, he obtained the distinguished Premio Eccellenza Italiana Award for Lifetime Achievement on October 14. In a ceremony carried out concurrently between the Casa Italiana in Washington, D.C. and The Vatican in Rome, Italy, Farruggio accepted the honour and vowed to proceed giving again to each the Italian and the American cultures which have enabled him to comprehend his full potential.
“I Am Joe, and I Am a Pizza Man” is described as “equally inspirational and thought-provoking.” Farruggio hopes his life story will inspire readers to observe their passions whereas growing their earnings.
Farruggio actually did precisely that. In his web site bio, he recalled the challenges he confronted on Il Canale’s opening evening again in January 2010. His managers and chef had been totally skilled. Every thing was in place. “We had wine, the tasting menu, and we had been able to open for household and pals,” he remembered. “We invited 400 folks. We crammed up the restaurant with reservations, after which, the evening earlier than, we had a snowstorm.”
The storm dumped about three toes of snow on the town. “So, the folks I employed and skilled couldn’t come to work, so we couldn’t open,” he stated. “What did we do? We began once more. I by no means gave up. I noticed Il Canale the way in which it [is] right now. I noticed it. I knew that, with my expertise and idea, I may tackle something. Identical to in karate: simply step on it and go, you recognize? I knew it was gonna occur.”