Dino Santonicola: an Italian born and raised in Naples and now owner of Pizzeria Red Dog in Dallas (USA), will answer our questions in a brief interview:
1) How was your passion for pizza born?
I was born and raised in Naples, so pizza was pretty much everywhere when I was a child. At the age of 13, I started working in a local pizzeria by my house, after school, because I needed to make my own money. Now I will turn 40 in May and I can’t think of doing anything different in my life. I just love it.
2) If you should describe yourself as a pizza, which one would you choose?
I would choose the Margherita. I think it is a classic expression of tradition, but at the same time it can be new for some people.
3) Tradition vs. innovation. Which one do you choose to make your pizzas
Both of them. During my 10 years in the Us, I learned that you have to combine tradition and innovation to be successful in life. We have our classic traditional pizzas, but we also create really innovative ones based on traditional recipes.
4) Let’s talk about your pizzeria. How was it born and what are your future projects?
I started working at “Cane Rosso”, in Dallas (Texas), in September 2011, because the owner Jay Jerrier got tired of working for American corporations and, after a trip to Sorrento, he decided to open a Neapolitan style pizzeria.
So he called me saying he needed help, we have worked hard for many hours everyday, I trained so many people and I fired so many others at the same time. Today, we have 5 pizzerias, soon to be six; I don’t make pizza everyday anymore but I make sure that who does it, does it the right way.
We hope to take over the world of pizza! That’s a joke, we will keep on working hard and trying to stay at the top of our game and, if more occasions will be presented to us, we will probably open more pizzerias or restaurants.
5) What is your customers’ favorite pizza?
Number wise, it is the Margherita. It is a classic with great ingredients, but our customers also love the new creations we do; these, are usually in a limited quantity one day a week.
Like the pizza with bolognese sauce or cheese-steak on it! They are delicious!
6) Do you ever think of coming back to Italy?
I try to go back to Italy once a year if it is possible; all my family is still there. Who knows, maybe someday I will retire there when I will get older.
Thanks to: Pizza Napoletana