Tony Gemignani

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Tony Gemignani
TonyGrandmaPizza.JPG
Tony Gemignani at his restaurant, Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco.
Born Anthony Felix Gemignani
(1973-08-23) August 23, 1973 (age 44)
Fremont, California
Spouse(s) Julie White Gemignani (m. 2000)
Culinary career
Cooking style Italian
Website tonygemignani.com

Anthony Felix "Tony" Gemignani (born August 23, 1973) is a 12-time World Pizza Champion,[1] master instructor at the International School of Pizza, two-time Food Network gold medalist, restaurateur, author and reality television personality. Gemignani is the president of the World Pizza Champions, is also a Guinness World Record holder[2] and is the owner and executive chef of several restaurants. Gemignani coined the phrase "F&F"' to describe his restaurants; Restaurants which are Full Service and Fast Casual at the same time.

Early life and career[edit]

Gemignani was born in Fremont, California to Frank and Eileen Gemignani.[3] He grew up on his family's apricot farm with his grandfather, parents and older brother, and is a third generation Italian American.[4][5][6]

Gemignani graduated from Washington High School in Fremont,[7] after which he began working at his brother Frank Jr.'s restaurant, Pyzano's, in Castro Valley, California, in 1991.[8][8] Gemignani began his pizza acrobatic career while at Pyzano's as a way to entertain customers and to show the quality of the dough to diners.[9] He competed all over the world, winning 8 world champion titles for pizza acrobatics between 1995–2007, and earning himself the nickname of the "Michael Jordan of Pizza Throwing".[2][10] Gemignani traveled the world for 16 years, competing, working in others' kitchens, and learning about regional styles which allowed him to learn each style of pizza and perfect it.[11]

In 2000, while on his honeymoon in Sorrento, Italy, he and his wife, Julie, dined at Trianon da Cir in Naples, which motivates him into a lifelong quest to keep learning and striving to become a better pizzaiolo, by paying careful attention to the authentic craft of each style of pizza, respecting its history, while striving to make it better.[9] This attitude birthed his motto, "Respect the Craft", which can be seen on his websites, books, and even tattooed on his hands.[12]

Gemignani formed the World Pizza Champions in 2005, which is made up of over 60 team members who have each earned the highest awards in the pizza industry, along with television appearances, Guinness World Records, and respect as leading professionals and pioneers in the pizza industry.[13]

In 2007, Gemignani took the title of "World Champion Pizza Maker" at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy.[2] Gemignani was the first American and non-Neapolitan to ever take this title. That night he had to be escorted off stage by local police and urged not to cheer for fear of being attacked by the crowd.[14] Gemignani is the first and only Triple Crown winner for baking at the International Pizza Championships in Lecce, Italy, meaning, he won three first place titles in one competition.[15]

Restaurants[edit]

Tony's Pizza Napoletana[edit]

Tony's Pizza Napoletana in North Beach, San Francisco.

Gemignani opened his first restaurant, Tony's Pizza Napoletana, in July 2009, with partners Bruno DiFabio and Nancy Puglisi, in San Francisco's North Beach. The restaurant has 7 pizza ovens.[16]

Tony's Pizza Napoletana is recognized as one of the city's best pizzerias. Along with being named "The Best Pizzeria in America" by Forbes magazine,[17] the restaurant has received multiple accolades in a number of publications, both local and national, including Zagat,[18] USA Today,[19] The San Francisco Chronicle,[20] The Huffington Post,[21] Food and Wine,[22] Travel + Leisure,[23] Fox News,[24] and others.

The Original Slicehouse & Coal-Fired Pizza by Tony Gemignani[edit]

New York Style Slice, the Picante at Tony's Coal-Fired Pizza and Slicehouse in San Francisco.

Opening in 2010, Gemignani took ownership of an adjacent deli.[25] Seeing this as an opportunity to serve more styles of pizzas like classic New York style slices, Sicilian, and California style slices, along with Chicago Beef Sandwiches and other deli favorites, the slicehouse allowed people to enjoy Gemignani's pizza without the infamous wait times seen at his flagship restaurant.[26]

Since the opening in North Beach, Gemignani has expanded his slice house concept to include concessions stalls in AT&T Ballpark, as well as multiple locations in California and Nevada under the name Slice House by Tony Gemignani.[27][28][29]

Pizza Rock[edit]

Pizza Rock's iconic Semi-Truck, outfitted with a DJ Booth.

In 2011, Gemignani, Hewitt and Karpaty opened Pizza Rock in Sacramento California, with a focus on rock 'n' roll and great pizza. Pizza Rock offers many of the same items as Tony's Pizza Napoletana but features events such as Acoustic Brunch and live DJs performing from a custom Peterbilt truck.[30][31] Now in Sacramento, California, Las Vegas, and Henderson, Nevada, Pizza Rock has received accolades in a number of publications, including the Sacramento,[32] Eater Las Vegas,[33] The Chew,[34] among others.

Capo's[edit]

Capo's 2014 World's Best Pan Pizza, The Dillinger.

Gemignani's Chicago-style pizza and whiskey bar, Capo's, opened in November 2012 just two blocks away from Tony's Pizza Napoletana; it was designed to feel like a prohibition era speakeasy.[35] The restaurant invites family style dining, serving four styles of Chicago-style pizza: Deep Dish, Stuffed, Cast Iron Pan, and Cracker Thin; along with Southern Italian dishes. Favorite items include the Quattro Forni, a thick, square cut pizza cooked in four ovens that is a variation on a pizza baked in three ovens that won Gemignani an international championship;[36] The Dillinger and The Crown Point, Cast Iron Pan pizzas, that won the World's Best Pan Pizza and the Best of the Best at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas in 2014 and 2016, and subsequently earned Chef Matt Molina the title of Pizza Maker of the Year in 2014 and Best of the Best Champion in 2016.[37][38][39]

Tony's of North Beach[edit]

Gemignani's Award Winning Margherita Pizza at Tony's of North Beach in Rohnert Park, California.

Opened in 2013 at the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, California, Tony's of North Beach offers many styles of pizzas made by Tony Gemignani. The menu offers eight kinds of pizzas made in three different kinds of ovens, family-style pasta dinners, sandwiches, and salads.[40]

International School of Pizza[edit]

Gemigani tastes a student's final test pizza, the last step before earning a certification as a Pizzaiolo(a).

Gemigani is the first certified Master Instructor in the United States.[41] He opened the International School of Pizza and the United States School of Pizza under the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli. Gemignani and his fellow instructors certify students from around the world, and the certifications come direct from Italy with strict guidelines and theory followed from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli.[42][43] Gemignani also offers non-professional home chef courses, designed to teach home cooks how to make restaurant quality pizza in their own kitchens.[44]

Television appearances[edit]

Highlighted TV appearances[edit]

  • Fuse – "Fluffy Breaks Even" with Gabriel Iglesias
  • International TV appearances[edit]

    • Gozalo! – Dominican Republic
    • Pasión Gourmet – Dominican Republic
    • Chèvere Nights – Dominican Republic
    • Alfredo's Pizza Acrobatic Show – Bankok, Thailand[58]
    • HOE?ZO! – Belgium, Netherlands[59]
    • The Generation Game – London, England
    • Rai TV – Salsomaggiore, Italy
    • Sabado Gigante – w/ Don Francisco
    • Blue Peter Show – London, England

    Books[edit]

    Tony Gemignani at his restaurant Tony's Pizza Napoletana for The Pizza Bible release party on October 21st, 2014 with Susie Heller, Steve Siegelman, and Jacques Pépin.

    Gemignani has authored three books:

    Awards[edit]

    Titles[edit]

    Guinness Book of World Records[edit]

    • Largest pizza base spun in two minutes (36.5 inches) 2006[66]
    • Most Consecutive Rolls Across the Shoulders in 30 seconds (37 times) 2006[67]

    References[edit]

    1. ^ Pizza Today http://www.pizzatoday.com/industry-news/pizza-headlines/tony-gemignani-wins-best-pizza-italys-world-championships/. Retrieved 25 April 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
    2. ^ a b c "Tony Gemignani 11 Time World Pizza Champion". World Pizza Champions. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
    3. ^ Gemignani, Tony (February 25, 2009). Tony and the Pizza Champions. Chronicle Books. p. Forward. ISBN 0811861627. 
    4. ^ "Tony Gemignani, World Pizza Champion, Co-owner of Pyzano's Pizzeria". Legends of Pizza. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
    5. ^ P., Erin. "4 star review: the pizza bible by tony gemignani". Jump Into Books. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
    6. ^ Kurhi, Eric (August 6, 2007). "Rolling in dough comes naturally for pizza king". Contra Costa Times. 
    7. ^ Coomes, Steve (March 19, 2012). "Under the Toque: Tony Gemignani". Nation's Restaurant News. 
    8. ^ a b Gemignani, Tony; Morgan, Diane (July 28, 2005). Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza. Chronicle Books. p. 87. ISBN 0811845540. 
    9. ^ a b Pierleoni, Allen (September 28, 2014). "Feast Q&A: Pizza Rock's Tony Gemignani on his life of pie". The Sacramento Bee. 
    10. ^ Kuban, Adam. "Bay Area Pizzaiolo Seeks Perfect Oven". Serious Eats. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
    11. ^ "Tony Gemignani at Google on the Pizza Bible". Legends of Pizza. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
    12. ^ Internicola, Dorene. "World Chefs: Pizza master tosses pie-making secrets in new book". Reuters. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
    13. ^ "About the World Pizza Champions". World Pizza Champions. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
    14. ^ Shavelson, Lonny. "American Pizza Chefs Study With The Master". NPR. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
    15. ^ "Tony Gemignani Wins Triple Crown". The Pizza Therapy Forum and Pasta Therapy Forum. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
    16. ^ "About". Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    17. ^ Olmsted, Larry. "The Best Pizzeria in America". Forbes. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    18. ^ "30 under 30". Zagat. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    19. ^ Olmsted, Larry. "Great American Bites: Is the USA's best pizzeria in San Francisco?". USA Today. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    20. ^ Bauer, Michael. "Tony's Pizza Napoletana rich in flavor, choices". SF Gate. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    21. ^ "Top 10 Pizza Restaurants in the U.S." Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    22. ^ "America's Coolest Pizza Ovens". Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    23. ^ "Americas Best Cities for Pizza". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    24. ^ "Top 10 pizza restaurants in the US". Fox News. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    25. ^ Kover, David. "San Francisco: Tony's Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House". Serious Eats. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    26. ^ Lerer, Steven. "Review: Tony's Pizza Napoletana". Fit Food Fun. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    27. ^ Stapleton, Susan. "Tony Gemignani's Domination of the Vegas Pizza Scene Continues with Slice House". Eater. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    28. ^ Sweet, Carey. "Inside Tony's of North Beach at Graton Resort & Casino". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. 
    29. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo. "Tony Gemignani opening Slice House in AT&T Park". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    30. ^ Garner, Kati. "Meet Downtown's New K Street". Sacramento Press. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    31. ^ "Sacramento's K Street to get new look in 2011". News 10 ABC. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
    32. ^ O’Donnell, Kira. "Review: Pizza Rock". Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    33. ^ Stapleton, Susan. "Who Has The Best Pizza in Las Vegas? Readers Voted..." Eater. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    34. ^ a b "On Location: Pizza Rock Vegas". ABC. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    35. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo. "Let's talk about Capo's, Tony Gemignani's forthcoming North Beach restaurant". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    36. ^ Palmer, Tamara. "Capo's Quattro Forni Gets Four Times The Love". SF Weekly. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    37. ^ Mayclem, Liam. "Foodie Chap With Chef Matt Molina of Capo's San Francisco". CBS Local. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    38. ^ "The 2014 International Pizza Challenge winners are…". Pizza Today. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    39. ^ Kane, Peter. "The Crown Point, Matt Molina's "Best of the Best" Pizza at Capo's". SF Weekly. SF Weekly. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
    40. ^ Sweet, Carey. "Inside Tony's of North Beach at Graton Resort & Casino". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    41. ^ "Tony, the Pizza Champ?". The Epicurean Zealot. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    42. ^ "Tony Gemignani and the International School of Pizza!". Passion 4 Pizza. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    43. ^ Shavelson, Lonny. "American Pizza Chefs Study With The Master". NPR. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    44. ^ Benes, Alejandro. "Pizza School". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    45. ^ "Live with Kelly TONY GEMIGNANi show Awesome Pizza Acrobatics and Cooking". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    46. ^ "World Pizza Champ Turns Dough Into...Dough". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
    47. ^ "A Bar Full of Bull". Spike TV. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    48. ^ "Jon of the Dead". Spike TV. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    49. ^ "Food Paradise: Pizza Paradise 2". Travel Channel. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    50. ^ "Challenge: Pizza Champions". Food Network. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    51. ^ "Tony Gemignani on the Travel Channel's Top 10 Pizzerias". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    52. ^ "Tony Gemignani TV apperance [sic] compilation". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    53. ^ "Tony Gemignani on Good Morning America". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    54. ^ "Tony Gemignani on Today's Kitchen with Al Roker". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    55. ^ "Tony Gemignani on NBC 11 news". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    56. ^ "Tony Gemignani on Master Of Champions". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    57. ^ "Tony Gemignani on the Rachael Ray Show - July 12, 2007". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    58. ^ "Tony Gemignani performs in Thailand". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    59. ^ "Tony Gemignani on Hoe?Zo (Belgian TV)". YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    60. ^ Gemignani, Tony (2005). Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0811845540. 
    61. ^ Gemignani, Tony (2009). Tony and the pizza champions. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811861627. 
    62. ^ Gemignani, Tony (2014). The Pizza Bible. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1607746058. 
    63. ^ Palmer, Tamara. "This American Chef Just Won First Prize in Italy's Pizza Championship: Here's Where to Try His Pies". Bravo TV. Bravo TV. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
    64. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Tony Gemignani 11 time world pizza champion". World Pizza Champions. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
    65. ^ "Tony Gemignani from Legends of Pizza". Legends of Pizza. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    66. ^ "Largest pizza base spun in two minutes". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
    67. ^ Cox, Jeff. "Cox: Superstar of Pizza". Press Democrat. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 

    External links[edit]