Tony Gemignani

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Tony Gemignani
Tony Gemignani at his restaurant, Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco.
Anthony Felix Gemignani

Julie White Gemignani
(m. 2000)
Culinary career
Cooking styleItalian
Current restaurant(s)
Award(s) won
    • *First Place Pizza All Stars by Antonio Mezzero Porto, Portugal 2018 Cooking Pizza Neo Napoletana paired with Croft Port
    • *First Place Best Pizza (Pizza in Pala) World Pizza Championships Parma, Italy 2016
    • *8 Time World Champion Pizza Acrobat; 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007
    • *1st Place World Champion Pizza Maker, 2007 – World Pizza Cup Naples, Italy
    • *1st Place Roman Pizza World Championships of Pizza Makers 2011 Naples, Italy
    • *1st Place Best of the Best World Champion/Master Pizza Maker 2012; Pizza Expo Las Vegas, Nevada
    • *Gold Medal "Squadra Acrobatica " Pizza Olympics – Salsomaggiore, Italy 2007
    • *Gold Medal "Squadra Acrobatica " Salsomaggiore, Italy 2006
    • *Gold Medal "Team Acrobatic" Las Vegas 2005
    • *Gold Medal/1st place Food Network "Pizza Battle" 2005
    • *1st place Icon Estates Pizza Battaglia 2005
    • *1st Triple Crown Winner in Pizza History
    • *Gold Cup Pizza Classica – International Pizza Makers Challenge, Lecce, Italy 2008
    • *Gold Cup Pizza Teglia -International Pizza Makers Challenge, Lecce, Italy 2008
    • *Gold Cup Acrobat – International Pizza Makers Challenge, Lecce, Italy 2008
    • *Best Pizza USA – World Pizza Championships, Salsomaggiore, Italy 2008
    • *Silver Medal "Team Acrobatic" Salsomaggiore, Italy 2005
    • *Bronze Medal "Pizza Acrobatic" Salsomaggiore, Italy 2005
    • *Gold Medal / 1st Place Pizza Champions Challenge Food Network 2006
    • *Gold Medal / First Place – Master of Champions (ABC TV)
    • *Gold Medal/1st place World Pizza Cup Naples, Italy Best Pizza STG/Neapolitan category

Anthony Felix Gemignani is an American chef, restaurateur, and author. In 2009, Gemignani opened Tony's Pizza Napoletana in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Gemignani is a pizzaiolo and chef, having won 13 world titles in pizza making and opening numerous restaurants.[1][2] He has appeared on multiple reality television series including Food Network Challenge, Bar Rescue on Spike TV, as well as on The Travel Channel and CNN.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Gemignani was born in Fremont, California, to Frank and Eileen Gemignani. He grew up on his family's farm, he is a third generation Italian American.[4]

Gemignani graduated from Washington High School in Fremont,[5] and later worked at Pyzano's, his brother Frank Jr.'s restaurant in Castro Valley, California, in 1991.[6] Gemignani began his pizza tosser[7] career while at Pyzano's as a way to entertain customers and to show the quality of the dough to diners.[8] 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".[9] Gemignani traveled the world for 16 years, competing, working in others' kitchens, and learning about regional styles of pizza.[10]

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.[11]

In 2007, Gemignani took the title of "World Champion Pizza Maker" at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy.[12] Gemignani was the first American and non-Neapolitan to ever take this title.[13] 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.[14]


Tony's Pizza Napoletana[edit]

Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, CA.

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.[15]

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,[16] the restaurant has received multiple accolades in a number of publications, both local and national, including Zagat,[17] USA Today,[18] The San Francisco Chronicle,[19] The Huffington Post,[20] Food and Wine,[21] Travel + Leisure,[22] Fox News,[23] and others.

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

New York Style Slice, the Purple Potato Pesto at Tony's Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice-house in San Francisco.

Opening in 2010, Gemignani took ownership of an adjacent deli.[24] 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 usually seen at his flagship restaurant.[25]

Since the opening in North Beach, Gemignani has expanded his slice house concept to include concessions stalls in Oracle Park & Chase Center, as well as multiple locations in California and Nevada under the name Slice House by Tony Gemignani.[26][27][28] Tony G's Super Delicious Pizza is Tony Gemignani's newest slice house concept in Meridian, Idaho, with its delivery only concept under Crave Delivery.[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] and The Chew.[33]


Capo's 2016 award winning pizza, The Crown Point.

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.[34] 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;[35] 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.[36][37][38]

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.[39]

International School of Pizza[edit]

Tony and instructor Laura Meyer with a class of graduating students of the International School of Pizza.

Gemigani is the first certified Master Instructor in the United States.[40][by whom?] 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.[41][42] Gemignani also offers non-professional home chef courses, designed to teach home cooks how to make restaurant quality pizza in their own kitchens.[43] In 2023, Gemignani closed the International School of Pizza to focus on his numerous other pizza ventures.


Tony outside of Giovanni Italian Specialties in North Beach, San Francisco.

Giovanni Italian Specialties opened in October 2017, Tony brought an "old-world Italian specialties shop" to the neighborhood of North Beach.[44] Giovanni Italian Specialties offers fresh pasta, specialty cooking tools, cook books, and offers focaccia and piadina daily.[45]

Tony Gemignani’s California Artisan Type 00 Pizza Blend flour is made by Central Milling.[46]


Television appearances
Year Episode title Show Channel Season Notes
2013 A Bar Full of Bull Bar Rescue Spike TV season 3, episode 17 [47]
2013 Jon of the Dead Bar Rescue Spike TV season 3, episode 21 [48]
2014 World Pizza Champ Turns Dough Into…Dough Taking Stock with Pimm Fox BloombergTV [49]
On Location: Pizza Rock Vegas The Chew [33][dead link]
Pizza Paradise 2 Food Paradise Travel Channel season 0, episode 41 [50]
Pizza Champions Challenge Food Network Michael Shepherd, Joe Carlucci, Siler Chapman and Tony Gemignani compete at Mall of America.[3]
The Pizza Show Viceland [citation needed]
Cirque du Pizza: The Art of Pizza Acrobatics Great Big Story CNN Micro-documentary.[51]
Sin City Eats Cheap Eats Cooking Channel season 4, episode 10 [52]
Ryan's Yummy Playdate/Ryan's Speedy Playdate Ryan's Mystery Playdate [citation needed]


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:



Guinness Book of World Records[edit]

  • Largest pizza base spun in two minutes (36.5 inches) 2006[60]
  • Most Consecutive Rolls Across the Shoulders in 30 seconds (37 times) 2006[61]
  • World's Longest Pizza (1,930.39 m) 2017[62]
  • Most people tossing pizza dough (263) 2014[63]


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  2. ^ "Tony Gemignani wins Best Pizza at Italy's World Championships". Pizza Today. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Challenge: Pizza Champions". Food Network. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Tony Gemignani, World Pizza Champion, Co-owner of Pyzano's Pizzeria". Legends of Pizza. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  5. ^ Coomes, Steve (March 19, 2012). "Under the Toque: Tony Gemignani". Nation's Restaurant News.
  6. ^ Gemignani, Tony; Morgan, Diane (July 28, 2005). Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza. Chronicle Books. p. 87. ISBN 0811845540.
  7. ^ "Tony Gemignani's International School of Pizza - Learning from a master". Passion-4-Pizza. 10 July 2018. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018.
  8. ^ Pierleoni, Allen (September 28, 2014). "Feast Q&A: Pizza Rock's Tony Gemignani on his life of pie". The Sacramento Bee.
  9. ^ Kuban, Adam. "Bay Area Pizzaiolo Seeks Perfect Oven". Serious Eats. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Tony Gemignani at Google on the Pizza Bible". Legends of Pizza. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  11. ^ "About the World Pizza Champions". World Pizza Champions. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Tony Gemignani 11 Time World Pizza Champion". World Pizza Champions. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. ^ Shavelson, Lonny. "American Pizza Chefs Study With The Master". NPR. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Tony Gemignani Wins Triple Crown". The Pizza Therapy Forum and Pasta Therapy Forum. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  15. ^ "About". Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  16. ^ Olmsted, Larry. "The Best Pizzeria in America". Forbes. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  17. ^ "30 under 30". Zagat. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  18. ^ Olmsted, Larry. "Great American Bites: Is the USA's best pizzeria in San Francisco?". USA Today. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  19. ^ Bauer, Michael (2009-09-06). "Tony's Pizza Napoletana rich in flavor, choices". SF Gate. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  20. ^ "Top 10 Pizza Restaurants in the U.S." Huffington Post. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  21. ^ "America's Coolest Pizza Ovens". Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Americas Best Cities for Pizza". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Top 10 pizza restaurants in the US". Fox News. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  24. ^ Kover, David. "San Francisco: Tony's Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House". Serious Eats. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  25. ^ Lerer, Steven. "Review: Tony's Pizza Napoletana". Fit Food Fun. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  26. ^ Stapleton, Susan (2015-02-03). "Tony Gemignani's Domination of the Vegas Pizza Scene Continues with Slice House". Eater. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  27. ^ Sweet, Carey. "Inside Tony's of North Beach at Graton Resort & Casino". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate.
  28. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo. "Tony Gemignani opening Slice House in AT&T Park". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  29. ^ Deeds, Michael. "This chef won world pizza championships in Italy. He just opened for Boise delivery". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  30. ^ Garner, Kati (2011-01-13). "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 (2011-03-17). "Review: Pizza Rock". Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  33. ^ a b "On Location: Pizza Rock Vegas". ABC. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  34. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo. "Let's talk about Capo's, Tony Gemignani's forthcoming North Beach restaurant". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  35. ^ Palmer, Tamara. "Capo's Quattro Forni Gets Four Times The Love". SF Weekly. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  36. ^ Mayclem, Liam (2014-05-12). "Foodie Chap With Chef Matt Molina of Capo's San Francisco". CBS Local. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  37. ^ "The 2014 International Pizza Challenge winners are…". Pizza Today. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  38. ^ Kane, Peter. "The Crown Point, Matt Molina's "Best of the Best" Pizza at Capo's". SF Weekly. SF Weekly. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  39. ^ Sweet, Carey. "Inside Tony's of North Beach at Graton Resort & Casino". Inside Scoop SF. SF Gate. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  40. ^ "Tony, the Pizza Champ?". The Epicurean Zealot. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  41. ^ "Tony Gemignani and the International School of Pizza!". Passion 4 Pizza. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  42. ^ Shavelson, Lonny. "American Pizza Chefs Study With The Master". NPR. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  43. ^ Benes, Alejandro. "Pizza School". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  44. ^ Scerrato, Alisa. "'Giovanni Italian Specialities' Now Open In North Beach". Hoodline. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  45. ^ Pershan, Caleb. "Tony Gemignani's New Retail Store Has Fresh Pasta, Focaccia, and Detroit Pizza Pans". Eater SF. Eater. Retrieved Nov 20, 2017.
  46. ^ "Tony Gemignani Flour // Tony Gemignani's California Artisan Type 00 Pizza Blend". Central Milling. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  47. ^ "A Bar Full of Bull". Spike TV. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  48. ^ "Jon of the Dead". Spike TV. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  49. ^ "World Pizza Champ Turns Dough Into...Dough". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  50. ^ "Food Paradise: Pizza Paradise 2". Travel Channel. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  51. ^ "Cirque du Pizza: The Art of Pizza Acrobatics". Great Big Story. CNN.
  52. ^ "Sin City Eats". Cooking Channel.
  53. ^ Gemignani, Tony (2005). Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0811845540.
  54. ^ Gemignani, Tony (2009). Tony and the pizza champions. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0811861625.
  55. ^ Gemignani, Tony (2014). The Pizza Bible. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1607746058.
  56. ^ Avoral, Linda (2018-11-30). "Port wine pizza?! Tony Gemignani wins a 13th title with this one". The Mercury News. The Mercury News. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  57. ^ Palmer, Tamara (2016-04-21). "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.
  58. ^ 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.
  59. ^ "Tony Gemignani from Legends of Pizza". Legends of Pizza. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  60. ^ "Largest pizza base spun in two minutes". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  61. ^ Cox, Jeff (2013-12-14). "Cox: Superstar of Pizza". Press Democrat. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  62. ^ "Longest Pizza". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  63. ^ "San Francisco sets new world record for pizza dough tossing". abc7News. 2014-06-29. Retrieved 14 January 2018.

External links[edit]