Two pizzaiolos from Lot are applying for the French Neapolitan pizza championship

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The 3rd French Neapolitan pizza championship is Monday, March 21 in Toulouse. Two pizza makers from the Lot will try their luck there.

Rather marina or margherita? These are the two possible recipes for making a Neapolitan pizza, star of the French championship organized by the Association of Pizzzerias of France on Monday March 21 in Toulouse. About thirty pizzaïolos will compete.

For Nicolas Callot, the pizza maker at Les Gourmands restaurant in Gramat, it will be marina. “Many will choose the other recipe so it’s interesting to turn to this one”, for those who will be competing in their first competition. The recipe is simple: tomato, garlic and oregano. However, Neapolitan pizza is quite an art: soft dough and honeycomb crust, all cooked at 500° (100° more than a classic pizza). “The jury does not ask for originality, but respect for the specifications”, he explains.

“Everyone for himself”

“I opened my restaurant less than a year ago, and Neapolitan pizza is not my specialty,” says the pizza maker. So, taking part in this championship is an opportunity to meet industry professionals from all over France, but also to perfect your own recipes.

“It’s pretentious to aim for victory, but I’m not going there to appear,” jokes the pizza maker. Indeed, preparation is key. On these days off, he trains to make this special pizza. With the help of his friend, Jesse Gabet, a pizza maker who will also take part in the championship. “He signed up and said to me: come, let’s do it together!”, He says. The two men sometimes trained at the same time: “it allowed us to compare and give each other advice”, assures Nicolas Callot. “But during the championship, it will be every man for himself,” he confides with a smile.

Jesse Gabet, pizza maker in Luzech, is aiming for the top 10 to enter with the Neapolitan pizza diploma. / Photo DR

In the colors of Italy

“I pushed him to participate with me so that we both get out of our comfort zone”, explains Jesse Gabet, pizza maker at Luzech. This is the second time he has taken part in a competition organized by the APF. The first was for a photo contest where everything had to be eaten. Sushizza was born.

For this new competition, it’s rather margherita for Jesse Gabet. The ingredients: tomato, mozzarella bufala and basil. When we talk about Neapolitan pizza, this is the recipe for him because it is in the “colors of Italy”.

Aim for the top 10

At home, training has been every Monday and Tuesday for a month. He went to a pizza maker friend who had a more efficient oven than his. “A workout is 24 dough pieces for me. Often it ended up in the trash,” he laments. So, on Tuesday March 8, Jesse Gabet exceptionally opened his restaurant, Pizzeria 340°. Neapolitan pizzas were sold for 5 euros, and all profits were donated to an association to help Ukrainian civilians.

Aiming for victory? Slightly arrogant for a non Neapolitan pizza specialist. The goal ? “Aiming for the top 10,” says Jesse Gabet. Indeed, only the top ten leave with the Neapolitan pizza diploma. A diploma that recognizes their efforts, but also allows them to promote their restaurants.

Hats on the head, Jesse Gabet and Nicolas Callot are ready to face the Neapolitan pizza.

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