The clink of wine glasses grows faint and the party scene seems to fade. We step to a marble countertop and adjust our aprons. We are at the Pizza Academy on Fulton Street.
“Massage the dough,” encourages Giorgia Caporuscio, pressing our hands into floury rounds. “Don’t be scared to touch. Push the air bubbles to the edge. Gently, gently.” This is authentic Neapolitan pizza-making instruction from a master.
We New Yorkers love our pizza and many of us can name farflung neighborhoods we’d visit just for a slice or two. But how many of us make our own pizza at home? Whether it’s the toppings, the crust, the sauce, the thickness or the thinness, there are a million ways to make a pizza. Ms. Caporuscio, who teaches at the Kesté Pizza & Vino Pizza Academy, says great pizza is all about treating the dough right; and before that, quality ingredients. The last piece of the pizza puzzle: a very hot oven.
One of only two women ever to win first place in the “Classic Pizza” category of Naples’ prestigious pizza competition of more than 500 competitors, Ms. Caporuscio is an accomplished pizzaiola who learned the art of pizza-making from her father, Roberto Caporuscio, a master pizzaiolo raised on a dairy farm in Italy where he first learned to make cheese.
Together, they run three Kesté Pizza & Vino restaurants [http://kestepizzeria.com/en/home/] in New York City. The newest to open, at 66 Fulton Street (corner of Fulton and Gold), features outstanding pizza, and even more compelling: the behind-the-scenes Pizza Academy.
With individual cooking stations and six pizza ovens, this Kesté offers hands-on classes in pizza making for adults or children. For more information, go to: http://pafacademy.com/recreational-pizza-making-classes/