The Queen pizza

the queen pizza by Giuseppe logo

Ok, ok… this is not a real style (… not yet…): this is the pie that gave me top honour at the Canadian Pizza chef competition in Toronto, the 15th October 2018.


The project

I was working on different dough recipes during early 2018, with the final goal to come out with the best pizza in Vancouver. Or at least, the best pizza in the Metro Vancouver area.
I know what you are thinking: “does not every pizza chef try to do the best pizza of somewhere?”.
My answer is: “sure they do!! I am not different from others :)”.

Giuseppe Cortinovis the Queen pizza
Giuseppe Cortinovis stretching The Queen Pizza

The Canadian competition

Long story short: it happened that I was lucky enough to make the best pizza in Canada, traditional division, for 2018. Nominated by a jury of five well-respected professionals from the pizza industry:
Rocco Agostino.
Executive Chef/Partner of Pizza Libretto; partner of Enoteca Sociale of Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto. Chef of the Year in 2013.
Joe Leroux.
Owner of Amadio’s Pizza in Port Credit, Ont. 2016 Chef of the Year.
Kyle Rindinella.
Chef di Cucina at Enoteca Sociale Cucina Romana & Wine Bar in Toronto.
Tom Stankiewicz.
He is the owner of Bondi’s Pizza in London, Ont. 2009 Chef of the Year and columnist for Canadian Pizza.
Roberto Vergalito.
Owner of Roberto’s Pizza Passion, in St. Catharines, Ont. He competed as part of and coached the Canadian Pizza Team for several years. He was the winner of the first Canadian Pizza Games.

The Dough

The dough recipe combines various techniques, from the artisan bakery and the artisan pizza: a mix of ciabatta bread; Focaccia Barese (my recipe with autolysis); Teglia Romana and Canotto pizza.
In more simple words, I used a flour mix:

  • 80 % 0 flour
  • 18 % semolina
  • 2% wheat germ

Hydration at 75%, and 48 hours maturation at controlled temperature

The Toppings

The classic Margherita toppings

The idea behind the toppings choice was about to reinvent the Margherita pizza and to talk a little bit about its Story.
I wanted to recount how the dish was born and how it spread around the world. I think that you probably already know the Margherita main toppings:
1- Tomato sauce
2-Fior di latte cheese
With these three ingredients, the pizza chef Raffaele Esposito represented the national colours of Italy as on the flag.
The dish was created for the Queen Margherita of Savoy (and named after her) to celebrate the Italian unification.

The QUEEN toppings

My QUEEN pizza had the same three colours of the classic Margherita, and the ingredients were as follow:

The Tomato sauce

• San Marzano DOP from Agro Sarnese Nocerino. I Hand-squeezed it, and used without any seasoning {COLOUR: RED}

The grated cheese

• Grated Pecorino Romano. It is a sheep’s milk cheese: it’s salty, and I use it as a seasoning for my tomato sauce {COLOUR: WHITE}
Curiosity about the pecorino
Although the name may suggest that this cheese is a typical cheese from Rome, most of its production occurs in Sardinia. The Pecorino from Sardinia is supposed to be called “Pecorino Sardo” (a less familiar name, for people outside of Italy).

The white cheese

•Mozzarella di Bufala DOP (Pontereale). I Hand-broken it, following the cheese fibre. Then I only partially cooked this cheese to keep its wonderful texture {COLOUR: WHITE}

The garnish

•Micro basil and basil. I put the first close to the edge (cornicione); I put the latter (a fully grown basil) in the centre of the pizza. by doing this, I wanted to show the life of the basil, from its born to its fully developed state. {COLOUR: GREEN}

Queen pizza: the visual presentation