Valentino Libro is one of the few pizza makers that hit the gastronomic headlines without being part of the system, pizza star system, always there even if you don’t see it.
Media overexposure and being still and always politically correct doesn’t fit with Valentino who doesn’t like compliance because of a strong self- esteem, self- confidence and coherence, something you' can't get rid of that easily.
Valentino has a difficult character, who knows him well tell he got a mind of his own, but his virtues exceed his vices, without forgetting we are talking about pizza so personal inclinations are important only to the extent that they leave a mark in this story.
“We have interviewed him here and we have had a nice chat during which he has explained some aspects of his personality and of his profession”:
- What are your values?
“It has been 16 years since I devoted myself to mu profession, I’m totally in, one of my values is work, and I do my job with pride and abnegation to leave one day, to my sons and people I care about, this education and respect for work”. – How did you start? I started out of necessity. My father gave me 10€ per week, but I wanted to be independent and capable to provide for myself at 18 yet, so I decided I had to earn more and what better job than this? And then it has become my greatest passion, but this is another story…
– If you had to choose two colleagues to hold up as an example, one from Caserta and one from Naples, who would you choose and why?
I would choose no one of them because each one has his own ideal and project of life. My colleagues are doing well and they are really professional, but as for me, I think I have a different style. We’ll see how it ends.
– What do you think of this ‘drift’ taken from pizza makers, always on TV, events and manifestations and barely behind the counter?
I think it is right because it is important for our job and using media is a powerful means to promote it. Of course who doesn’t like being on TV? But TV is not for everyone, not anybody has a great screen presence or word to please the audience. As regards leaving the counter, I think that once you’re successful, you must give your employee the opportunity to write his story and doing it in a well- known restaurant is a good test.
–What are the secrets of your pizza?
The secrets of my pizza are simpler than what one can imagine and they concern, first of all, the selection of ingredients: only high quality ingredients from Libro’s. I work the dough from 24 to a maximum of 50 h, and a part of the maturation happens in the fridge,
– Tell me a story about one of your pizzas, as you prefer.
A pizza I appreciate is the Libro’s: with saffron, arugula drizzled with lemon juice, pieces of almond, chopped pistachio and organic farming extra- virgin olive oil, for me it represents the future, it has been studied and awarded first prize in the contest “Acqua di Chef” in Milan… what more do you want from Milan saffron? (Laugh…)
– Future projects?
We will open Libro’s on the road shortly, located in Vomero(Naples) via Cilea, a new format for everyone, this is gonna be good.
With this last revelation we are really intrigued, let’s hope the wait won’t last too long because we can expect only great things from Valentino!