Nothing says winter comfort food more than pie. There’s just something about the crisp pastry…
300 years ago, history was made.
The Neapolitan-style pizza we know today was born and changed Italian cuisine forever. Those of us who have been lucky enough to try this authentic recipe can agree that the pizza in Canberra just can’t compare — until now. Trecento is set to open its doors tomorrow bringing completely authentic Neapolitan-style pizza to Manuka.
The story of Trecento begins in 2008 on a family vacation to Naples.
“The pizza was so unbelievable and like nothing we had ever tasted before,” explains founder and part-owner Jon Kosteski. After this holiday, Jon became obsessed with the idea of bringing this experience back to his hometown of Canberra. In fact he became so obsessed that his life began to revolve around pizza, from watching youtube videos to travelling between Sydney and Melbourne to test and perfect different recipes.
After eight years of testing recipes, he decided to return to the source in Naples and undertake training with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) to become a master pizza-maker.
The AVPN’s mission is to promote and protect “True Neapolitan Pizza” throughout the world. This association is one of the most highly regarded institutions for pizza making in the world, enforcing strict guidelines for pizza makers to ensure their products are 100% authentic. Yes, seriously. Everything from the types of cheese they are allowed to use, to a number of toppings, the thickness of the base, and the entire method of preparation must meet the AVPN’s exact specifications. Mastering these techniques qualifies you as a master pizza-maker, and Trecento has not one, but two.
Along with Jon, Salvatore Perna is Trecento’s other master pizza-maker and comes fresh from Italy.
“For me it’s an honour to be here in Canberra to open the first Neapolitan pizzeria,” says Salvatore. “With my passion and my love for my work I will try to give endless emotions to all the people who eat my pizza.”
It was at the AVPN where Jon met Gennaro Langella, a master trainer and fourth generation pizza-maker. Gennaro used his expertise to help Jon’s dream come to life, ensuring everything about the process was truly authentic. The entire restaurant was designed specifically to meet the high standards of a AVPN restaurant, from the ingredients, to the equipment, and even the exact location of the oven. With these strict guidelines, Trecento will hopefully soon become the 20th AVPN fully certified restaurant in the whole country, and the very first in the ACT.
If delicious pizza doesn’t interest you, don’t worry (although, I am worried about you), Trecento will be offering contemporary takes on other traditional Italian food such as antipasti, desserts and, of course, pasta.
For example, rather than the typical veal tortellini in broth, you’ll be getting spanner crab tortellini with a bisque foam. There is also an extensive selection of wine from around the globe to compliment each meal on the menu.
Trecento aims to provide Canberra with the very best in authentic Italian fare, but they also want to replicate an authentic European family vibe. The restaurant has been designed around this concept with the kitchen open and airy allowing diners to see in, connecting the diners and the chefs like in a true Italian home.
“We have a European background, so we love bringing people together over food,” says Jon. “With Trecento we want to recreate the same feeling I get when I walk into my grandmother’s house for a meal; like a comforting hug.”
Where: Unit 33, Manuka Terrace, Flinders Street, Manuka
When: Opening Tuesday 20 June. Opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 6.30am onwards for coffee and Italian sweets, with lunch available from 12pm and dinner from 6pm until late