2016 Italy Cultural Immersion Tour – Our Partners

2016 Italy Cultural Immersion Tour - Our Partners

 FAMILY TRADITIONS

A primary focus of our Cultural Immersion Tour earlier this month was to connect with our suppliers in Southern Italy to educate our team and enrich our relationships with our Italian partners. It quickly became clear that the companies that we have chosen to partner for ingredients or products are all focused on honoring and refining traditions that have been passed on through generations. These partnerships help us live true to our purpose:

To nourish lives by sharing traditions, authentic food and love.

Some highlights:

IMG_4618Acunto Napoli: Based in Naples, they have been handbuilding custom, wood-fired ovens since 1892. With four generations of family IMG_4617knowledge behind each product, they create traditional ovens that are now used all across the world. Each oven takes four days to build and two weeks to season. On our visit, we were lucky to meet with two generations of leaders and to observe one their craftsmen cut and place local made bricks on an oven’s dome. They design and build each oven based on unique size/model specifications in Naples and then ship the completed oven to partners like us. We currently have two of their ovens at Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria in Bellevue and one oven in our new D’Asporto food truck (coming in June)!
IMG_4703Caputo Flour: Our flour is obviously central to our success in replicating the tastes and textures of Neapolitan cuisine forIMG_4688 our guests 6,000 miles away. Caputo is a family-built and run organization started in 1924. On the day we visited, we met with three generations of their team to get a tour of their lab, mill and packaging facilities. They are famous for their “00” flour, which is ground to a very fine granulation that absorbs and refines more water. They work with local pizzaioli to test their products in real pizza kitchens and are always in a process of innovation and improvement to serve their needs. Caputo is also actively involved in various pizza competitions across the US and the world including International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas every year.
FullSizeRender (4)Garofalo Pasta: Since we have just recently introduced pasta at Tutta Bella, our trip to “the home” of pasta in Gragnano (about an hour outside of Naples) was a new adventure for even our owner, Joe. After much deliberation and production testing, Joe and our Executive Chef had chosen to work with Garafalo due to their reputation, history and quality products. Their centuries of experience IMG_4639has become their “artisan intelligence” – enabling Garofalo to develop a technology whereby they are able to control all pasta production phases, from the choice of durum wheat to packaging, which differs according to the type of pasta. We were impressed by all aspects of our visit – from meeting with their leadership team, tour of the production facilities to their creative marketing and branding that includes original films.
IMG_4754Cantele Winery: We all loaded into our van to drive across the country towards the heel of Italy to visit the beautiful countryside of the Puglia region and our recent wine partner, Cantale. We were treated to a delicious, locally catered lunch and wine tasting in their unique Synesthesia Laboratory. Another family business, Cantale is the surname of a family that started making wine in 1979 and now is run by the third generation of four cousins. FullSizeRender (7)The wine maker himself joined us for lunch and stories. We ended the visit with a wonderful tour of the winery by a very knowledgeable and engaging hostess. They now export 60% of their wine to countries around the world including to the US, Germany, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Malta. You can find this Cantale’s wine on our current menu: Salice Salentino DOC – medium-full body, aroma of candied fruits, red flowers and spice.

What an enlightening experience for our chef, two general managers, operations director, and marketing director to experience the people and places where our ingredients, ovens, and wine originate. We are thrilled to continue to share the stories and knowledge through menu enhancements and expand on our own traditions in the months and years ahead.

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Molte Grazie!