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Chef Interview: Johnny Di Francesco, captain of the Australian National Pizza Team

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GoHospitality talks with pizza chef Johnny Di Francesco, captain of the Australian National Pizza Team and current chef at 400 Gradi Pizza, about his experience as a pizza chef and his experience competing in the Pizza World Championships for the first time. 

How long have you been a pizza chef? 23 years

What is your favourite type of Pizza to make? 
Margherita pizza

What is your favourite type of pizza to eat?
 Margherita

When did you know that this was your passion? 
When I was 18

Out of the competitions you were in today,  what was your favourite? 
The gluten-free competition was my favourite competition.

What do you think the judges are most looking for?
I think the judges are most interested in the quality of dough and the flavours.

If you could make any of the pizzas you made for the competition over again, would you change anything?
Yes, I'd change the dough levitation.

How did you get chosen to represent Australia in the World Pizza Championships?
I was among the winners of the best pizza makers at a competition held last year.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 
Passionate, loving, honest

Favourite Song? 
I love all music as I am an ex-drummer!

Likes and dislikes of your job?
No dislikes. I like everything about my job :)

If you weren’t working, where could people find you? 
I'd be in Italy!

What is the most interesting place you have cooked at?
Umberto Ristorante Napoli

If you could live on one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
PIZZA!

What is one item of clothing you cant live without?
My jacket, as I am always cold :)

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My father, he taught me to love and enjoy life and food, and to never discount on quality.

For recipes from Australian team at the World Pizza Championships, click here

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