Emiliano turns his crust
When Emiliano Tunno decided he wanted a career change, he knew he fancied something he could really get his teeth into, a job that would keep him fit and allow him to entertain others.
But he really surprised his family and friends after studying engineering for four years only to give it up to become a pizza acrobat.
The Italian Pizzaiolo who is performing for the next two Fridays at the Sicilia brunch at Ibn Battuta Gate hotel says far from being disappointed, when he told his parents what he wanted to do they said he should follow his dreams and they’d support him.
He explains: “I love pizza and I have watched family friend Pizzaiolo Luigi perform pizza acrobatics in his pizzeria in Lecce, my home town in the South of Italy, for years. After my mother became ill, I decided to help out the family and, fired with my interest in learning to make pizza, I started to work with Luigi.
“I learned everything about pizza from him. He trained me how to make the perfect Italian pizza and do the acrobatics. I practiced throwing the pizzas with him every day.”
Emiliano has also studied at the European Union Traditional Pizza Association in Rome and takes his craft very seriously. He explains: “My dream is to promote pizza acrobatics to the world and I have been an instructor for freestyle pizza throwing at the Italian school of Pizza in Apulia. In Italy it’s a sport and I’d like to become pizza ambassador travelling from one country to another.”
While Emiliano takes great pride in his work, he says anyone interested in becoming a professional pizza juggler does need to know how to have a good time.
He adds: “You need to have fun. It is all about entertainment - when you juggle the pizza it’s a performance and you make people happy. Pizza acrobatics is like dancing where the harmony of your hands, feet and body are vital. I practise for two to three hours a day and as yet, haven’t had any disasters in front of people as I always practise at home. Of course at home, pizza falls, the dough breaks, but the people I perform to won’t see that!”
See Chef Emiliano in action at Friday brunch at Sicilia, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Dubai tomorrow and April 19. Call 04 444 0000.
CHEF'S QUICK AND EASY PIZZA
Tomato basil sauce
Caciocavallo cheese or provolone
500 g flour
250 ml water
A pinch of yeast
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons extra
>> Mix all the dough ingredients.
>> Make a ball of the mixture.
>> Leave the mixture covered for
2 to 3 hours.
>> Use your hand or rolling pin to make the dough flat and to form a circle.
>> Put in the oven at 300 degrees.
>> Add the tomato basil sauce followed by the cheese, anchovies, cherry tomato, black olives, basil and oregano.
>> Pizza is ready when the crust is brown.
>> Serve immediately