All crazy for Sophia

LA SOPHIA LOREN - There are a number of reasons for my choice of ingredients for the Sophia Loren pizza.

Johnny Di Francesco
December 14, 2017
Food & wine

First and foremost, I wanted to choose ingredients that she likes. I did my research and discovered that she loves eggplant parmigiana, so I knew that the flavours from that dish would somehow need to be incorporated.

I also wanted the pizza to be classic and elegant, like the woman who had inspired it, so I limited my ingredients to just a few with a focus on quality and taste over quantity.

The result is the use of eggplant, tomato and stracciatella to create a pizza that I believe will encompass the flavour of one of her favourite dishes, but in the form of one of mine: a pizza.


“The food is not just a satisfaction of the palate or a need to grow and sustain itself, but much more. It is the attention, care and love that it creates, through the conviviality, wellbeing!” Enza Liberati

Enza Liberati from Pescara, Abbruzzo, is the award-winning chef who has created a nine-course meal for the exclusive “La Dolce Italia Charity Gala”, with special guest Sofia Loren. Enza has surprised his guests with traditional Italian dishes using the finest ingredients freighted from Italy.

“The menu“, the seasoned chef says, ”was mainly created with the use of local products. I consider cooking for Sofia Loren and hundreds of guests a huge honour and I have been driven by one ultimate goal: dish up flavours that blend with Sofia’s palate and that incorporate the rich and varied culinary tradition of my beloved country”.

Enza Liberati, who is also the head of “Sodalizio Lady Chef”, a group of about 20 female chefs from the Abruzzo region, has granted us the honour of sharing with Segmento readers some of the delicacies that have been relished during the gala dinner.




Enza Liberati and Johnny Di Francesco
Johnny Di Francesco

Known as “Mr Pizza”, Melbourne based Johnny Di Francesco is the head of Gradi Group and was named the best in the world at The 2014 World Pizza Championships in Napoli. Johnny’s passion for Italian cusine draws from traditional Neapolitan techniques, with his family originating from Naples. With a host of award wins and many successful restaurants under his belt, Johnny has established himself as a force to be reckoned with internationally. On invitation, Johnny represented his home country in several key pizza events. Judging and competing. Johnny has visited Paris, Las Vegas and Parma to share his expert knowledge and put his unique stamp on the international pizza domain. Culminating in his World Pizza Championship win, Johnny has gained national and international media attention, media coverage and recognition.