Hands on fire

From you

Your questions to Johnny!

1. Hi Johnny!  I’m fairly new to the industry, I’m enjoying it but it has its challenges – How do you pick yourself up after each mistake?  Ian, EssendonMy father always told me ‘there is no success without failure.’ Stop seeing it as a mistake, it’s a learning curb. It’s better to regret something you did than regret not doing it. Rather than dwelling on it, step back and think how can I learn from this? What will I do differently next time?  Stop seeing mistakes as a curse see them as a blessing. JDF


2. Hi Johnny, I’m a massive fan! Why did you choose to go into Neapolitan pizza? And more so how did you bring it so successfully to the Australian market? Jane, BrunswickGrazie Bella! My family are from Naples, it’s my father heritage. When I travelled to Naples I fell in love with the pizza, gelato and the way of life! When I came back to Melbourne nothing compared to the style of pizza over there. That’s when I decided to open my Brunswick store, I wanted to bring a piece of Naples to Melbourne. There was a gap in the market, it was difficult at first as the Australian people was not used to a more pliable style of pizza, but that’s actually what I enjoy the most, educating people on Pizza Neapolitana. JDF


3. Ciao Johnny! I’m doing a chef internship, what advise do you have for me entering the industry? Massimo, Thomastown.

Ciao Massimo!Leave your ego at the door, keep your eyes down, ears open. Get a good set of knifes and look after them, practice with them as much as you can.Travel to the region of food that interest you, learn how they cook, what they cook. Live it. Breathe it. Then beat them at their own game.Good Luck Bello. JDF

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.
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