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Meet Giuseppe Monaco of Cucina Caprese in Bay Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Giuseppe Monaco.

Giuseppe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born on an island, Capri, Italy where food and hospitality is a religion. This is just to let you know how seriously we take our culinary cuisine. I was lucky to be born in a family where our meal was not only to fill your stomach but also to feed your soul. As my mom made every meal lunch and dinner with a very great combination and never got bored of making different dishes. Our meals always started with an appetizer, a pasta dish and meat or fish and a nice salad to clean your palette at the end. I grew up with a wood oven in our basement (cantina) where my dad every Sunday, he always enjoyed to make the most traditional fish dishes and traditional pizza Napoletana. So, every day of my childhood, meals were always a festivity with my family. Since I always helped them out and loved what I did, I decided to go to the culinary school. In my five years of culinary school, I gained skills but nothing compared what I learned from my daily meals with my family. When I finished my culinary school, I had a five-year contract in a restaurant in Los Angeles and that where my culinary adventure in the United States began. After working in different areas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver, I decided to come down to San Diego to start this adventure with a mobile wood oven to bring the most authentic wood oven food and pizza Napoletana.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As coming from a place where all the premium quality ingredients were very easy to access, here in the United States, it has always been difficult the same quality. For this, I decided to import everything from Italy starting from the flavor, extra virgin olive oil and San Marzano tomato, and buffalo mozzarella. Luckily, we are available to get local produce as fresh basil, and other.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Cucina Caprese – what should we know?
Cucina Caprese’s goal is to bring the most authentic dishes and quality. And also when people taste our food, to bring them to Italy. Our specialty is everything cooked in a wood oven and using all imported organic ingredient except organic local produce. Also, the way we prepare our dough is the authentic way of old Napoli-made only with special flour, yeast, and water. We are very proud of serving our authentic and finest dishes and pizza.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The passion and pride that we put in our food.

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