“Tutto e possibile” — The belief that “anything is possible” connected the two passionate, thirty-something founders of HOT ITALIAN—one from an Italian-American family of artists and the other, an artistic pizzaiolo from the Italian Riviera.
Andrea Lepore’s and Fabrizio Cercatore’s mission was to build a place where pizza brings people together to celebrate Italy’s new generation of art, music, design, sport, food and wine.
By combining these elements with California’s urban lifestyle, seasonal, quality ingredients, and a conscious commitment to our environment and community, HOT ITALIAN hopes to inspire, make a difference, and create better neighborhoods.
Sustainability is seamlessly integrated throughout all aspects of HOT ITALIAN, from our buildings, our kitchens, our furniture, our apparel, our menus, our napkins, to the pizza in your box and on your plate, and even after, and that’s why we are THRILLED to have them at IFBC 2016! Thank you, Hot Italian! Here, a short interview
1. In one sentence, describe your ethos or goal with HOT ITALIAN.
HOT ITALIAN brings people together to celebrate modern Italy’s food, wine, art, music and sport in the urban California lifestyle.
2. You are in farm country – do you have a favorite veg or fruit that you wait for all year?
As the first REAL Certified pizzeria in the nation, seasonal ingredients and local purveyors are the core of our menu. One of our favorites are the Heirloom tomatoes from Yeung Farm in Yolo County, used on our Caprese salad and Borriello pizza with burrata, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.
3. What inspires you, as a PIZZAIOLO?
Pizza as Art. The colors, the flavor combinations, finding out what works and what doesn’t and putting all these pieces together and seeing the final product as a work of art. But the real inspiration is the reward in seeing the joy on the guests’ face as the pizza arrives. I look to create moments for the guests, bringing family, friends and strangers together. It’s what keeps me motivated and passionate about what I do, continually looking for inspiration in my surroundings and experiences to share with everyone.
4. How has technology shaped your business?
We continue to integrate the latest energy-efficient technology throughout our restaurants to lower our carbon footprint as a business, leading to our Green Business Award and Silver LEED certification. A few examples of this would be LED track lighting throughout the restaurant, low flow faucets, Solatubes which allow natural sunlight in during the day, the Big Ass Fan modeled after airplane propellers moving air swiftly and efficiently, and the Earth Tub composter shared by multiple restaurant in Sacramento and distributed to local farms and community gardens.
5. What are you serving at IFBC?
MUTI (VEGAN) seasonal vegetables, arugula, tomato sauce
BASSO artichoke hears, castelvetrano olives, housemade basil pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, tomato sauce
BORTOLAMI housemade fennel sausage, radicchio, scamorza, mushrooms, tomato sauce, mozzarella
Traditional and Gluten Free crust available.
6. If you could talk to all of our bloggers individually, what would you want them to know about food, technology, your biz?
Our attention to detail is extremely thorough from our organic, no-GMO crust to our locally sourced gelato, hand picked music tracks from Italian music producers and local DJ’s, fresh local produce, furniture from Italy and California and imported Italian meats and cheeses.