Keste Pizza and Vino is an authentic Neapolitan Pizzeria in NYC located at 271 Bleeker Street, NYC.
It is also the official location in the USA for APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani whose mission is to protect and preserve the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promote the art of pizza making. The organization also certifies professional pizza makers in the tradition of Neapolitan Pizza.
“Since my first day in NY (10 years ago)”, says Rosario Procino, “ I always wanted to eat good Neapolitan pizza and I could never find it. Then three years ago I met Roberto Caporuscio and once I tasted his pizza it was like falling in love once again”.
“It was then that I thought that the only way for me to have my Neapolitan pizza in NY was to partner with him. We opened Keste a few months ago and it seems the rest of NYC is falling in love with it as well!
Roberto Caporuscio was born and raised on a dairy farm in Pontinia, about an hour’s drive from Napoli where he first developed his culinary skills producing and selling cheese.
It was, however, in Napoli, the birthplace of pizza, that Roberto went to study the art and craft of this culinary delight with the most talented masters of the Neapolitan pizza makers. After
training with the best, he opened two successful pizzerias in Pittsburgh, followed by A Mano in Ridgewood, NJ . Each endeavor brought critical acclaim from the culinary industry, as well as the rave reviews and articles in books and magazines.
Two years ago, Chef Roberto became President of APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) and consultant to a variety of restaurants in Chicago, Denver, St Louis, and Madison – bringing his knowledge, experience and influence to a wider audience.
Keste' Pizzeria in NYC hosted an after hours party for EatItalian.com and friends. We experienced some for the best pizza we have ever had and sampled wine from two of New York's foremost wine experts.
The guest list included best selling author Michele Scicolone and her husband, wine expert, Charles Scicolone, Gennaro Pecchia of Abbondanza Magazine, Louis Coluccio of D. Coluccio and Sons, Rossella Rago from "Cooking with Nonna", wine expert and owner of "In Vino Veritas", Gianluca Rottura, master Gelato maker, Giorgio Klinar of Sotto Zero Gelateria, food blogger and chef Anthony Scillia, aka "Tony Mangia" and chef Cara Mangini.
Keste' owners Roberto Caporuscio and Rosario Procino were so extremely generous to this wonderful group of foodies. We were also honored to also to have fifth generation pizzaiola,Peppe Starita from Pizzeria Statita a Marterdei in Naples, crafting pizza for us only found at his restaurant in Italy.
Watch this amazing video and share the evening with us!
The History of Pizza
The word pizza, as it is currently spelled, was used to describe both sweet and salty pies in the Middle Ages, but took the form that we are now familiar with in pre-Renaissance Naples, a large city in central Italy. Poor peasants used their limited ingredients -flour and water, creating a bread dough, stretched and baked to make a seasoned, flat bread.
It’s said that the pizza that made Naples world famous is the Pizza Margherita in Italian or Pizza Margarita to the rest of the world. A local man and the town baker called Esposito first baked it in 1889. He created the pizza in honor of a visit to Naples by the Queen of Italy, Queen Margherita.
To make the pizza a little more patriotic-looking, Esposito used red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese and green basil leaves as toppings to follow the colors of the Italian flag. Queen Margherita loved the pizza, and what eventually became Pizza Margherita has since become an international standard. Neapolitan pizza is still widely regarded as the best in the world, probably because of the fresh ingredients available to Neapolitan pizzerias: herbs, garlic, and tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic ash of Vesuvius, and fresh mozzarella from water buffalo milk.
Pizzerias in this era usually included a large brick oven, a marble counter where the crust was prepared, and a shelf lined with ingredients. Contemporary Neapolitan pizzerias are prepared in the same way they were 100 years ago. The large brick ovens make the pizzerias uncomfortably hot in every season except winter, but the unique flavor of these brick-oven pizzas is unmatched. Pizzaioli (makers of pizza) often assemble the entire pizza on a marble counter right before the customer's eyes.
Today, the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (the Association of Neapolitan Pizza) maintains strict member guidelines for ingredients, dough, and cooking. This elite organization maintains that pizza dough must be made only with flour, natural yeast or brewers yeast, salt and water. Dough must be kneaded by hand or mixers which do not cause the dough to overheat, and the dough must be punched down and shaped by hand. Also, only wood-burning, bell-shaped brick ovens are permitted in pizzerias that belong to this organization. The pizza must be cooked on the surface of the oven (often made of volcanic stone), and not in any pan or container, with oven temperatures reaching at least 400-430° C (750-800° F). These ovens often have to heat up for hours before the first pizza is cooked.