Meet Franco Pepe

Meet Franco Pepe

One of Italy's preeminent pizzaioli, Franco Pepe is a modern artisan with an age-old passion for pizza. He showcases this lifelong pursuit at his restaurant Pepe in Grani in Caiazzo, a town located about an hour northeast of Napoli.

Franco’s understanding, knowledge, and craftsmanship stem from his family of master bakers; thousands of times over, he has observed and learned from his grandfather and father, together with his brothers Antonio and Massimiliano.

Nothing was ever written down, no recipes or formulas were  taught, and scales were used. Learning from this traditional method, Franco has no fixed rules at Pepe in Grani. He allows his dough to develop day by day, mixing the flour by hand, allowing time for proper levitation, and balancing the quantity of sourdough to beer yeasts on case by case basis. For Franco, sensibility rules his process as the dough itself tells the pizzaiolo when it is ready.

"You can not impose a single mechanical technique: you have to 'hear' what the dough will suggest, as it is ultimately alive," he says. Franco’s constant attention to his craft allows him to translate the knowledge he has inherited from his family, studies, and the land into his pizza.

This October, Franco is hosting a special seminar open to the public at Eataly NYC Flatiron on October 1 and at Eataly Los Angeles on October 6!  Learn more and get tickets.

franco pepe in grani pizzaBuon appetito!