Mike Alfano, New Rochelle resident and founder of Pizza Da Michelino, a pop-up series and small-group pizza-catering business, has been inspired by Italian culture since he was young. Raised in an Italian family, traditions like making tomato sauce with his grandmother every summer were among the many motivations that led him to pursue a passion for pizza. In 2017, a three-week trip to visit family in Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily, cemented his determination. “After experiencing the culture, the food, and the history, I came back to the States with a purpose,” says Alfano, who launched his @PizzaDaMichelino Instagram page in 2018 to share photos of his pies.
A self-taught pizzaiolo with prior knowledge about the pizza culture, Alfano utilized social media to expand his ideas. Ingredients for his pies come largely from Arthur Avenue shops, including Teitel Brothers, Calandra’s Cheese, and Casa Della Mozzarella. To create his perfect, light-and-airy crust, Alfano uses Caputo “00” pizza flour, and ferments the dough for 48 to 72 hours. “It’s a traditional Neapolitan flour, designed for high temperature ovens, ranging from 800 to 1000 degrees,” explains Alfano, who also uses the company’s American flour for low-temp gas ovens.
Interested in trying his pies? On November 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., Alfano and his brother, Chris, will hold a pop-up at Pax Romana in White Plains. The $43 tickets include all-you-can-eat pizza, from traditional Margherita and quattro formaggio to Alfano’s signature Dolce Diavola with fresh mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce, crispy pepperoni, hot soppressata, and Vermont maple syrup to balance the heat. Also on the menu is a tartufo e prosciutto pie with Sicilian oregano, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, extra-virgin olive oil, and a post-bake dusting of Moliterno al tartufo, a truffle-infused pecorino. (Plus, the Giants will be playing the Jets, so wear those team colors.)
This is the second pop-up that Alfano has done with Pax Romana. “I like working with genuine people that are trying to build something special,” says Pax’s co-owner Paul Russo.
For tickets and more information, visit the pop-up’s Eventbrite page.
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