A Slice of Victory

Good Bite

Pizza Chef Cesare Di Iorio of Osteria 500 placed second in the Pizza Napoletana Division of the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas last week. Photo Courtesy of Osteria 500.

Since it opened last year, Osteria 500 at Waterside Place has become a favorite destination for authentic Italian cuisine and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Now, the restaurant team has even more to be happy about.

The Lakewood Ranch restaurant won second place last week in the Pizza Napoletana Division of the International Pizza Challenge. The Challenge, judged blind, was a highlight at this year’s International Pizza Expo and Conference in Las Vegas, which saw pizza chefs from across the world and at the top of their game competing. Osteria’s Pizza Chef Cesare Di Iorio made the pizza that earned the eatery second place, beating out over 100 other pizza chefs over the two-day competition. Pizza Napoletana isn’t crispy but is soft and chewy. There are two varieties of this dish: the Marinara and the Regina. The Marinara features San Marzano tomato sauce, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil, while the Regina has San Marzano tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella, basil and parmesan. Di Iorio made the Regina variety for the competition, and guests can get a taste of it during their next meal at the restaurant.

“People from all over the world come, but mostly famous pizza chefs and big names from Naples, Italy go there and compete,” says Peppe Del Sole, one of Osteria’s owners and Di Iorio’s uncle. “This is our second year competing. The first year, Cesare Di Iorio arrived sixteenth, and this second year he arrived second in the world. We are really happy to announce this to our customers. To come second is really nice.”

Osteria 500, 1580 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota, 941-866-8962, osteria500.com.

Pizza Chef Cesare Di Iorio of Osteria 500 placed second in the Pizza Napoletana Division of the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas last week. Photo Courtesy of Osteria 500.

Osteria 500

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