Food

Get pizzas from Ciro Cattaneo on food delivery platforms

Meet the pizza guy: Ciro Cattaneo, the man behind the now defunct Bella Ciao, is back with his pizzas; this time, he sells them on food delivery platforms from his cloud kitchen

Back in the late Nineties, an Italian named Ciro Cattaneo moved from romantic Rome to a rather muggy and laid back Chennai. “I wanted to live in real India,” says Ciro, who has since then made this city home. His requirements were: a place that is cosmopolitan, not touristy, and had the sea. And Chennai just fit in beautifully.

In 1998, he became the reason for many to drive all the way to Thiruvanmiyur just for pizza. Soon, it became trendy to have Italian food by the beach, seated in his cosy windswept restaurant that was called Bella Ciao. There were no other “real” Italian restaurants then, he says. The place had a dream run till it pulled down its shutters in 2018. But the good news is, Ciro is back again with his pizzas. While it is not a sit-down restaurant any more, his pizzas are available on delivery, courtesy a new cloud kitchen venture started by Pooja and Nikhil Nath. Launching today, the company is called Ciro’s Pizzeria while the brand is called Ciro’s, and also has his face on the boxes. “I love dealing with people, so I do miss talking to my clients. But this model is easy because you just have one thing to follow and therefore it is easy to keep the quality,” says Ciro.

Get pizzas from Ciro Cattaneo on food delivery platforms

His kitchen is in Kottivakkam, and the 750 square foot unit has four people assisting him. Inside his work space, he looks pleased with the custom made oven that has been built from scratch. “It is a wood-fired oven and measures 5 X 6 feet. It can make eight 12-inch pizzas at a time,” he says, proudly patting the brick structure. Here, they spent around eight months creating pizzas with a gamut of combinations — truffle oil, pistachio, scarmoza, blue cheese, leek, smoked salmon, Parma ham... The menu now lists 31 different varieties, with two choices of sauces (Rosso and Bianca) and two different crusts: Romana (crisp on the edges) and Napoletana (fluffy). “To get the perfect base, we had to go through a lot of trial and error. The Napoletana took a bit more work,” he says.

While a lot of the ingredients are imported, they smoke their chicken and make the pesto in-house. Sourcing ingredients is a lot more easier now, believes Ciro, as opposed to when he started Bella Ciao. The food scene has also changed drastically, he says. “There are so many places to eat at. People are more knowledgeable. Other than Italian, there are enough options for Japanese and Asian food too. When I moved here, all we had were Akasaka and Dahlia.”

In addition to pizza, the menu at Ciro’s has milkshakes, a couple of appetisers like crostini and garlic bread, and two classic desserts: lemon curd panna cotta and tiramisu. As of now, it’s only available on Swiggy and Zomato, within a four to five kilometre radius of Kotturpuram. By April they will launch in Adyar as well.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:16:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/the-pizza-guy/article31040535.ece

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