A zest for baking drifts effortlessly through the streets of Naples, home to the Neapolitan style pizza. Here, ancient recipes form the setting stones for an architecture of soulful cuisine. Native to this city, baker Francesco Di Salvo studies the nuance in managing baked dishes. Hands often covered in flour, he celebrates the authenticity of his art with involved passion.
In this interview, Francesco details his journey into the heart of baking technique, sharing his very own “Dough Revolution” and advice on how to enhance manual skills. Enjoy…
When did you start your career and what do you do?
It all started for fun and personal passion, and eventually evolved into a job in 2015. I deal with consultancy for baked, leavened products all over the world and also conduct face to face training with students for consultancy. My company is called “Impasto Revolution” - Impasto means "Dough" in Italian, and the word “Revolution” captures my endeavours to look past the ordinary, as I grow and share this progression with others.
I also share my technique globally through Masterclasses, suitable for professionals like bakers, pastry chefs, pizza makers, as well as amateurs and home bakers who want to access detailed and advanced instruction.
What's the status of baking in Naples?
My beautiful city Naples has always been very famous for its pizza on the plate. A modern twist on baking, on the other hand, has only recently taken over. In alignment, my specialisation has become increasingly focused on the management of solid and liquid Sourdough, Neapolitan Pizza, Roman Pizza, Pizza in Teglia, Pizza in Pala, Bread (specifically Tartine Bread), Gluten Free Pizza, and above all, Panettone - a dish with enormous, rapid success throughout Europe and the world, thanks to social media.
If someone is new to baking and looking to start out, what would you recommend they start with?
My advice, for all those who want to try their hand at this job, is to study the world of microbiology and fermentation. More importantly, however, I recommend all aspirants to thoroughly practise baking processes and refine their manual skills. We must never forget that we are artisans and the hands are a fundamental part of the success of our products.
How do you gain knowledge and develop further skills?
My most influential teachers have been time, mistakes, and experience, supplying me with a unique sense of wisdom. With this acquired knowledge, I aim to help professionals update their vision and work on the details of their products.
Where do you see yourself in three years?
Maybe still here, with my hands in flour, in my small and humble laboratory - with many experiences behind me and many future students and professional bakers with whom I will share fantastic experiences with, ahead.
Find Francesco on Instagram via @francesco.di.salvo_ and be sure to check in with him when you’re in Naples