Head Pizza Man Andrew Bellucci – photo courtesy of Robert Gilliland
Head Pizza Man at Mikey’s Original New York Pizza, Andrew Bellucci, recently spent an afternoon with The Yum List and shared some stories from behind the scenes.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?I am the Chef, or as we like to call it, the Head Pizza Man at Mikey’s Original New York Pizza in Bangsar, KL. My first foray in the business was flipping burgers at a Church Hall where they played Bingo every Friday night. I was 15 or 16. Even back then I was always trying to improve the menu – which was very limited.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?The best part is seeing people’s eyes widen as the pizza comes out of the oven or is delivered to their table. When people get excited over your food, you know you’re doing something right. The worst part is the administrative work that comes with being a chef. I love standing in front of an oven. Sitting behind a desk, however, leaves me less enthusiastic.
What’s your personal favourite meal/ drink?I’ve only been in KL since February and almost all of my waking hours have been devoted to the opening and now running the pizzeria, so I haven’t been to enough places here to have a “favorite” yet. My personal favorite meal is rigatoni with meatballs and Italian sausage and marinara sauce at my Aunt Shirley’s house in New Jersey, USA. With garlic bread on the side. And a nice glass of iced tea. That’s a meal that I enjoyed almost every Sunday when my father would cook some type of macaroni – we never called it “pasta”. I celebrated my 50th birthday in January and the only thing I wanted was my “macaroni and meatballs” at Aunt Shirley’s. And that’s what we had.
Tell us a story about one of the dishes you prepare.My favorite is the Pizza Bianco – which means white pizza in Italian. I’ve always like a white pizza (with no sauce) and I execute this one simply and with great ingredients. I open a pizza dough and top it with shredded mozzarella and cheddar and put it in the oven. When the pie is