Tony Gemignani: The pizza master’s showcase

On Friday night in Weyden and Brewster, Tony Gemignani, a World Pizza Cup winner, came to Sonoma State University to teach around 50 students the art of pizza throwing and how to make a really delicious pizza.

Gemignani owns a restaurant in the Graton Casino called Tony’s of North Beach, but he is most well known for Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. He taught students how to make pizza and all the secret tips on how to make it perfect.

All students were able to sample each pizza that was made.

Gemignani now owns seven restaurants across the Bay Area and Las Vegas, with three in the San Francisco area. Gemignani was the first American and non-Neapolitan to win the Pizza World Cup in Naples, Italy.

“In the year 2000-2001, I started focusing on food and cooking more than anything else, [for example winning Guinness Book of World Records],” said Gemignani.

Two students had the opportunity to twirl the pizza dough while Gemignani was prepping for the next pie.

Gemignani grew up in Fremont on a farm where his family grew figs, which he used as a main ingredient in his pizza.

“First create the crust, push down the middle, stretch and turn, then right to left, bring it in and toss it up,” said Gemignani as he was teaching students how to throw pizza dough.

With students trying at least three or four samples of different pizzas, each got to ask Gemignani questions about himself or his new book, “Pizza Bible.”

He gave signed copies to students who were interested in the book. This is Gemignani’s third book, with his first release being titled “Pizza."

“My favorite part of this was getting to try the cheese and sample all of the different pizzas Tony made,” said senior Nichole Berry. 

Many students entered Weyden and Brewster at 5 p.m. excited to find out as many secrets to making the most delicious pizza from the World Pizza Cup winner himself, and getting to sample some of the main ingredients in each homemade pizza pie Gemignani made. 

Each student tried the cheese made in each pizza, as well as the finished meal, the pizza itself. 

Among the different test items, each student tried mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese.

Most students left the Student Center excited about learning new things about the pizza world and learning new secrets on how to make an amazing pizza, but also that they got to listen to someone who also owns a restaurant tell them how to make the pizza exactly.