Introducing Tore Trupiano, the master pizza maker who has the chops to prove it. You can take the drive to Oceanside, and the new Mangia e Bevi (eat and drink in Italian) choose and taste one for yourself.
Eight luscious pizzas are on the Mangia e Bevi menu. As in most Italian restaurants, pizza is a major focus of attention with selections like Marinara, Margherita, Salsicca and so much more. Of course, you can customize it, as I did on this special evening, and we’ll get into that a little bit later.
Trupiano grew up in his parent’s kitchen in Michigan, an immigrant family from Italy. He learned early that the best and freshest ingredients make the best food. It served him and his family well in their history of restaurant operations in the Midwest, then in Orange and San Diego counties. The family is best known for Dominic’s at the Harbor in Oceanside. Trupiano also made a name for himself by entering national, then international pizza making competitions, perfecting recipes for a crust with multi-stage fermentation, and unique styles of flour that are light, airy, flavorful and easy to digest. He’s been one of the highest finishers in the prodigious annual Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, uniting the top pizza chefs from around the world. As part of the membership of the world renowned U.S. Pizza Team, he was one of the central “pizziaolos” in the World Pizza Championships held mostly in Parma Italy. He was also a team player in the Guinness World book of records that built the longest pizza in the world, a reported 1,930.39 meters (approximately 6,333.28 feet) on June 10, 2017.
At the Grand Opening of Mangia e Bevi, a full house was treated to a wine dinner featuring Firriato wines from the dynamic island of Sicily. Chef Sterling Smith created special dishes native to the land and pairing with the Mt. Aetna and Santagostino districts.
Featured speaker was Marco Scapagnini, brand ambassador for Firriato. The excitement built as he described a culinary and wine adventure Oct. 11 to Oct. 20 throughout Sicily. From cheese farms to volcanic wineries on Mt. Etna, nine nights and 10 days with six cooking classes will make it special. Go to nicheitaly.com for more details.
One wine of note which is catching on here in the U.S. is Nero d’Avola, that translates to “black grape of Avola,” a town in Sicily, where it was first identified. It is now the most produced red wine in Sicily. It’s a full-bodied rich, velvety wine with black pepper and clove accents.
The Firriato Nero d’Avola was served with beef tenderloin and Yukon potatoes.
- The Family Winemakers of California are presenting a major trade wine tasting at the Del Mar Fairgrounds March 17. From 2 to 5 p.m., the public is invited to get to taste over 80 all-California wineries pouring over 350 wines, paired with great cheeses and other bites. Most wineries are low production, and crafted for quality. Many of the owners will be in attendance. Tickets are priced from $60. A premium all-access guest can enter from noon to 5 p.m., with perks, for $80. Find out more at familywinemakers.org.
- The Med restaurant at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla continues their string of superior wine dinners with Miner Winery from Napa Valley, presented by Winemaker Stacy Vogel at 6 p.m. March 14. The cost is an all-inclusive $165. To reserve, call (858) 454-0771.
- The 10th annual Orange County Food & Wine Festival is from 1 to 5 p.m. March 3 at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, with top Orange County restaurants and California wineries. Silent and live auctions benefit charities. Tickets start at $100 each. For more information, go to ocfoodandwine.com or call (714) 321-1467.
- The Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo presents a Rombauer Wine Dinner at 6 p.m. March 5. Special guest will be Mike Otto from Rombauer. Five wines will be presented in this five-course dinner. Cost is $85 per guest. Reserve your spot by going to tbrsd.com.