Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on February 2011
Tell us about your book.
It’s about the reception of artisanal pizza in Japan through the lens of professional pizza chefs. The book tells the history of pizza in Japan as well as the stories of young Japanese who moved to Italy to learn how to make pizza, and of Italian pizza chefs who moved to Japan to ply their trade.
How did you get interested in the topic of pizza and Japan?
The book is based on my doctoral dissertation. Having a background in the sociology of work, I wanted to go beyond the image of salarymen and corporate Japan, and I started to investigate the world of restaurant workers. I also sought a research topic linking my home and my host country, connecting Italy and Japan. So the topic of pizza and pizza chefs perfectly matched my goals.
What’s the most interesting thing you encountered while researching this book?
A slice of mochi pizza. The dough is not made using traditional flour but mochi cakes.
How much pizza did you eat while writing the book?
To be honest, I never counted how much pizza I ate, but I can tell you I cheerfully gained three kilos!
Any tips for particularly good Tokyo-area pizza restaurants you can share with our readers?
The area of Nakameguro counts many pizzerias, but you can find great pizzas all over Tokyo. For a traditional Napoli-style pizza, check the restaurants listed on http://verapizzanapoletana.jp/shoplist.html.
For more info about Pizza and Pizza Chefs in Japan: a Case of Culinary Globalization, see http://meturl.com/pizzabook.