How to Become a Pizzaiolo Chef

How to Become a Pizzaiolo Chef
How to Become a Pizzaiolo Chef

Did you know that behind every delicious pizza, there is a skilled and experienced Pizzaiolo? These people (also known as a pizza chef) have dedicated their lives to perfecting the art of pizza-making.

In this guide, let’s explore what it takes to become a Pizzaiolo chef, yourself.

What is a Pizzaiolo Chef?

A Pizzaiolo is a professional pizza chef who specialises in preparing and cooking authentic, delicious pizzas. These skilled chefs are trained in the traditional Neapolitan style of pizza-making, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

Role of a Pizzaiolo Chef

The job of a Pizzaiolo is to create the perfect pizza, from selecting the freshest ingredients to kneading the dough and cooking the pizza to perfection. They must deeply understand the ingredients they use, including the dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings.

A Pizzaiolo must also be skilled in using a wood-fired oven, which is the traditional way of cooking pizza. They must be able to control the temperature of the oven and ensure that the pizza is cooked evenly, with a crispy crust and melted cheese.

“I’m not perfect and I burn (stuff) sometimes. But I catch it hopefully before it leaves the kitchen.”

Chris Bianco, Pizzaiolo

Guide to becoming a Pizzaiolo Chef

It takes a skilled chef to make a truly delicious pizza. If you’re interested in becoming a pizzaiolo chef, there are a few key steps you can take to get started.

Learn the basics of pizza-making

To become a pizzaiolo chef, you first need to understand the basics of pizza-making. This includes learning about the different types of dough, sauces, and toppings that are commonly used in pizza recipes.

You can start by researching pizza recipes online or taking a cooking class on pizza making. This will give you a solid foundation to build on as you develop your skills.


Like any skill, becoming a pizzaiolo chef takes a lot of practice. Set aside time to practice making pizzas regularly. Then experiment with different doughs, sauces, and toppings to find your own unique style.

As you practice, pay attention to the texture of the dough, the flavours of the sauce, and the way the toppings interact with each other. Take notes on what works and what doesn’t.

Get professional training

While you can learn a lot about pizza-making on your own, getting professional training can help you take your skills to the next level. Look for cooking schools or culinary programs that offer courses in pizza-making, or consider working at a pizzeria or Bassendean takeaway restaurant to gain hands-on experience in a professional kitchen.

This will allow you to work with experienced chefs and learn new techniques and tricks you might not have discovered on your own.

Invest in the right equipment

To make great pizza, you need the right pizza-making tools. Invest in a high-quality pizza stone or oven to ensure that your pizzas cook evenly and have a crispy crust.

You’ll also need a good pizza cutter, a pizza peel, and a set of measuring cups and spoons to make sure that your dough and ingredients are properly proportioned.

Develop your own unique style

While it’s important to learn the basics of pizza-making, the best pizzaiolo chefs also have unique styles and approaches.

Experiment with different ingredients and flavours to create your own signature pizzas that stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks – some of the most successful pizzaiolo chefs have become famous for their unconventional pizza creations.

“For me,” he says firmly, “there is one universal language. Flavor.”

Franco Pepe, Pizzaiolo

Training to be a Pizzaiolo Chef

To become a Pizzaiolo, one must undergo extensive training and apprenticeship under experienced pizza chefs. The training process can take several years, and it involves learning the techniques of dough preparation, sauce-making, and pizza cooking.

In Italy, there are even schools dedicated to teaching the art of pizza-making. This is where aspiring pizza chefs can learn from the best.

While having formal training or a certificate to become a pizzaiolo is not required, it can be a valuable step in your journey to mastering the craft. Fortunately, there are various options available for aspiring pizza makers to learn the trade and hone their skills.

There are numerous pizza schools and courses offered worldwide that cater to different skill levels and goals. Some courses are designed for home chefs who want to elevate their pizza-making skills as a hobby. Other courses focus on providing professional training for those aspiring to run their own pizzeria or work in a commercial kitchen.

Pizzaiolo chef throwing dough
Pizzaiolo chef throwing dough

Becoming a certified Pizzaiolo Chef

Obtaining a formal certificate or completing a pizza-making course can offer several benefits. It can provide you with a solid foundation of skills, knowledge, and techniques and enhance your credibility and marketability as a professional pizzaiolo. A certification can also open doors to career opportunities in commercial kitchens, and pizzerias, or even enable you to start your own pizza business.

However, it’s important to consider that a certificate alone does not guarantee success in the competitive pizza industry. It’s equally important to gain practical experience, experiment with different recipes, and continuously refine your craft. Pizza making is both an art and a science that requires practice, creativity, and passion for truly excelling.

A legitimate Neapolitan pizza cook may only be recognised by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). The AVPN was established to safeguard the worldwide reputation and moral character of Neapolitan pizza makers. They provide certificates to people and pizza joints who live up to their strict requirements and can show that they are good Neapolitan pizza establishments.


The art of pizza-making has become a cultural phenomenon, and a skilled Pizzaiolo is now recognized as an artisan in their own right. Becoming a pizzaiolo chef takes time, practice, and dedication. With the right approach, anyone can master the art of pizza-making.

Whether you’re interested in opening your own pizzeria or simply want to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills, we hope our guide will help you start your journey to becoming a master pizzaiolo chef.