Meet Chef Daniele Uditi: The Pizzana Founder Now Cooking on Tastemade’s “Make This Tonight”
Chef Daniele Uditi of Pizzana in Los Angeles and West Hollywood is forging a unique identity in the culinary world through his use of authentic ingredients, innovative ideas and charisma. Chef Uditi came to the United States from Naples, Italy in 2011, working as a caterer. He has since opened two restaurants, written several cookbooks and now shares his knowledge on camera with Tastemade’s: Make This Tonight, a Tastemade Original available on the streaming network.
Uditi prides himself in his use of authentic ingredients. He sources tomatoes from the region of San Marzano, the only place a tomato can bear its name. He cooks his pizza in an oven built by his cousin in Naples and even uses his aunt’s 60-year-old starter for his famous pizza dough.
“It was important for me to have the San Marzano tomato that I grew up eating and put it on the pizza in the U.S.,” he said. “I wanted our ingredients to be 100% authentic when we opened up – at least for key ingredients like flour, tomatoes, olive oil and cheese. I want to make sure people taste the real ingredients without any facsimile.”
“My mother told me to always use fresh ingredients. The quality in California is also wonderful. While I import key ingredients from Naples, why not take advantage of California’s wonderful produce?”
Besides Uditi’s focus on ingredients, his charisma and creativity with food have been assets to working on camera. On the current season of his Tastemade show, Uditi puts his touch on classic dishes and makes beautiful meals accessible to the everyday home cook.
“I love to play around with food,” he said. “At Pizzana, I took a classic margarita and transformed it into something with my fingerprint on it. I try to do the same at Tastemade. I think Italian American food has good flavor, but it’s sometimes too heavy. I wanted to make it my quality of standard, but a bit more modern.”
His goal on Tastemade, he said, is to make food more playful and approachable. Case in point: His chicken parm, which is plated with the sauce on the bottom and served with a vibrant salad.
“Italian food is beautiful because we let the ingredients speak for themselves,” he said. “The technique is simple, and the food looks like restaurant quality. I can show people how to do these things, and they can reach this quality at home by following a simple recipe.”
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