The hackneyed claim of “world’s best pizza” is usually questionable. Though for 26-year-old Naples-born chef Andrea Cozzolino (previously Postino), bragging rights come with a certificate. He won the prestigious 2016 Caputo Cup for his Margherita at the World Pizza Championship in Naples.
“This is the dream of every pizza maker in Napoli,” Cozzolino says. “I still get goosebumps.”
Six Slices Pizza Bar, which opened in Kew in April, is the third venture from Cozzolino and his partners, Francesco Crifo and Anthony Biviano (also of Zero 95 Pizza Bar in Doncaster and Zero 95 Express in Templestowe).
As the name suggests, the team claims to have solved the age-old pizza dilemma – uneven slices, uneven amount of toppings – by individually crafting each piece: the pizza is cooked then carefully divided into units, and prepared with this in mind.
The special Six Slice menu features six options. One has slow-cooked lamb, sundried tomatoes, potato puree and yoghurt. Another has Queensland king prawns neatly wrapped in pancetta and served with Italian balsamic pearls (white and slightly translucent, they’re similar in appearance and texture to caviar and made from white balsamic vinegar), zucchini cream and a micro-herb garnish.
Cozzolino prepares his thick and slightly tangy wholemeal bases (left to proof for more than 48 hours) with the 20-year-old sourdough starter he inherited from his grandfather, who ran a small bakery in Naples. Cozzolino got his start there when he was 12, first as a delivery boy and eventually working his way into the kitchen, where he’d cook pizza for the staff. By the time he was 15 he was a qualified pizzaiolo.
When Cozzolino moved to Melbourne in 2013 he didn’t speak a word of English. He met Sicily-born Crifo that year and together with Biviano, a Melbourne-based property developer, they opened their Neapolitan-style Doncaster pizzeria in March 2015.
“We love food,” says Cozzolino. “For us it’s passion, not work.”
For dessert, cannoli is made Sicilian-style with a sweetened ricotta filling, and naturally, tiramisu makes an appearance.
There’s also thin and crunchy classic pizza, including Margherita, Capricciosa, Positano and San Daniele. Here, you’re back to vying for the best slice.
Six Slices Pizza Bar
117 High Street, Kew
(03) 9855 2372
Mon to Sun 11am–10pm