On my last trip to New Zealand, I had the opportunity to meet with Chef Kevin Morris, the founder of Dante’s Pizzeria. I remember eating at his very first shop over 10 years ago in Huapai, Auckland. Back then it was a very small shop; that served some great pizza. I recall asking him lots of questions, as it my first time to meet an Englishman in NZ making traditional Neapolitan style pizzas. He explained to me how it has been a real educational process, teaching the public what real Neapolitan pizza is meant to be like. He has since won many awards and is the first (and only) pizzeria in NZ to become a member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.
We meet again at his brand new restaurant in Browns Bay, which is located right in front of the beach. Fantastic location with great views of the ocean! The outside seating area is packed with people, taking advantage of the sunny weather. We sit inside the spacious restaurant, where we can sit down comfortably and chat …. about pizza of course!
He now has four restaurants located around Auckland, NZ. I also meet his business partner Enis, who helped Kevin modernize the pizza business and helped expand to more locations. We talk about the current climate of the food industry and what the future holds for the pizza businesses in this rapidly changing market.
Our appetizer arrives, which is Italian cheeses and cured meats accompanied by garlic pizza. Then our pizzas arrive! We go for the three classics : Regina Margherita , Marinara, and Bufalina (my favorite). The first two have been awarded D.O.C. certificates, which means that they are prepared and cooked in traditional style.
I’m happy to say Dante’s pizza is still really amazing. With authentic Neapolitan taste, cooked to perfection. It’s definitely the best pizza that I’ve had in NZ. If you ever come down to NZ, make sure to try out the pizza at Dantes’s!