Through a single product, Daniele Campana describes his land, talks about the work and respect of artisans and farmers, tells its story, evoking flavours and colours.
Pan pizza as an emblem of the Calabrian territory
Daniele Campana is a child of art. As a child he loved spending his free time in the workshop of his father Francesco, who ran the delicatessen in Corigliano Calabro, in the province of Cosenza, along with his mother Carmela. It was here, among the flours, doughs, and typical products, that he first developed his desire to dedicate his life to cooking. It was not an act of love, but more the desire to tell his story and tell the story of his land through a single product: pizza in a pan. Daniele worked alongside his father from the opening of the delicatessen in 1990. He alternated his work with studies and training courses with important pizza and white art artists.
The pizza you don’t expect
In reality, Daniele’s work with pizza is a kind of alchemy that is renewed day after day. He draws inspiration from his memories, his life, the experiences he has had outside the workshop. This is the starting point for choosing new combinations of raw materials that follow the seasons and for obtaining that balance of flavours that can never be taken for granted and that distinguishes his pizza. In each proposal Daniele always includes a product that has the ability to amaze, that element that you don’t expect. An example is the pizza mozzarella fior di latte, pumpkin flower, anchovies, liquorice powder, the must-have proposal of the spring period, requested by the public for the persistent contrast between the sweetness of the pumpkin flower, the decisive flavour of the anchovies, with the iodized notes of the liquorice powder that gives liveliness to the presentation. “The secret of each preparation,’ explains Daniele Campana, ‘is to enhance each product. My aim is not to cover up the typical flavour of each ingredient, but to bring it out clearly, allowing the diner to understand what they are eating.”
Daniele has created 45 different pizza that he offers every day, each of these calibrated to the products and tastes of the seasons, an aspect not always understood by the public. “One of the most difficult parts of my business,’ he explains, ‘has always been making the public understand and accept the choice of using seasonal products.’ Respect for the land, for the value of the craftsmanship of local producers, is the basis of this pizza artisan’s personal and professional philosophy. The attempt, in addition to reducing exploitation of the land, is to give an authentic, unique flavour to each pizza. “Only by looking for the best of what nature offers us, can I offer a pan pizza that is an expression of the Calabrian territory.”
His pan pizza is made with stone-ground flour, made into a dough with the indirect method, meaning it ferments for 24 hours at a controlled temperature. All of the pizzas are then garnished with products of excellence that Daniele chooses personally, meticulously, carefully and continuously, from his producers and farmers he uses. Such careful attention, according to him, is because each product must first “involve” on his palate and in his memories. “I have a deep respect for my land, for the work done by the farmers, for the fruits of their hard work. My pizza speaks Calabrian and encompasses the territory of Calabria: it doesn’t tell my story, but many stories”.
According to Daniele, the basis that inspires his work is respect for an identity, for continuing a tradition, for safeguarding the commitment of artisans and farmers. “My choices are derived solely from quality. I choose the best product because I have tried it first.”