Interview: Massimiliano Tripoli, pizzeria

Pizza. Just the word can induce fits of salivating and groans of delight. BEACHOUSE Ibiza’s master pizzero has pizza in the blood. Originally from Palermo, Massimiliano Tripoli practically grew up surrounded by dough in his family pizzeria. He went onto to open his own before making the move to Ibiza in 1999. Today, he mans the pizza oven at BEACHOUSE Ibiza. Soft-spoken Massimiliano takes the question of dough very, very seriously.

How has your background informed your work at BEACHOUSE Ibiza?

Well, I grew up in a pizzeria. It was a very big one, it’s part of the family. On the weekends we would do ‘disco pizza’ – my grandfather wasn’t too happy about that!

 How did you come to work at BEACHOUSE Ibiza?

I was asked to fill in for someone one August. Then they asked me to come back the following year and run the pizzeria. I really love it. It’s beautiful and the team is great. We are like a big family. It felt like that right from the start.

How would you describe your style in the kitchen?

We all collaborate with each other. We help each other. If they need me in the main kitchen, I’m there. There is a lot of exchange; we have a lot of trust in each other, we know that each of us is capable.

How many pizzas do you make in the middle of summer?

Oh, that’s hard! Probably around 150 pizzas a day in August, when there are two of us on the team.

What is the trick to make a good pizza?

It is all about the dough. You have to start there, of course. We make the dough very, very slowly. It must rest for at least 48 hours – that’s the very least – we like to leave it for 72. If the dough gets to rest for the right amount of time it ferments and the yeasts break down, making it much easier to digest. It allows for the best texture. Each pizzero has their own style but if you have a good dough you have a good pizza.

What produce do you use for toppings?

At the moment our pizzas are classic Italian ones. Maybe in the future we will create something more local, who knows? I like to use products from Italy; they are the best. The passata from Italy is the best in the world; the mozzarella too. Of course, the fresh produce here is all from Ibiza. The dried tomatoes, the rocket, fresh tomatoes – they are all excellent.

Other than pizza, what is your favourite dish on the BEACHOUSE Ibiza menu?

The spaghettini bottarga. It’s made with dried salmon roe and fresh chilli – it’s delicious.

Do you cook at home and if so, what do you cook?

I do cook at home. I eat pasta of course. I’m Italian!