Fabrizio Cercatore is the founder and maestro pizzaiolo of Hot Italian in Emeryville

What is always in your refrigerator?
Tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, Parmigiano reggiano and Prosecco.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
Spaghetti with extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano reggiano.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
When I am in Berkeley, I love to go to Riva Cucina.

Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?
I am more of a vice guy than junk, but I love Nutella!

Any food you can’t stand?
I can’t stand bad pizza.

What is your fantasy ‘last meal?’
My mom’s squash ravioli!

What ingredient is overused and needs to be retired?
I think it is chicken.

What is the next big thing?
Passione Pizza! Passione Pizza will be our new product line consisting of flour and pizza dough for the home chef. It’s bags of premix flour with salt and yeast. The consumer just adds water to the mix to create thin crust dough balls for pizza.

Your favorite special meal to cook?
Pizza or baked sea bream with potatoes, fresh tomatoes, taggiasche olives.

Favorite restaurant in the world?
Ristorante Belforte, in Vernazza, Cinqueterre, Italy.

Who would you like to have dinner with (alive or dead)?
Gwyneth Paltrow.

A food tip/secret/ to share with readers?
Eat fresh and healthy always!

Fabrizio Cercatore is the founder and maestro pizzaiolo of Hot Italian at 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville. Cercatore ran the popular La Tavernetta restaurant for 14 years on the Italian Riviera, often making 200 pizzas in 90 minutes at his busy, 220-seat restaurant. 

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...