Influencer Interview: Vic Rose of Cuisine University and Domenico “Mimmo” Tolomeo of Orlando/Caputo Foods

Influencer Interview: Vic Rose of Cuisine University and Domenico “Mimmo” Tolomeo of Orlando/Caputo Foods
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LloydPans partnered with Vic Rose of Cuisine University to support Pizza Master Classes — one in Boca Raton and the other in Naples — with 12x18x1.5 inch Sicilian-Style Pans and 10x14 Detroit-Style Pans. We spoke with Vic and Dom about LloydPans, the love of pizza and challenges that come with teaching pizza making.

LloydPans: Where did you first learn about LloydPans?

Vic: I learned about LloydPans from Mimmo and his all-star pizza team. Then I met Traci and the team at the National Restaurant Show and IBIE in Las Vegas. LloydPans has the best non-stick coatings out there.

I would like to thank LloydPans for supporting our classes, and Orlando Foods, Caputo Flour and Chow Tomatoes. I appreciate all the companies that support our classes that make it possible for Dom and others to show their talents. Hopefully we’re building a better world by showing people how to make better pizza.

Dom: Through word of mouth in the industry. I was looking for a better pan, and LloydPans kept coming up so I gave them a shot. I honestly never looked back since. They’re the only pans I use and that I recommend when I’m doing my training. The most important thing is consistent bake. When I look at the bottom when I do Sicilian or Detroit it’s completely covered. There’s no weak spots in the middle. With other pans, even if they say they have non-stick coating, when you do a few bakes they fall apart. There’s nothing on the market that compares to LloydPans.

LloydPans: How do you choose what pizzas to bake for Cuisine U classes?
Vic: I allow the customers to basically select the choices — two or three styles that they want their chefs to learn. I picked Detroit because I grew up in Detroit. Plus, in Naples, Fla., there’s a lot of Detroiters, so I thought that would be a good style for them to learn.

Dom: The reason why we especially went to LloydPans for the Sicilian-style pans is I teach a hybrid style of Sicilian. It’s a mix between Roman and your traditional Sicilian. One issue that I had always run into with Sicilian standard pans on the market was that they didn’t have high enough walls on them. So what would happen with higher hydration dough and aggressive fermentations, the dough would fall over the sides. Or when you went to bake it you didn’t have the big open crumb structure to show customers that this is different from anything on the market. When I came across LloydPans 12x18 Sicilian Pans I was able to make the Sicilian and introduce it to customers as a more artisanal product. I said ‘This is what a Sicilian pan should be.’ 



LloydPans: You cover a lot in the two-day class. Can you talk about the thought behind how you design
the class and the techniques that students will learn? 

Vic: It’s set up based on how you make a pizza. We teach them how to make dough, how to retard the dough and how to make dough balls. Then how to proof, stretch and information on the toppings and then how to properly work an oven and bake the pizza.

Dom: The beauty about the people that Vic selects to teach these classes, they not only know how to make good pizza, which is about 40% of it, but we also have insight into the industry. We’re able to give them incredible insights into how to make your business successful and the freedom to create. We’re not stuck to the rules; we show them different styles and if we do have a hybrid style of Roman, Sicilian or New York we have the space to push the envelope and do things differently. There’s thousands of pizzerias around the country and you have to do something different to stand out.

LloydPans: What is your favorite thing about being a pizza maker? 

Dom: My favorite thing about it — honestly I didn’t realize what I loved so much until someone pointed out to me — I’m in the business of serving others. I’ve found my happiness in making others happy. Pizza is different. I grew up as a butcher for 15 years. There is no butcher community where people are huge fans of the product. Coming into the pizza world, there’s pizza fans and people have their favorite pizza makers! You come into Pizza Expo, and it didn’t hit me until someone asked me to sign their chef coat. People are so obsessed. You're lucky enough to make a product that people fall in love with and write about it.



LloydPans: Any challenges? Or perhaps the hardest thing to teach?

Vic: Pizza doesn't have a lot of ingredients. It looks simple to make until you try to make it. There’s very few ingredients, so little room for error. You make a mistake with one ingredient and you’ve probably destroyed your pizza.

Dom: When you’re trying to train the upper echelon of chefs, they’re successful and you come in as a pizza maker, but for years we were kind of not even in their league. I think once we get them in the classes — trying to get them to understand more than flour, water, salt and yeast — but you also teach patience. When you’re a chef in a kitchen you have instant gratification. With dough you don’t know until the next day or two if the product is good or not. 

Also, when I preach a product, there’s never a side agenda. When you go out across the country and you're teaching people they’re trusting you and your word. Your reputation in the industry is super important. You have to be honest about products that you truly love — you’ve tested them and worked with them and know they're the best. LloydPans is always the product we go to. Orlando Foods is an artisanal company and we need products that make it as high of a caliber as we are.

LloydPans: If you could go home at night and enjoy one pizza at your family’s table, what makes the cut?

Vic: Both sides of my family are Italian. Growing up, my Aunt Rosie was famous for the best bread and the best pizza. I’d love to have my Aunt Rosie’s pizza, which was  Sicilian-style. She would go to the garden and pick her tomatoes and peppers and she would roast the peppers. If I had a chance I’d love to have my Aunt Rosie come back on earth and make one of her pizzas. It’s not only great pizza, it’s great memories.

Dom: My go-to is easy: Neapolitan pizza is always going to be my first love. My mom is from Naples, Italy, and it’s where I first fell in love with pizza. A classic margherita is always going to be my go-to. 

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