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On the pass: Anthony Nicastro, Julius Pizzeria, Brisbane

How does Julius differ from Beccofino, its parent restaurant, Anthony?
We carry the same ethos here, but there's more of a rustic New York-Melbourne pizzeria feel to the surroundings. At Beccofino there are lots of families, which we love, and Julius is bringing in a whole set of new people. It's such a cool, funky place.

What about your pizza?
Our pizzaioli are childhood friends and they come from Ascoli. The oven is from Naples. It's built to cook Neapolitan pizza, but here we're making more of a northern Italian style of pizza. Northern Italian pizza has a good crust and a good border. Some Neapolitan pizze come out with softer bases because they're cooked quicker. We get a crisp base and a good border because we cook them for a little bit longer. The advantage at Julius is we're using a Stefano Ferrara oven - which is the Rolls Royce of ovens. We also use Le 5 Stagioni flour from Italy, which gives a better result.

How is Italian food in Brisbane changing?
It's getting simpler as we go along. More suppliers are switching on to what chefs want. We grew up eating and cooking chicoria and cime di rapa, and used to make our own ricotta and salted ricotta. My parents are from Sicily and live in Stanthorpe now. They're in their seventies but they still do passata every autumn when the tomatoes are right, and my father still makes his own wine. Each year we get a 250-kilo pig and split it between three families. We make salami and some guanciale and my father makes cotechino. I always take time off to go and do it. It's hard work but it's a great weekend.

Julius Pizzeria, 77 Grey St (cnr Fish La), South Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3844 2655


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