Pizzaiolo Christian brings a taste of Italy to Stanford

Christian Ferreyra recently traveled all the way from Bologna, Italy, to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Stanford, Kentucky.

As an Argentinian Italian, he has lived in Italy for twenty years. There he learned how to become a “pizzaiolo” or “one who makes pizza.” He is now crafting his own version of authentic Italian food for Mama DeVechio’s Pizzeria, located in downtown Stanford.

Christian learned how to make pizza from an Italian family in Perugia where he went to school.

“I learned everything from them, from using the oven to making the dough,” he said. “I learned how to stretch dough, how to know when it was ready to use, and how bread rises.”

Christian said the important part about creating pizza is having patience with the dough.

“It takes time,” he said. “Time to make the dough. Time for the dough to mature. It’s a bit like real life. It’s better to know when to wait if you want to achieve the best outcome.”

Christian has spent his whole life learning to perfect his craft. He said watching people’s faces as they eat pizza is what drew him to the profession.

“It’s a pleasure to see that they are enjoying themselves,” he said. “Knowing that they are happy eating the pizza I made brings me a lot of joy.”

Learning to perfect his pizza creations also involves a lot of travel and eating pizza from other pizzaiolos. He discovered his favorite pizza in Bologna, where he currently resides.

“They work carefully with the dough,” he said. “They make the kind of dough that is distinct and particular to that region. The best pizza I ever had was in a restaurant called Berbere.”

Italian Tradition

Christian explains that making pizza in Italy is indeed a craft that lives deep in Italian culture.

“It is such a strong tradition,” Christian said. “There are some Italian families who are so dedicated to their pizza tradition that they will only eat at one pizza restaurant because they are loyal to their favorite pizzaiolo. If the pizza were made by someone else, they wouldn’t eat it.”

As a part of this tradition, each Italian family selects one day to eat pizza at a restaurant.

“It’s law,” Christian said. “They will not miss that day. Each family has their own rhythm. They choose their day, and that day is sacred family time. It’s a time to eat pizza as a family.”

Coming to Stanford

Christan has been busy working his influence into the menu at Mama DeVechio’s Pizzeria – from perfecting the dough to adding more anti-pasta options.

Above all else, he wants to show Mama DeVechio’s patrons just how passionate he is about creating an authentic Italian experience in everything, especially the atmosphere in the restaurant and the food that is served.

“My passion is making good pizza,” Christian said. “I want people to enjoy this, appreciate it, and understand that it is a real Italian tradition, and respect it as such.”

Meanwhile, Christian is enjoying his time in Stanford.

“Stanford has such a beautiful landscape,” he said. “It reminds me of Switzerland. You can walk and see huge green spaces with little houses in the middle. It’s like an idyllic town scene, with well-organized lawns and houses. It’s very nice. The people I have met here so far have been great. They have been willing to help with everything.”

Customers can enjoy Pizzaiolo Christian’s creations at Mama DeVechio’s on Monday through Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm in downtown Stanford. We hope to expand our hours in the near future!