- Courtesy Basil and Barley Pizzeria Napoletana
“A good pizza is better with good beer,” he says. He’ll have Italian wines, sure. “But if you ask me, pizza should go with a beer.”
Calcagno’s been in restaurants since he was 19, thanks in part to his chef father, Sandro, who co-owns Basil and Barley. Roberto trained under Salvatore Santucci, a member of the True Neapolitan Pizza Association (AVPN) before opening Verace Kitchen in Manchester, England, in 2013. But eventually, he and wife Alessia got sick of the cold, damp weather, and, two years ago, they moved to Colorado.
Location Details Basil and Barley Pizzeria Napoletana
“We’re the kind of folks who like mountains and like the sun,” he says. “The weather [in Colorado] is awesome.”
Basil and Barley is at least three months out from opening he says. When we speak, he’s just returned from a trip to Naples to check on his pizza oven, which is now being shipped to the U.S.
“Every brick inside is handmade from sand from Sorento, a town near Naples,” he says. “It’s a massive amount of artisan work to do.” It only holds five or six pizzas at a time, but each only needs a minute to cook. He’s also invested in a $16,000 diving arm mixer, which more closely replicates the kneading motion of a human arm. He’ll also be importing a lot of his ingredients from Italy. For beer, he plans to offer a mix of local and imported Italian brews.