LAS VEGAS — Six days before Tony Gemignani opens his latest Pizza Rock, in the Green Valley Ranch Casino near Las Vegas, both sides of the chef are on full display. In the kitchen, flanked by six trainee cooks, is the Tony Gemignani whom San Franciscans know from his three North Beach restaurants — Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Slice House and Capo’s. The chef is inspecting the bottom of every test pie that comes out of the ovens. Sometimes he tips up a corner. Other times he lifts the 12-inch round over his head. “Bottom could have been cooked a little longer,” he says. Or: “You got to move it onto a hot spot to finish it.” After 24 years of making pizzas, he can tell from the color of the crust whether the oven temperature was too low. Gemignani wears red-striped chef’s whites, and the straight-toothed smile he flashes on book jackets and TV appearances is sheathed as he lectures the cooks on how to apply the right proportion of fig preserves and prosciutto to his Cal-Italia pie. Now 41, Gemignani is a little rounder than in the days when he first showed off his pizza-tossing tricks on the Tonight… Read full this story
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