was born and raised on a dairy farm in Pontinia, Italy, an hour outside of Naples, where he first developed his culinary skills producing and selling cheese. However, it was in Naples, where Roberto went to study the art and craft of Neapolitan pizza-making, with the most talented pizza masters.
After training with the best, Roberto came to the United States where he opened several successful pizzerias he became an American in 1999 in Pittsburgh, PA and opened two Regina Margarita pizzerias and Roberto’s pizza. After 2007 he moved to ridgewood, NJ and opened Amano Pizza.He ultimately settled in New York City in 2009, and established Kesté Pizza & Vino. Kesté, meaning “this is it” in the dialect of Naples, is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria located at 271 Bleecker Street, in the heart of Greenwich Village. At Kesté, pizza fans can indulge in an expansive assortment of 40 traditional and creative wood-fired Neapolitan style pies, crafted from the finest ingredients, including homemade mozzarella.In February 2012, Roberto collaborated with his mentor, Antonio Starita, and opened Don Antonio by Starita, a Neapolitan pizza restaurant located at 309 West 50th Street, in Midtown, Manhattan, followed by a second location at 102 West Paces Ferry Road NW, in Buckhead, Atlanta. Don Antonio’s menu showcases more than 60 pizzas, including, red, white and specialty pizzas, an assortment of gluten free pizzas and several vegetarian and vegan options.
Each endeavor brought critical acclaim from the culinary industry, and Roberto has become one of the most highly praised pizza chefs amongst his peers, and the subject of rave reviews in the media. His many testimonials include: “#1 Pizza in New York” by New York magazine, “Best Pizza” in the state of NY by Food Network Magazine, amongst the top 25 “Best Pizza Places the US” by Food and Wine magazine and pizzas featured on the covers of Saveur and La Cucina Italiana magazines.
A passionate advocate of the Neapolitan Pizza Industry, Roberto serves as US President of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli (APN – Association of Neapolitan Pizza Makers), the elite Italian governing body that teaches the 300 year old art of Neapolitan pizza making, and certifies adherence to authentic procedures. The pizza maestro is called upon by numerous restaurants throughout the US, for private consultations, and conducts an intensive $4,500, ten day Neapolitan pizza-making class at which he issues APN certification to aspiring Neapolitan pizza makers/restauranteurs around the world.