What’s the perfect pizza? For chefs Aaron Rayor and Michael Castaneda-D’Roma the answer is easy: Italy’s famed Napoletana-style, wood-fired, with a thin crust and fluffy interior.
The pair bring an extensive pizza pedigree to Carmel’s Cantinetta Luca. Rayor took over the kitchen last summer, coming from Bestia in Los Angeles. Castaneda-D’Roma joined as sous chef earlier this summer. He got his start at 800 Degrees Pizzeria, which sparked his passion for pizza, and went on to work with some of L.A.’s top talent before spending the past 18 months in South Korea.
Weekly: What is your favorite pizza combination?
Castaneda-D’Roma: Anything spicy and sweet.
Rayor: Sausage and mushroom.
Most unusual pizza you’ve eaten?
R: Hawaiian pizza.
C-D: Definitely pumpkin puree and frozen raspberries.
Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?
C-D: Yes, but only if the pineapple is grilled first!
R: Hard no.
C-D: No! But I do like pan pizza, which is about half as deep as a deep dish.
R: I mean, I like the crust.
Favorite of the pizza chains?
C-D: Settebello, because they do Neapolitan-style and they have good dough.
R: I guess it depends on how desperate I am. Probably Domino’s.