It is said that nothing is guaranteed in life and Valentino Libro knows it very well. Like a seed, talent needs time to reach full maturity. Yet dreaming is legitimate for ambition and fatigue to trip difficulties and allow the goal to be achieved.
Valentino Libro, a true Italian with innate talent and big dreams, is today an international star in the art of pizza-making and after many awards, acknowledgments and headlines on newspapers from all over the world, he has embarked on the difficult path of entrepreneurship by opening his own restaurants which combine exclusive wines and champagne with his specialty, gourmet pizza.
We had a chance to ask Valentino few questions about his backstory and current challenges and goals, here’s what he answered.
Your entrepreneurial career began at the beginning of the new millennium with a pizzeria called “Capoverde”. What memories do you keep of that experience?
It was a fundamental step, I was very young, I started from there but without having the experience or skills necessary to manage a business. I was not yet ready to face a path on my own, I needed to work “behind” others to learn the tricks of this tough business.
And so you continued to learn and travel, moving to Turkey, Istanbul, for quite some time. What conception of pizza did you find upon your arrival in such a different country and culture?
Very different from the way we interpret it since there is a totally different mentality. It was difficult but not impossible to instill our food philosophy, but I must say that it was appreciated because what is good is good everywhere. I had a team that followed me very well, even tho I was the so-called “Chef”, my team made the dream work. I have learned a lot from Turkish cooking, an amazing experience overall.
And now to the highlight that your curriculum can boast which is the victory of the Pizza World Championship. My question is not about the emotions of the moment, already reported by many media outlets. My question actually is what turn do you think your career would have had without that title ?
Winning the title gave me the opportunity to stay in my birthplace, even while keeping an eye on foreign countries and opportunities. Perhaps, without winning the championship, I would have preferred to cross the borders and go to America because I have always been a person with a great desire to do and discover. As I always say, maybe I didn’t make the best pizza ever but I think I deserved the title because for many years I committed to make the best pizza ever. What makes the difference is the desire to get to the top.
Valentino Libro now owns several restaurants where he merges incredible pizza with premium wines and champagne.
To check his journey, follow him on instagram: @valentinolibrogram