Foursome brings Italian pizza to town of four

"One of Siouxland’s largest signs towers over tiny Carnes on Highway 60 in Sioux County. It graces the side of the grain elevator and says, “Where the Farm to Food System Begins. Carnes.”

"Across the street (it’s Old Highway 60) another farm to food system has begun. Sfumato Pizza is now entering its third week of business," according to the Sioux City Journal.

"Sfumato, according to one of the principals involved, is a painting term coined by Italian great Leonardo DiVinci, meaning “up in smoke.”

Actually, that can happen when you’re fixing the style of Neapolitan Pizza made here in an Italian brick oven that’s kept at a constant 900 degrees. The all-natural pizzas are assembled here by placing ingredients atop Italian flour. That step takes 2.5 minutes. Each 10-inch pizza then goes into the oven for 90 seconds. That’s it.

Unless…

“I was taking a pizza out a few nights ago and I wanted to give it a few seconds up near the dome of the oven,” said Mark Slemp of nearby Maurice, Iowa. “I held it up and it went up in flames.”

The top of the shallow dome in this oven can reach 1200 degrees pretty easily.

Sfumato Pizza is owned and operated by Slemp and his partners Paul Maras of Alton, Anne Plageman of Maurice and Slemp’s son, Matt Slemp, who, at 26, has the training and certification from Verace Pizza Napoletana, the governing body for this international manner of pizza preparation."