Jeff Benjamin (left) and Marc Vetri relax in front of Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia.

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This Famous Chef Is Returning to the Pizza Business

Marc Vetri, the renowned chef and James Beard Award recipient known for Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia and other acclaimed eateries, says he’s getting back into the pizza business—and his dad, Salvatore, will once again join him in the kitchen.

Vetri made the announcement recently on Instagram, noting that he’s “been making pizza for upwards of 35 years, always learning, always evolving and always creating.” He added that his experiences at restaurants like Wolfgang Puck’s Granita in Malibu, Bella Blu in New York, Osteria Fiorella in Las Vegas, and Pizzeria Vetri in Philly, have been “leading me to this moment.”

The new pizzeria will be called Pizzeria Salvy in honor of his father. He didn’t reveal where or when it will open.

Vetri sold the Pizzeria Vetri brand seven years ago.

In the Instagram post, Vetri reflected on his dad’s extensive career in the culinary arts. “From growing up a block from Fiorella, he has traveled everywhere to cook with me, was a prep cook at Vetri, sliced every single onion that went into the onion crepe for our first 10 years, has made his legendary family meals at Vetri and Amis [Trattoria] 3 days a week up until 2020, and has become synonymous with his meatball recipe. So it’s only fitting that my next project is a tribute to my father Sal.”

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in this photo, Marc Vetri can be seen staring down at a freshly baked Margherita pizza with a woman in a white restaurant uniform working in the background of what appears to be a restaurant.
Marc Vetri puts the finishing touches on a Margherita pizza. (Marc Vetri / Instagram)

He noted that Salvatore taught him three “basic rules to live by: 1) Always work for yourself. 2) Always have integrity. 3) Always use veal pork and beef in the meatballs.”

Pizzeria Salvy, he said, “will be a true Philadelphia story, all about growing up [in] Philly, the memories they invoke, and pizzas that are created around those memories and moments, such as the Sunday Gravy pizza. My belief has always been that, more than serving food, we are helping to create a lifetime memory for you, and you are entrusting us to do that. It’s very powerful and never taken for granted. The moments with my father are felt in my food and I want to share that with you.”

The Pizzeria Salvy menu will feature 12” pies, a New York-style slice, pizza al taglio and Salvatore’s meatballs. “Beautiful local grains will be woven into the dough as well,” Vetri said, adding that the pizzas will feature “simply great ingredients with great results.”

Vetri opened Vetri Cucina with business partner Jeff Benjamin in 1988. Within two years, he was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating. In 2005, he received the James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. Altogether, according to the Vetri Cucina website, Vetri has been nominated for James Beard Awards 16 times since 2003.

Related: “Pizza Cuz” Sal Basile revisits his childhood with Sally Boy’s