Pizza CS, a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria, located on Rockville Pike in Rockville, MD has been certified by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN), an Italian government designation that protects and preserves the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promotes the art of pizza making.

This special certification recognizes those pizzerias that employ pizza makers that respect the culinary tradition of Neapolitan pizza. Pizza CS is the only restaurant in the DC Metro area to achieve this certification. Fewer than 30 restaurants have received APN certification for their pizza makers in the United States.  

“We are incredibly proud of receiving this certification from the APN,” said co-owner and head pizzaiolo Ankur Rajpara. “Our goal was to create an authentic Neapolitan experience for our guests, and the APN certification truly validates that our Margherita and Marinara pizzas are what you would find in Napoli itself.”

The Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN) was established in July 1998 with the intent to re-evaluate and preserve a job that is considered a symbol of Neapolitan culture and folklore: the pizza maker. The APN counts members from all over the world and has succeeded in having Neapolitan pizza recognized by the European Community as a S.T.G. (Specialità Tradizionale Garantita) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agricultural Policy.  Presently, they are working hard to achieve another important goal: to make the art of Neapolitan pizza recognized with UNESCO World Heritage status.

The APN maintains strict member guidelines for ingredients, dough, and cooking. This elite organization maintains that pizza dough must be made only with flour, natural yeast, salt and water. Dough must be kneaded by hand or by mixers which do not cause the dough to overheat, and the dough must be punched down and shaped by hand. Also, only wood-burning, bell-shaped brick ovens are permitted in pizzerias that belong to this organization. The pizza must be cooked on the volcanic stone surface of the oven, and not in any pan or container, with oven temperatures reaching at least 450° C (840° F) for no more than 90 seconds.

In 2009, Rajpara began his pizza education with a Master Pizzaiolo in California and continued training in Napoli before opening Pizza CS in 2011 with co-owner Jonathan Allen.  In October 2014, Rajpara returned to Napoli to present his credentials and knowledge in order to receive membership in the APN and to certify the pizzas served at Pizza CS.

About Pizza CS

Pizza CS was established in 2011 by two longtime friends, Ankur Rajpara and Jonathan Allen, who share a love of pizza and the warmth and culture of small, traditional pizzerias.  Pizza CS welcomes guests to sit down with their friends in a fun, relaxed style to enjoy real Neapolitan Pizza.  There are no "gourmet" pretensions, just honest pizza, prepared the same way since it has been done since the 1800's.

To learn more about Pizza CS, please visit:

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