There’s no pizza like Neapolitan pizza. It’s more than a “pie”—it’s the original pizza, born in Naples, honed and refined in countless Italian kitchens and elevated to an art form unlike any other in the culinary world. And traveling to Italy to master the style is akin to a spiritual pilgrimage for many pizzaioli—those who can afford it, at least.

But most of us don’t have that kind of money. That’s why master pizzaiolo Alessio Lacco, co-owner of Atlanta Pizza Truck, and his partner/wife, Sofia Arango, founder of Latinos en Pizza, are offering a two-day, full-immersion, bilingual class in Neapolitan pizza making on September 2 and 3 in Atlanta. The class leads into PMQ’s Pizza Power Forum, taking place September 4 and 5 during the QSR Evolution Conference in Atlanta.

The Italian-born Lacco made pizza history in 2021 when Atlanta Pizza Truck became the first food truck in the world to earn certification from Italy’s prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). In fact, Lacco now serves as director of the AVPN Atlanta School. Meanwhile, Atlanta Pizza Truck itself has become one of the city’s most celebrated mobile food operations as well as a pizza caterer to the stars, sought out by movie/TV actors and crews filming in the area.

Related: Atlanta Pizza Truck: A new direction for Neapolitan pizza

Lacco will lead the Neapolitan pizza class alongside two experienced Neapolitan chefs working in the Northeast—Juan Gabriel Perez, the renowned executive chef at Posto in Boston, and rising pizza star Alexandra Castro of Pizza With Ale, an AVPN-certified pizza chef, caterer and private instructor in Stamford, Connecticut.

Presented by Latinos en Pizza, a fast-growing international nonprofit dedicated to promoting pizza culture throughout Latin America, the course will be taught in both English and Spanish, making it the first bilingual Neapolitan pizza making class ever offered in the U.S. and ideal for Latino pizza makers looking to fine-tune their Neapolitan skills.

“In these classes, there will be a lot of knowledge compressed into two days,” Lacco said. “It will be fun, easy to understand, and, of course, we will make delicious pizzas for everyone.”

Lacco has chosen his fellow instructors carefully. Perez, for example, is both a master pizzaiolo and one of the pizza industry’s best-known influencers. His Instagram account alone, @juangpizza, has nearly 425,000 followers. “Constantly on Instagram, people ask me questions about some tricks on how to make a very good pizza, ingredients, and even how the dough behaves each time we change cities and ovens…and we will be able to share all these tricks in these classes,” Perez said.

Before moving to the U.S., Castro served as the head chef at acclaimed pizza restaurants in Colombia and Montreal, Canada. She will also be a featured panelist at the Pizza Power Forum, guiding attendees through two topics: “Perfecting Your Dough: Tips and Tricks” and “Pizza & Beyond: Developing a Menu That Really Performs.” Her Instagram account, @pizzawithale, has nearly 26,000 followers

“You will have three different people making pizza in the way each of us likes best,” Lacco added. “Alexandra, Juan G, and I will be delighted to have you join us live and in person, sharing as much knowledge as we can over these two days.”

Here’s a description of the course:

Class Schedule—Day 1: Theory
An introduction to Neapolitan pizza and its historical background
Different methods of leavening, maturation and fermentation of pizza dough
A study of the main ingredients of Neapolitan pizza: water, flour, yeast, salt, tomato, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil
Baking and building techniques using a wood and gas oven
Mixing dough ingredients, kneading dough, fermentation, dividing dough and rolling smooth dough balls
A 30-minute Q&A in which students will be able to review and discuss their progress, ask questions and get solutions to any concerns they may have

Class Schedule—Day 2: Hands-On Learning
Preparing, handling and stretching dough
Understanding the pizza ovens’ functions and baking techniques
Baking according to preferred temperatures and how different temperatures affect the final product
Cooking their pizzas in gas- and wood-fired ovens
Proper use of cleaning tools

All of the practical lessons will be taught by the instructors in a laboratory equipped with wood-fired and gas-fired ovens and other modern equipment.

At the end of the course, each student will be awarded their Latinos en Pizza certification in a brief ceremony.

Following the course, students will be invited to a Latinos en Pizza fundraising party and feast on authentic Neapolitan pizzas prepared by their experienced instructors. That event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and will raise funds for Latinos en Pizza and the enactment of the first annual Latinos en Pizza Day, to be observed on September 15. Latinos en Pizza Day will encourage pizzeria owners to donate pizzas to food pantries, shelters and other nonprofits in vulnerable communities in the U.S. and various Latin American countries.

Ready to sign up for the course? Spots are limited, so you’ll want to reserve yours right away by calling 470-31-PIZZA or emailing Latinos en Pizza at

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