Our good friend and journalist; Robbie Dillon sat down to chat with him recently. Here it is below:

Dino Tavarone is a veteran Montreal actor known for his roles in Omerta: La Loi du Silence, Mon Ami Dino, Mambo Italiano, and a host of other film and television projects. Born in the Lucania region of Southern Italy, he also owned and operated the well-known Bon Gusto Restaurant in Montreal’s Little Italy neighbourhood for more than 20 years. All of which makes him an expert when it comes to judging pizza.

Q: So what do you think makes for a great pizza?

A: The pasta, the dough – that’s the most important thing. It takes two days to prepare the dough, and each pizzaiole has their own secret way to get it ready. After that you put some good quality ingredients, but not too much. I like the American pizza, the all-dressed, but the real pizza, the best pizza, it’s the Napolitan. Now they even gave it a TSG (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed) status. That means you have to use the same dough, the same ingredients, the same cooking methods that they do in Italy for it to be a genuine pizza Napoletana.

Q: What’s the best pizza you’ve ever eaten?

A: Everyone has their own way to make pizza. In Rome they have a square pizza, they call that al taglio. It’s very good, but for me, the traditional round pizza, the margherita from Naples, it’s the best. I still remember my mother would make the dough for the bread and the pizza and bring it to the baker in Vietri, the town where I grew up. Everyone put their bread in the same oven and after it was cooked, all the children would come and eat it.

Q: Sounds like some pretty serious competition.

A: That’s why we have this contest. (laughs) I’m really looking forward to La Pizza Week. It’s going to be a really good test!