Italian Heritage is strong
Riccardo Moretti was born to immigrant Italian parents, Antonio and Maria, in Western Sydney. He spent his childhood growing up on their farm in Western Sydney and watching his mamma make beautiful Italian meals for his family. Food that was made time-stakingly and lovingly from scratch – pizza dough that was mixed, kneaded and stretched, their own passata (tomato sauce) and fresh ingredients from the family farm, and then cooked in their woodfire pizza oven at home. These meals were always shared with family and friends and mamma Maria was instilling in him tradition and the ‘authentic –way’.
At age 10, Riccardo could be seen pushing trolleys around his Zio’s (Uncle’s) Fruit Shop – Joe’s Fruit World, Wetherill Park. This was his first job and was being exposed to the food industry from a young age. Like most second generation Italian kids growing up in the 80s and 90s, it wasn’t unusual to be put to work in the school holidays of the family business or a family friend’s business.
The Cappuccino Kid
Known as the ‘Cappuccino Kid’ at age 13, Riccardo was gaining a reputation for making the best coffee in Liverpool at Café Bel Fior. When the staff left and the shop was quiet, he would practise and practise until he developed his skills and became quite the master. At this young age, he was already displaying passion and the desire to perfect things.
Dreams of the air and a passion ignited
Riccardo was 15, and his grand dream was to become an aircraft engineer. Needing money to pursue studies in Canada, Riccardo’s family convinced him to learn the art of pizza and earn some money to be able to pursue his engineering dreams. He began work at Al Forno, in the pizzeria, where his family friends took him under his wing and shared with Riccardo his dedication to tradition that was passed down to them both from their mamma.
Riccardo then started waiting tables at Criniti’s Italian Restaurant. He was itching to get into the pizzeria though and eventually convinced the owner, Frank, to give him a go in the pizzeria. His love and passion for pizza was developing.
An obsession and vision
Riccardo was working with key influences on his love of and obsession with pizza including his family at Pizzeria Belluci in La Piazza at Bankstown Sports Club. His family was always giving Riccardo encouragement and support and inspired him to continue with his obsession with ‘perfecting pizza’. La Piazza gained a reputation as one of the best pizzeria’s in Sydney and people would queue for up to two hours on the weekend to eat Riccardo and his families pizza.
It was here, where they could make an average of 900 pizzas on a Saturday night and 4000 pizzas a week, that Riccardo had to learn how to make pizzas quickly and with the same high quality and consistency. This led to self-learning new ways to open the dough, to try and open it faster and faster and this led to learning the art of dough acrobatics.
He also set himself the goal of snap freezing dough and getting it to the point of where it still tasted exactly the same as if it had been made fresh. Once he had endlessly trialed and tested the dough to achieve consistency, he then worked on extending the shelf- life. This made a huge difference to increasing efficiencies in the kitchen, especially when there was such a reputation to uphold and with such large quantities coming out of the pizzeria.
Best traditional pizzaiolo
From his mamma’s family recipe that had been handed down through the family, generation to generation, Riccardo took it and sought all the premium Australian ingredients and worked on perfecting his recipe. Like when he was perfecting coffee when he was 13, he would trial it and taste it and trial it and taste it again until it was exactly what he wanted. he knew it was the highest quality and made in the artisan Italian way.
Knowing he had an ultimate product, Riccardo competed in the prestigious Dairy Farmer’s Best of the Best Pizza Challenge and won Best Traditional Pizza Maker in Australia at age 16. His dough received a complete score – the judges couldn’t fault his dough. It was fluffy but not filling, it was light but not full of yeast. It was perfect.
Second accolade- the passion continues
He won the Best of the Best Pizza Challenge for the Best Traditional Pizza Maker in Australia for the second time, at age 17, and Riccardo knew that this was what he wanted to do. The more he made pizza, the more he fell in love with the whole process and before he knew it, it had become a passion. He wanted to make the best authentic pizza there was… to ‘perfect’ pizza.
Riccardo also won a place on the Australian Pizza Team for Dough Acrobatics as part of the International Championship tour.
On 20th June, Riccardo had a serious motorbike accident and spent the majority of the year recovering. His passion for pizza extended to him wanting to compete in the Pizza Challenge with plaster on his arm, however, was deemed unfit to enter.
Not content with sitting back, and in his true ambitious nature, he opened restaurant, Pizzaitalia, Chiswick with family and, again, focused on bringing authentic Italian pizza to his customers.
The birth of an Italian-Australian company
RDM Pizza Consulting was born. With an obsession and, now years of experience, Riccardo came to the realisation that authentic artisan pizza dough could be lost to mass produced alternatives if someone didn’t continue this tradition and make it accessible for the market.
Riccardo creates RDM the company with the focus on business consulting and imparting and sharing his knowledge and experience to others within the community.
Ensuring Italian culture continues
Amoretti’s Chiswick is sold, allowing Riccardo to focus on RDM and extending and sharing his passion for pizza with customers and making it accessible to everyone.
Filling a gap in the market, RDM began focusing on providing businesses and retailers with a high quality and ready-to-use solution with pizza bases and snap frozen dough balls. The same dough that had won awards at The Best of the Best Pizza Challenge was now accessible to everyone. The RDM products are a solution to enable consistency and quality in every business, from hotels to clubs to cafes, pizzerias and restaurants. 2016 also saw a soft-launch into the retail market, where ready to use pizza bases are now available.
RDM strives to bring you only the best. The best artisan and authentic Italian pizza bases and dough products. Every product is ‘fatti a mano’ (hand-made), just as they should be, all 100% Australian ingredients and all with the same high quality and consistency.
Today- bringing the best
RDM Pizza Consulting re-structures to become RDM Pizza Australia – committed to bringing you the best. The brand is re-launched into the Australian market with fresh logo that displays qualities of pizza made by hand. Today, Riccardo feels as though he has come full-circle from the young boy watching his mamma lovingly make pizza dough for his family, instilling in him traditions; to being inspired and pushed by his family; to today, making the same dough for everyone else to enjoy and share.