Hello, my name is Rigo and my journey in the restaurant industry began back in 2000. For an incredible 16 years, I had the privilege of working with the renowned Smith Group, which owns a variety of fantastic restaurants across Asbury Park, Jersey City, and Montclair, New Jersey.
Among the many highlights of my career, I cherish the unforgettable experience of being part of the opening team at Porta in Asbury Park in 2011. Starting as a Pizza Maker, I gradually worked my way up through multiple culinary positions of Sous Chef to eventually Executive Chef. It was during my time at Porta that I discovered my profound passion for wood-fired ovens and the art of creating Neapolitan-style pizza.
I had the incredible opportunity to work alongside the esteemed Chef Roberto Caporuscio, a highly acclaimed figure in the world of pizza. As the U.S. President of PAF (Pizza Academy Foundation), Chef Caporuscio plays a vital role in preserving the authentic techniques of Neapolitan Pizza making, which dates back 300 years. He certifies adherence to these traditional procedures, and I was extremely proud to receive a certification from him in 2011.
With the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic causing significant disruptions in the restaurant industry in 2021, I decided to leave Porta and embark on a new adventure. Driven by my passion for Neapolitan Pizza, I set out to find my own location where I could continue honing my craft.
In the summer of 2022, my dream came to life as we proudly opened Pizza Heaven in the vibrant town of Belmar, New Jersey. This new chapter allows me to share my love for wood-fired ovens and deliver the true taste of Neapolitan Pizza to our valued customers.
Thank you for your confidence in my craft.
The Riano Family
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