Some of Kevin’s earliest memories of growing up in London involve his Italian grandfather Dante, who introduced him to the aromas and flavours of classic Italian cuisine.
Dante would spend hours in the kitchen creating beautiful home-cooked meals for the whole family. He became famous throughout his English neighbourhood for the quality of his food. Once experienced, never forgotten!
Moving to New Zealand aged 23, Kevin threw himself into a career working for his father-in-law. After eight solid years of hard work and achievement, he was ready for a new challenge. One day he was driving through Kumeu when he happened to notice a pizza shop with a For Sale sign. This was his opportunity to revive his dream of becoming a chef.
With limited funds to invest up front, Kevin continued with the shop’s existing American business model of preparing cold pizzas for customers to take home to cook. Kevin saved the takings and used his spare time to research authentic Italian pizza. Eventually he came across an organisation called Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) that gives accreditation to pizza made in the traditional style of Napoli. This would be the key to the future of Dante’s.
Meeting the AVPN standards meant couriering DVDs to Italy, demonstrating Kevin’s mastery of all the tasks required to perfect his Pizza Napoletana skills. It was a huge commitment, but it paid off. One Sunday morning at 3am he received the phone call from Italy to say he’d passed. Dante’s was on its way!