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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar

STORY BY: ANNE LEE | PHOTOS BY: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Since opening in January 2018, Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar has thrived under the direction of regional executive chef Hiroyuki “Hiro” Mimura, who started at Appetito’s sister restaurant Taormina 13 years ago. He now oversees the culinary direction for both establishments, but this week shares what’s new at Appetito heading into 2021.

AL: How did you get into the restaurant industry?

HM: I loved to cook and especially eat. I was double my size, I was crazy fat! I also was in eating competitions and won a lot of them, and held records in some of the competitions. I started cooking Italian food in Tokyo for about four years but really wanted to learn how to make authentic Italian cuisine. I was already passionate about soccer and the culture and cuisine, so I moved to Italy. I didn’t know how to speak English or Italian, I couldn’t even order what I wanted to eat. Thirteen years later, I moved to New York City and met the president of our restaurant group, interviewed and was hired to open Taormina.

For more information check out our  Dining Out/In feature in the Star-Advertiser