Tony Gemignani has had a passion for the pizza industry since 1991. His humble beginnings began at his brother’s infamous Pyzano’s Pizzeria in Castro Valley. Fresh out of high school, Tony took on the task of a pizza thrower and soon began entertaining the restaurant crowds with his wily tricks. A few years later, he entered into his first pizza throwing competition in Las Vegas and quickly became the top pizza thrower in the world, in addition to becoming a partner at Pyzano’s.
Since his days at his brother’s pizzeria, Gemignani has received a number of accolades for his impressive pizza making and throwing skills. He is a nine-time World Champion Pizza Acrobat, president of the World Pizza Champions and the 2007 World Champion Pizza Maker at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy, where he was the first American and non-Neapolitan victor. He has tossed pizzas with celebrities such as Michael Douglas, James Caan and Howie Mandel, as well as appeared on popular shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Good Morning America. Gemignani also received his certification in Classic Italian Pizza from the Scuola Italaina Pizzaioli. His most impressive accolade to date is being named the official U.S. ambassador of Neopolitan pizza by the city of Naples, a prestigious title only given to three people in the entire world.
In 2009, Gemignani fulfilled his lifelong dream by opening Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, where he hand-crafts his award-winning pizza Margherita utilizing the same Cirigliano wood-burning oven used to win in Naples. The pizzeria also offers several styles of pizzas, including Classic American, Italian, Sicilian and Neapolitan pizzas artfully made with artisan flours, an array of authentic sauces, and seasonal ingredients and finished in four different, regionally-specific ovens. The restaurant was met with immediate success upon opening and was named one of the Top 10 Pizzerias in the U.S.
Tony now lives with his wife of ten years in San Francisco and frequently travels to Naples, Italy.