Johnny Di Francesco
Johnny Di Francesco – Pizzaiolo, Chef, Restaurateur 400 Gradi is the brainchild of chef and V.P.N. Principal Johnny Di Francesco, who’s family hail from Naples in Southern coastal Italy – the home of ‘world’s best’ pizza. Johnny has a series of Pizza and Calzone outlets with the 400 Gradi restaurant being the flagship of the group. The 400 Gradi interiors are all about classic Italian textures, with walls of espresso ribbons of Stucco Veneziana and sweeping golden calligraphy. Black and antique gold pendant lights and a charcoal Terrazzo style polished floor all reflect a golden hue. A bar honed from a dark veined slab of 160 year old red gum, salumi cabinets and antique slicers are all part of the theatre… Outside there’s plenty more tables for dining where the usual sophistication of the ‘other’ end of Lygon Street is apparent. Johnny is the first Australian ever trained in Naples to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana VPN rules and he’s the association’s Australasian Principal, travelling the region ensuring pizzeria’s are of the highest standard before officially inducting them into the Association. Appearing regularly on the ‘Regional Italian Cuisine’ program and having appeared at the famous Caesars Palace during the Las Vegas International Pizza Expo Johnny also regularly holds seasonal Masterclasses – fast becoming recognised as Melbourne’s Mr. Pizza!