Joey Gonzales

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Friday - September 07, 2011 Share | | podcast Podcast |

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Joey Gonzales

Occupation: Executive Chef, Bella Mia (Kaimuki and Beretania locations)

Where were you born and raised? Brooklyn, N.Y.

What started your love of cooking? My family was always involved in restaurants. My father and my brothers had restaurants some of them still do and I was involved in learning the business from a young age. They taught me everything especially about hard work and dedication.

What was the first thing you learned to make? The dough for the pizza.

I think you have the best meatballs and eggplant rollatini in Honolulu. What’s the secret? No secret. Just love (laughs) seriously, it’s time, patience, good ingredients and lots of love.

What should people eat first time they try Bella Mia? Probably lasagna or spaghetti with meatballs. Simple, and they can compare to others they’ve had.

What do you have when you stop to eat? Chicken Parmesan or chicken Marsala.

And when you’re not eating and cooking here? Chinese food is my favorite. I like P.F. Chang’s.

Who would you most like to see come in for a slice of pizza? Any one of the Yankees.

Is Chicago-style really a pizza? (laughs). Well, it’s more like eating a pie and it’s about the toppings. It’s not what we think of as pizza. New York style has a foldable crust, light cheese, light sauce, maybe a pepperoni or two. You need to be able to taste the cheese, the crust and the bread. It’s not about the toppings.

Speaking of toppings, how about pineapple? I’m not a big fan, but I put a lot of pineapple on pizza. People love it.

Veggies? Mmm ... not a big fan either. They produce too much water. How about my favorite, anchovies? I hate anchovies. I’d never eat them on a pizza ( laughs).

OK. What should be on top? Cheese. Regular plain cheese. You should try that sometime, it’s really good.

Bella Mia 1137 11th Ave. Kaimuki 737-1937

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