When the father of the Figurato brothers learned that his sons wanted to give up everything to open a Pizza shop he worried. So much Vittorio (Calabria, Italy, 1987) What Riccardo (1991) had good jobs after many years of university studies and their idea, a prioriIt seemed crazy. But they did not stop pursuing their dream until they opened the pizzeria in Madrid Figured Brothers, which has recently been named the third best pizzeria in Europe and the best of Spain.
“Now my father is our biggest fan; He even sends us recipes so that we can continue to innovate and improve ”, he explains to EL ESPAÑOL Vittorio, the eldest of the siblings, who can be guessed a smile despite wearing the mask. Both he and Riccardo not only have they entered the big door in the top 50 pizza, “a guide that is like the Michelin, but of pizzerias ”, but one of its pizzas, the Diavola de Leon, has been decorated with the special award for best pizza in europe. Its price: 12,90 euros. Adding those that make this class plus those of the rest of the offer, the restaurant can bake, each week, Come in 1.800 Y 2,000 artisan pizzas.
But this success story began many years ago and with many international ups and downs since its Italy native until settling in Madrid, after going through England, France O United States. “We, although we were born in Calabria, since we were very children we have lived in Caserta, a city to 20 kilometers of Naples. And in my family we have always been all passionate about gastronomy. My father, my mother, my grandparents… they have always made my brother and I grow up around the kitchen. At least twice a week we ate pizza from Naples. That’s where our passion began ”, he says Vittorio, who has received this newspaper at the Fratelli Figurato-Trattoria Popolare restaurant, one of the two pizzerias that they run in the capital.
The yearsHowever, they were passing and it seemed that the professional and the passionate, at first, did not marry, so each brother started his own path. Vittorio Figurato, the eldest, went to the Italian capital, to the University of Rome La Sapienza, for study Psychology, while Riccardo he preferred to stay home to study Business on the University of Naples Federico II. You see, the pizza of their childhood had practically disappeared from their lives.
Until the brothers Figured, years later, they met again in Paris. Vittorio had passed one year of Erasmus in England until arriving in the French capital to do a master’s degree in Marketing. In that year, in 2009, Riccardo he also went to the same city to do his Erasmus. “We live there together and on Saturday nights we start to do homemade pizzas and we invited our friends and colleagues from all over the world. It was something we loved ”, he recalls Vittorio.
To Madrid, for love
The Figurato brothersIn this way, they continued their student and professional careers. Vittorio would move to London to work in marketing. “From there I started talking to my hospitality brother, I wanted to set up something. I liked it ”, wields the now pizza maker. Riccardo, then, i was in Madrid where he started and finished a master’s degree in Marketing -I’m going through United States through-. And it was in the capital of Spain where he met Agnes, a girl Galician that to this day is still the couple of Riccardo.
“For her my brother stayed to live here. I came to see you from London and I was delighted with Madrid. It seemed to me to be a super beautiful city, where people live well, with friendly people… And, in the end, I also decided to look for work here ”, he reveals Vittorio. This is how the Figurato brothers settled in the capital of Spain, For the love of Riccardo a Agnes. Both of them held positions in marketing companies, but the idea of dedicating themselves to the hospitality industry was still on their minds. It ate at them.
And in 2016 They made a decision: to leave everything to open a restaurant. “By our studies we more or less controlled the business part”, he says Vittorio, who adds that “at first we thought of a fresh pasta tapas bar”. But when the idea did not take hold, they opened in December 2017 the first pizzeria Fratelli Figurato, located in el number 37 of the street of Alonso Cano, a small place whose tables were made by themselves, since the savings they had to invest were around 50.000 euros. And, only the oven – an electric artisan oven that is only manufactured Naples-, it cost 20.000 euros.
There a dizzying career would begin that would lead them to occupy the tenth position of the best pizzerias in Europe in 2020 and the third in 2021 -Y best of Spain-. “The truth is, when they gave us that award in 2020 we did not believe it. Apparently, the judges come in secret, eat and then send you an email in which they explain that your pizzeria has entered the top 50. And what of this year It has already been wonderful because we have reached the third position, something that we did not even imagine because we have surpassed pizzerias with great tradition and renown ”, he proudly expresses Vittorio.
The keys to success
But the Figurato brothers they left nothing to chance so that their pizzeria, in just three and a half years, has become the best of Spain. From the beginning they had a clear philosophy that, to Vittorio, continues and will continue to be the cornerstone of the project: “Our restaurant represents the regional cuisine of the south of Italy and everything we do, from the sauce to the pizza dough, is totally handcrafted. We don’t buy anything made. We make our pizzas and pastas from ingredients that we import fresh from Italy every two weeks. We want to be one family pizzeria, neighborhood, that represents Italian gastronomy and that we can sell in Spain Quality Products”.
To do this, Figurato brothers, from the beginning, they have surrounded themselves with family or close friends so that their business is familiar. “We want our clients to feel at home when they come. For this reason, for example, we do not consider that these pizzerias become a franchise ”, he continues Vittorio. And, also, for this family business idea, the brothers have had the help of their uncle from the beginning, Costantino Castriota, and a friend from their childhood that they grew up with, Angelo Ferrara.
The first, in fact, it is sommelier and he is in charge of the wine offer that he has Figured Brothers and the second, currently works as director of operations of the pizzerias. “From 2018 also moved to Madrid and it has helped us a lot ”, he is grateful Vittorio, who remembers, after reaping his successes, how the fame of his pizzeria was forged: “When we opened in Alonso Cano, we did not know that he was in the italian neighborhood, where are, for example, the Italian embassy o la Italian school. There, many diplomats or other Italian people began to visit us, who later recommended us. From that, little by little we grew ”.
And the menu became more complex, especially from 2019, when he joined the project Figured Brothers the chef Nicola Mettiveer, another childhood friend of Vittorio Y Riccardo. Together, they have developed a business idea that not only sells the best pizzas in Spain, but also intends to respect the Italian gastronomy, “But without forgetting that this country has welcomed us very well.” For this reason, for example, “pizza Diavola de Leon, the best pizza in Europe, it is the only one that has a spanish ingredient: the chorizo from León. We made it to honor Spain for everything he has given us ”, concludes the pizza maker.
—And Vittorio, what is the secret so that your pizzas are the best in Spain and the third best in Europe?
—Our pizza has two secrets: a good dough and good ingredients. On the one hand, the dough is made with water, yeast, flour and salt – like all of them – but we use the bakery technique of measuring each ingredient to the millimeter so that the dough is perfect and is not heavy during digestion. That is not so common, because it is usually done by eye. And on the other hand, we buy and use the best ingredients. For example, the Margarita pizza, which is the most basic, has the best mozzarella, the best basil, the best olive oil and, of course, the best tomato sauce, which we also make.
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