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Kids Pizza Making Class at Posto


“We were very excited to be able to enjoy some snacks and some drinks while the kids were having a good time,” Katie said afterward at the park on Highland as our kids played.

“It fulfilled the daytime date and a friend date because you could do all of it” her partner Kathryn said.

“We didn’t even mention it on social media, just sent an email blast and thirty seats sold out in 3 hours,” said Kim Winters, event host and Alpine Restaurant Group director.

“I tried to go the first time,” Kathryn McCarthy said, “but that was nice of them to reach out to say they were doing another of them.” 

It felt like a boutique experience. “The number was right,” Katie McCarthy said, “Enough to be exciting, but they limited it for the experience.”

“First be sure to press out the air,” Chef Juan Pérez explained. My girls studiously squished. “And then you do this,” he said, stretching the dough effortlessly over his knuckles. Phones turned on camera mode. With a flick of his wrists, it went airborne. 

He walked up the row of tables spinning it up bigger and bigger. Then with a satisfying plop as it landed on the floured table where my daughters and I stared at the dough sitting like a top hat. 

“Look, it’s like the parachute game when it catches air,” my friend Lou Bergholz said to his daughter.

All the best ingredients come at a price, admits Pérez Executive Chef at Posto. “If you want the right result, you have to buy from Italy. The best flour is the “00” brand Caputo. Prices go up, go down, we have to keep buying it because it’s so great. And for the product we want to put out. Same with the tomatoes”–he uses San Marzano– “the basil, and the mozzarella. We make it in house. We get the mozzarella curd, every single day, forty pounds of mozzarella sliced by hand. When you taste it you think wow this is different, it’s not the regular supermarket cheese. Takes days to get to the point we offer it to you, the customer. We let it ferment for three or four days, and we let the dough raise naturally, so you get the nice fermentation: that’s why when you eat it, it’s so soft, so crispy. We got a high heat wood fire oven at more than 850 degrees, and it bakes the pizza in 90 seconds–that crispiness is from the fire. All that combined to give you a soft, chewy crispy delicious thing, it’s an amazing combination of flavors.”

 Ingredients of a Neapolitan pizza: water, flour, yeast, salt, tomato, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil. Posto, located 187 Elm Street, Somerville, ranked 47 of 30,000 USA pizzerias in 2023. Key ingredient to success: Master Pizza Chef Juan G. Pérez, 14 years' experience.


“I came in 2008 when I was 18-19 years old. I came for a dream,” Pérez said. I love my family and everything, but it was time to try something else.” He came to Boston and started out as a dishwasher at California Pizza Kitchen in Prudential Center where he fell in love with the business. He thought, “I really love this, I can become somebody. I want to be famous. I want to be something my mom can be proud of.” He now dreams one day of opening in Colombia, “not one, fifty, a restaurant group.” But only when he can give it 100 percent. For now, he's focused growing on social media where he has 600K followers. It’s a career in which he’s faced skepticism.

“People say, ‘oh, you’re from Colombia, did you train in Italy?’” 

He had the basics but was compelled to prove himself. He drew on savings for a $4000 master pizza chef class taught by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana School in Atlanta. “It’s four days and they teach you everything.” The certification course delivers 6 hours theory, in part on methods of leavening, maturation, and fermentation of pizza dough, followed by 28 hours perfecting bake analysis in the school laboratory. “At the class the trainer said, ‘Oh, you’re from Colombia, why are you doing this?’ 

“It doesn’t matter where you are from. I have people. They come from Italy. The pizza they had here brought them back to Naples, and they said ‘I never had a pizza that was so similar’. I was so proud.”

Kim Winters had pointed to the expert certification of authenticity over the bar. There, finding myself beside a Vernon Street neighbor learning Latin in her spare time, I sampled the Nero D’avola, a full body wine grape grown near Messina, at the southern tip of Sicily. After the earthquake of 1908 and tsunami that killed more than 80,000 in Messina and nearby towns. “The whole family came to South Boston, and when my father bought this house for his mother it was out in the country,” said my neighbor the 80-year-old Joe Alibrandi in an interview for my hyperlocal public history project @WeAreTrullSt. “Back then, you just had three houses, all the rest was farm, and trees, lambs and goats and pigs grazing along a brook. You had General Tario’s house,” Alibrandi said, mentioning the Civil War Memorial parade every year. “And his wife would let us pick what fell from the pear trees.” 

I went with a 2019 bottled Nebbiolo, medium full body, thanks to the blue-eyed Andres Quintero, bartender at Posto since 2022, also from Colombia.

“Food is magical,” said Pérez. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from– you go to a good restaurant, it can change you for life.”


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