Maximino Luna, DeSano Executive Chef: Where to Satisfy Your Pizza Cravings

My favorite pizza memory is the first time I had a classic margherita. It was here in Los Angeles where I first started working in an Italian kitchen, and thus my love and passion for pizza was created.

We try to respect the authenticity of classic Italian pizza while adding our own unique twist. The San Gennaro is a perfect example; it’s all about experimentation and finding which flavors work well together. The taste and color of the pizza is extremely important. There needs to be a balance in ingredients.


I love our Nutella pizza, an easy and simple Italian dessert. It incorporates the pizza dough, which adds a nice blend of saltiness to the sweetness of the Nutella. The powdered sugar tops it off and adds an extra kick.

We’re really hoping to expand our special pizzas. Right now, we are working on getting a black truffle pizza together. We try to stay true to classic Italian pizza, but we know it is extremely important to push the boundaries. In the foreseeable future, we would love to incorporate local ingredients, in order to bridge the gap between the American and Italian pizza.


Work underway on DeSano Pizza space in Bellevue

Work is underway on the space to be the future home of DeSano Pizza Bakery. A permit, valued at $23,000, has been issued to allow for the build-out of the space.

The restaurant will have an address of 8129 Sawyer Brown Road at One Bellevue Place.

MTLC is the general contractor and Brentwood-based H. Michael Hindman Architects has designed the space. DeSano, which also has a Midtown location, was to have opened in 2017.

The parent company of DeSano Pizza Bakery is based in Nashville.


5 Things You Need to Know about DeSano Pizza Bakery in Charleston

DeSano Pizza Bakery, a Neopolitan-style pie shop with its first location in Nashville, is aiming to open up right near Taco Boy later this summer. The entire idea is based on Atlanta’s much-loved Antico Pizza Napoletana (owner Scott DeSano actually bought the concept from them and is now stamping his version of the place across the country). The Charleston location is co-owned by Rory Brown, whose Twitter profile says he’s “an entrepreneur, businessman and investor.”

Here are the essentials about DeSano Pizza Bakery:

1. They’re big on the Italian imports. The flour, mozzarella di bufala, San Marzano tomatoes and the ovens all come from Italy. DeSano said even the rock inside the ovens comes from Mount Vesuvius. But the firewood and some of the produce, like the basil, mushrooms and spinach, will be sourced locally.

2. The ovens deserve their own story. The three fire-breathers above will be heated up to 900 degrees (it’s an average: the air in there will be about 1000, the rock stays at 800). DeSano said they cook the in about 75-80 seconds. Also of note: the ovens at the Nashville location were blessed by Roman priests and named after saints.

3. There’s a very, very open kitchen. The main dining room and kitchen share one big, open space. Soccer will be playing on one television and the pizza makers (called “pizzaiola”) will be working and tossing dough and firing pizzas on the other side of the room.

There will also be four communal tables, as well as some high tops, and the room will be able to seat about 80. DeSano was designed by architect David Thompson (his work can be seen in The Ordinary and The Grocery), and the word the team kept using during a hard-hat tour was “minimalist.” Keeping in line with that, the pizzas will be served on cookie trays, not plates. It’s a bakery, get it?

4. The menu is what it is. Don’t expect to walk into DeSano and sit down with a custom pie of your creation (or, a slice–they don’t exist there). The preview menu contains 11 pizzas, like a verdura, with broccoli rabe and other vegetables, and lasagna, which is topped with meatball, ricotta and more. Select toppings are allowed onto the Maghertita D.O.P, like mushrooms and prosciutto cotto, and diners can decide those for themselves.

Small pizzas start at $10 and specialty offerings go as high as $22 for a large. In addition to pizza, there’s also calzones, salads and desserts, like gelato and house-made cannoli.

5. The place is BYOB. Those who don’t like to plan ahead shouldn’t panic: DeSano will also serve craft beer.