Angelo Competiello Plans for a Lifetime in the Pork Business

Angelo Competiello was born into the food business. His father owned a beloved Italian specialty store, and Angelo carried on the tradition, opening his own shop at just 25 years old. He’s nurtured his passion for food and cooking over the years and will be bringing his talents to Pig Island. Get your tickets now and start dreaming of a slice of his signature porchetta pizza!

Food Karma: What’s your background in food?

Angelo Competiello: I grew up working for my father in his pork store/salumeria. He had already been in the business long before I was born. I started out mainly as a butcher, then worked the counter and managed products and daily specials before opening my own store at 25. From there I tried, and still try, to take the base in the business that my father started me with and add in my own passions and experiences to shape my own path. 

FK: Was there a moment when you decided you were going to spend your life cooking?

AC: I initially went to work so young to be close to my dad. He constantly told me to be a doctor or lawyer, like most blue collar dads do. I went to college locally to still be able to work and tried to dabble in the local music business. One day I realized the more I focused on other stuff the less I got to make food and feed people. When that feeling started then I knew I was in it forever. Probably around 19 or 20 years old, about a decade ago.

FK: How did you get into pizza?

AC: I feel that I’m always learning and striving to better what I know and what I do, and I reserve respect for all cooks and chefs and pizza makers who feel the same way. I did start “getting better” at pizza in the last 2 or 3 years since I’ve been able to dedicate more time to messing around with pizza.

FK: How did Brick + Dough become your latest project?

AC: My involvement in Brick + Dough started through Jason, the original founder of B + D. He was a follower and customer at my former store. We started talking and becoming friends as B +D was starting. I noticed that it was a place I really wanted to eat at as often as I could. When I learned that Jason was interested in me being involved, I was immediately intrigued. I knew it was a great place already and I felt I could use my experience to make it even better and we could grow together. I appreciate that because I’ve had to scrape by myself to make my former business work. With Jason, I found someone with a similar integrity and passion for the food he puts out. His kitchen and staff are amazing as well, supportive and loyal and motivated. Those are the people I want to work with on a daily basis to whatever aspect. 

Although the basis of my food is Italian, I love all types of food and look forward to having an outlet in Brick + Dough for the other food I want to serve and eat that isn’t Italian. B + D is simply a celebration of good ingredients and flavors, and Jason and I will keep that the main focus rather than having to fit into a certain category. 

FK: What’s your favorite way to cook and eat pork?

AC: My favorite way to cook pork is any way I can! I have dabbled in smoking but never had enough time to really focus on it. It may end up being my best obsession. But honestly, I love to cook with great pork and ingredients in any way. My porchetta has become my signature thing lately, and I love every one that I cook. I guess as long as I can make crispy, juicy, and delicious pork I’m happy!

FK: What are you excited about for Pig Island?

AC: Unfortunately I didn’t get to go to many events until the last few years of my career. I missed out on quite a bit of the food business just because we were always so busy producing. In the past year, I’ve gone to Rib King and Brisket King and I really enjoy the atmosphere and the absolute celebration of good food and good people. Considering a lifetime in the pork business, I started saying to myself in the last few years that I should be involved in these events! So I was of course quick to jump at the idea that I could be.

Also, our servicemen and women mean a lot to me. Many of my friends and family are or have been on the front line for our protection and safety. I also owe and respect those who make the decision to put their lives on the line for me and my fellow Americans. So, the fact that this is an event to support our firefighters is even more of a reason for me to be at Pig Island!

I never really knew these things were competitions and I know a lot of people are really in it to take the prize or the status of the win, and I’m cool with that. But I’m mostly involved support a good cause, serve the public some tasty bites, and selfishly to be able to eat the food from the other exhibitors there!

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