3-Day Intensive “Introduction to Classic Italian Pizza and Starters” Class – In Collaboration With LeSaffre

Pizza making course

Event Date:

June 21, 2022

Event Time:

8:30 am

Event Location:

Pizza University & Culinary Arts Center

SCHEDULE: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm for three (3) consecutive days – June 21st to June 23rd

INSTRUCTORS: Chef Leo Spizzirri & Ralf Tschenscher, Baking Business Development Manager at LeSaffre

INTRODUCTION: The Pizza University and Culinary Arts Center is pleased to welcome Maestro Leo Spizzirri for his first official pizza making course as our newest instructor.

Leo Spizzirri has been recognized as one of the leading experts on bread and pizza doughs we are excited to offer this 3 day immersion course on Classic Italian Pizza with specific focus on the Italian preferment biga and the poolish starter.

This course, which will see the collaboration of Master Baker Ralf Tschenscher and LeSaffre, will be offered for all skill levels from home baking enthusiast to professional chef.  If you ever wanted to learn the art of Italian pizza and the basics of biga and poolish starters, you don’t want to miss this unique offering.

Students can expect to learn:

  • Dough theory
  • Flour and ingredient chemistry
  • Dough mixing principles
  • Creating and storing biga and poolish to achieve proper pH
  • Using a pH meter and other tools necessary to create the perfect biga and poolish doughs
  • Hand stretching dough fundamentals
  • Baking pizzas in a variety of professional ovens
  • Real world knowledge on applying baking principles to your daily pizza operation
  • Plenty of 1:1 interaction with the Chef Leo to answer all your questions.

This class is composed of a theoretical and practical section.


  • Pizza University Certificate
  • Apron
  • Chef’s Jacket
  • Swag Bag

The class will consist of both theory and hands-on guide practice.

Chef Leo Spizzirri Bio

Chef Leo Spizzirri

Maestro Pizzaiolo Leo Spizzirri is obsessed with all things pizza and wants to share his knowledge with you! Growing up, he spent hours watching, and assisting, his Mom and Nana Gilda in the kitchen while they created all kinds of traditional Italian dishes. They encouraged his love for food and tolerated his perfectionist manner as well as the messes that came with all his experimentation.

Today, Chef Leo Spizzirri holds the distinction of being 1 of only 100 worldwide Master Instructors from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in Venice, Italy, and his responsibilities in commercial artisan bread and frozen pizza have led him to stand in the forefront of dough and pizza innovations where he has supported major national brands across the United States and Canada.

While his expertise has given Spizzirri the chance to travel the world, make regular appearances on television programs like Dr. Oz, and make pizzas for celebrities like Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Mr. T, Ludacris, Frankie Munoz, and boxing legend Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, ultimately, he’s passionate about teaching people of all ages and all experience levels how to take their pizza craft to the next level.

He will encourage you to learn from your mistakes and inspire you to experiment on your own to become your own “Culinarian and Pizzoligist!”

Master Baker Ralf Tschenscher Bio

Ralf Piizza University

Ralf is a native German with a passion for baking. He completed his baking apprenticeship in 1980 and earned a Master’s in baking in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1986. In 1987, Ralf opened a bakery for a large German company in Toronto, Canada. He then gained further baking and sales experience with three additional companies before joining LeSaffre in 2002.

Ralf is currently the Baking Business Development Manager, which entails providing custom baking solutions to the baking and pizza industry. He is ecstatically, happily married, and has two beautiful daughters and the cutest grandsons to ever walk the Earth.

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Total Seats: 11 (11 Left:)
  • Pizza University & Culinary Arts Center
  • 10310 Southard Dr
  • Beltsville
  • Maryland
  • United States

Class Schedule Details

  • June 21, 2022 8:30 am   -   5:30 pm
  • June 22, 2022 8:30 am   -   5:30 pm
  • June 23, 2022 8:30 am   -   5:30 pm
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