Jofli Abu Bakar started making pizza as a hobby during the Movement Control Order (MCO) but today he is a recognised pizza maker by the Association Pizzaluoli Napoletani (APN) after being a member of the top 16 pizza making teams in Italy.
Jofli, better known as Jo or Jofliam, participated in the Tutto Pizza competition in Napoli, Italy in which 50 teams took part. He was the first Malaysian to participate in the annual event together with his two friends from Italy, Salavatore Miil and Vincenzo Di Nuzzo, representing Malaysia.
"Originally, I wanted to bring my team from Malaysia, but when I thought that the organisers of the competition would not provide refrigerators, dough kneading machines and other equipment, I contacted Salvatore and told him that I wanted to participate in the competition to get Malaysia noticed.
"I asked him to join me, and he was happy to represent Malaysia. We know Italians are very patriotic. So, if Salvatore was willing to represent Malaysia, it is an honour for me," said the 35-year-old when contacted by Bernama.
Jofli, who is an 'influencer' and a businessman, said that after the scoring was done, he was told that his team had been ranked fourth among the top 16.
According to Jofli, the top 16 teams have the opportunity to participate in a reality show in Italy called ‘Master Pizza Champion’.
The father of two also shared that his motivation to compete in the competition was due to his eldest son, Han Jofli, 8, who was full of admiration every time Jofli prepared Wagyu pizza at home for his customers.
“I asked my friends in Italy what I need to do to get to the next level.
“They advised me to enter the pizza competition in Napoli, which is held every year,” he said.
Asked about his plans after returning to Malaysia with a certificate from the biggest pizza competition in Italy, Jofli said he has yet to decide on his next journey but added that he will strive to be among the best in the pizza business.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency