Vasile Vezeteu (44 years old) is one of those persons who show every day that if we truly want something, work hard and never give up we certainly can accomplish our dreams. Born in Tupilati, a small romanian village, he works in restaurants since he was 17, and built his professional dream piece by piece. He left for Italy when he was 24, started for scratch, got to own his restaurant, trained a lot and became maestro pizzaioli, graduating a famous Italian school. Today, as a trainer of that school, he can teach people all over Europe, offered trainings and helped contractors to open restaurants in Norway and Romania, and from this year is involved in a very special project – he has pizza making classes for young deaf people, and hopes that one day social pizzerias for them to work into will be opened.
Vasile is born and raised in a small romanian village, Tupilati, in Neamt county. He went to school and became an apprentice in a blacksmith workshop – but his dream was completely different. So when he was 17 left the small village and went to Constanta, a big city located on the Romanian coast of the Black Sea. He started working as a waiter, then became chef aid in a restaurant, working a lot with Italian clients.
That was the moment when he realized his dream was to work one day in a big, modern kitchen, in a highly appreciated restaurant.
Restaurant owner and maestro pizzaioli in Italy
And in Romania he took first steps only. When he was 24, he moved in Italy, where he had lived for 14 years. He started from scratch also, working in a restaurant, and built a successful career step by step. Attended Scuola Nazionale Maestri Pizzaioli, one of the most famous in Italy, and became one of their certified trainers, being able to teach all over Europe.
He got to own his restaurant in Italy – the first one in a small town, at the sea, in 2010, then another one, also small, 2 years after. Here, he had a meeting that changed his life.
Norwegian culinary adventure
“A Norwegian family had just bought a house nearby, and almost every evening they came to eat to my restaurant. They had observed me as I was working almost all by myself – the kitchen, bar, the serving”, he remembers. They admired his work, and asked him if he was satisfied.
They got friends, and one day he was highly surprised to get an offer from them – they had a hotel with restaurant in Norway, and asked him if he wanted to go there and work. He took time to think and finally accepted – and it was certainly one the best decisions of his life. Closed his small restaurant and left for Norway, he was not afraid to start again, from scratch, although it wasn’t easy. “In my first year in Norway I didn’t know English, I didn’t know Norwegian, I was “talking” with my hands, but I did not abandon, I did not come back”, he says.
He worked with them for 5 years, meanwhile they had opened a second restaurant, in the charming small town of Fredrikstad. He tried to come back to Romania for one year, tried a business there, but didn’t work.
“Then I came back to Norway, with a very beautiful contract, in Fredrikstad – pizza making classes for Norwegians and to open two new pizzerias”, Vasile says. He returned to Norway last year, also for classes and two new restaurants opened, then for another pizzeria in the town of Bodø. He keeps on going, few months a year.
In the same time, since he returned to Romania, he started teaching here, also. He started having pizzaioli classes, to help the new contractors who want to open restaurants, to make recipes for them. Together with his wife, who is a trainer also, he does this all around Romania and outside the country, also – helps them open, teaches them about the recipes, ingredients, machineries, makes personnel training. He keeps on learning all the time, goes to school reunions in Italy, competitions.
“We teach modern techniques that help our body with digestion, it’s a very mature and very light dough, it’s not a simple pizza that makes us feel satiated, people must understand they don’t get fat from pizza correctly made. We also have cooking workshops with 10 years old children, to teach the parents with the recipe of good, mature pizza, with the dough made 12 hours before”, he says.
A very special project – pizza making classes for young deaf people
And, started this year, he is involved in a very beautiful, heartfelt project, belonging to Ikaros foundation. He has pizza making classes for young deaf people, for whom he hopes social pizzerias will be opened in several cities. It’s an unique experience, with both technique and a lot of emotions, full of challenges, of soul and a lot of satisfactions.
Translators in sign language and teachers join him during the classes, for help. He tries to adapt his lessons all the time, make them easy and interactive, not a class but a moment of curiosity and joy for his students. “It’s like a therapy through cooking – I also had demands for this in Norway – they do something that makes them feel special, at the beginning they are afraid, they work very carefully, they make no mistakes in any recipe. They should be integrated in society, are very smart, careful, they have to be supported – I have spoken to a lot of restaurants”, Vasile says.
He is so proud of them – you should hear him talking and you’ll certainly understand what I mean. He tells me about the first pizza they made – and their indescribable joy. About how little they need to be happy. About how they eat together, laugh together, work together, share moments and learn from each other. “I come to their level and I grow up with them, I feel like I’m in my first day of school, with them. I make the dough with my hands together with them, the feeling is that we are colleagues”, he says.
The courage to start over and over
Vasile lives his childhood dream now and much more – cooking and teaching, in his native country and abroad, representing a famous maestri pizzaioli school – but worked a lot until he got here. He had courage, was never afraid to start over and over, never gave up.
“I thank God every day for having the courage to start from scratch. I was on very high steps, and I was on the first step also, and under it, but with God’s help I trusted myself and I always made it. You must always have courage to go forward, even if you lose, even if you win, you just go forward, do not abandon. Any problem appears you just have to stay on the chair, rest a little, then find the courage to go forward. And you must try many times – even if you have one result and 5 failures”, he says.
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Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at email@example.com, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.