By: Jen Russon
Following scathing reviews posted to social media alleging the owner of Scuola Vecchia Pizza e Vino refused to wear a mask while at work, Co-owner Shaun Aloisio responded with his version of the story.
Aloisio, trained and certified by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, said that in his ten years as a chef, he never saw anything like the woman who entered his restaurant on November 21.
“I was alone when she came in, preparing a pizza for myself to eat before we got busy. My mask was temporarily pushed down so I could eat,” said Aloisio.
He added he and his staff have always taken COVID-19 seriously, wearing masks when they prepare food and wait tables; however, a woman and her husband who arrived early for their dinner reservation interpreted things differently.
“The minute she opened that door and saw me with my mask under my chin, it was on. She became hysterical. She was standing at least 40 feet away from me and acted like a bull in a china shop,” said Aloisio.
The pizza chef who moved the business to Coral Springs this year after a ten-year presence on Atlantic Boulevard in Delray Beach said he didn’t know how to handle the woman’s outburst and politely suggested she leave.
Within a few hours, Aloisio said the woman’s husband, Eric Talve, posted her experience to Yelp and Facebook.
“We had reservations for dinner with my family and in-laws—large party, sitting outside. We walk into the restaurant to see the inside and see the pizza maker without a mask on. My wife asks nicely if he can put on his mask. He says he already had the virus and doesn’t have to put on his mask and tells us we can leave. So we did,” wrote Talve.
While the CDC does report people infected with COVID-19 are eventually non-contagious after a certain amount of time has passed, Aloisio said the Talves’ assertion is irrelevant.
“I’ve never had coronavirus,” he said, expressing confusion over how Talves’ wife arrived at this.
Aloisio added that ever since being confronted by Talve’s wife, he wanted to defend himself but wasn’t sure how.
“I didn’t want to make things worse. I know it’s a crazy time and people are really panicked and reactionary right now,” he said.
Eric Talve’s indictment of the pizza restaurant included his disbelief in how irresponsible Aloisio had behaved.
“That’s strange because I never saw him. His wife came in, yelled at me, and I never saw her again. Why would he write this review and not her?”
“I’m sure his pizza is delicious, but no pizza is worth risking getting covid,” wrote Talve.
According to a rave review by Coral Springs foodie Jason Perlow, the pizza is more than good enough to risk sitting outdoors to enjoy a slice. Scuola Vecchia, which translates to “old school,” bakes its pies in an oven that reaches over 1,000 degrees.
Scuola Vecchia Pizza e Vino is located at the Waterway Shoppes in Heron Bay at 6240 Coral Ridge Drive.
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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