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Making headlines everywhere we go!

This 22 year-old chef-to-watch makes some of North Jersey's best pizza

Kara VanDooijeweert

January 2024

At 22, most dudes are hanging out in frat basements, drinking jungle juice or watching anime episodes by the dozen.

Antonio Gigante, however, isn't most dudes.

Barely of legal age, the Bergen County local is singlehandedly — for the most part — running his mother's Italian restaurant, Da Mimmo in Dumont. On a daily basis, he manages staff, checks inventory and oversees front and back of house operations. His passion, however, lies in brick oven pizza-making.

And, after trying his Alla Norma and Margherita pies? We think the young talent is one of the best pizzaiolos in the state.

Crafting authentic Italian pizza

If the name Antonio Gigante sounds familiar to you, it may be because he's the older brother of TikTok stars Vincent and Vito Gigante. On social media, the boys have over two million followers, and — last year — they even made an appearance on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

At The Record, however, we put that fame aside. To us, Gigante is simply one of 2024's Young Chefs to Watch.

With a charming smile and enough charisma to fill a room, the pizza wizard turns out authentic Italian brick oven pies in flavors from Capricciosa (ham, salami, mushroom, olive) to a spicy, fior de latte-topped Diavola; each as reliably delicious as the last.

A family-taught chef-to-watch

"I always had a passion for cooking as a kid," Gigante says. "I grew up watching my nonna and father in the kitchen, which has influenced me tremendously."

Never having received formal culinary training, Gigante credits his skills as a chef to those aforementioned moments, specifically noting his father, Vito Sr., as his primary role model. A proud Italian, Vito helped teach his son to "keep food as authentic as possible."

When visitors visit Da Mimmo today, they can taste that European touch in each of Gigante's delicate, artisan pies, which — in true Italian style — have light, airy crusts.

Oh, and what he didn't learn from his dad? Gigante learned from YouTube.

Because, you know, he's a Gen Z.

Taste his signature Pizza a la Pugliese, then, and be wowed by the combined product of natural talent, family tradition and good-old social media.

A Dumont restaurant in need of fresh ingredients and fresh new attitudes from two sons in the family business was the latest eatery rescued on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's show "Kitchen Nightmares."

Da Mimmo, an Italian restaurant on Veterans Plaza owned by the Gigante family, hosted a viewing party with about 120 people for the episode Monday night. The restaurant gave away prizes throughout the night via raffles and various games, including one asking customers to predict who the notoriously fiery Ramsay would yell at first in the episode.

Despite the often critical nature of the show, owner Melissa Gigante told she felt the episode also highlighted the family's positive traits.

"I think that it put us in a good light," said Gigante, a retired Hoboken police officer and mother of five boys. "We are just a normal family trying to make it work."

Da Mimmo was in desperate need of Ramsay's help when he visited in early June, having accumulated nearly $500,000 in debt just six months after opening. Gigante had begun paying the staff out of her own pocket, while her husband, Vito Sr., took double shifts as a police detective to cover expenses.

The couple's oldest son Antonio, 22, was overwhelmed as he tried to juggle his roles as manager and pizza maker of Da Mimmo. His mother described him at the start of the episode as "the person that's keeping this business afloat."

Brothers Vito and Vincent, meanwhile, admitted that they did very little for the restaurant. They frequently stayed away from the business to focus on their social media accounts, which have nearly 3.5 million followers combined.

"They literally just come in to cause chaos," Melissa Gigante said on the show. "Everything is like pulling teeth to get them to come in here and help."

During his first visit to Da Mimmo, Ramsay sampled pizza with cheese that tasted "synthetic," ice cold meatballs and a burnt bread bowl. He also waited a long time for his food and, upon inspecting the kitchen, noticed rotting ingredients that had been left in the refrigerator for weeks.

"I honestly have never seen a new business so dysfunctional so early," he told the staff.

Ramsay brought Antonio and Tyler, an assistant pizza maker at Da Mimmo, to an expert chef to learn the proper technique for cooking brick oven pizza with fresh ingredients. He also urged Vito and Vincent to use their social media prowess to help the family business.

"All this restaurant needs is 5% of your followers and this place is full for the next six months," Ramsay told the brothers.

The celebrity chef then remodeled the restaurant's interior and introduced new dishes such as arancini and chicken caprese for the relaunch. With Vito and Vincent's outreach, the line was out the door the first night.

As Ramsay completed his overhaul, Antonio Gigante said the experience helped his own personal growth and provided the necessary guidance for Melissa.

"My head's clear, I'm thinking straight," Antonio said. "Having Gordon here definitely helped my mother a lot, and she's feeling good again."


Melissa Gigante told she learned more about running a restaurant during Ramsay's short visit than she ever knew before. She also noted that his often abrasive on-screen persona is a stark contrast to his true character. "He really is a genuine guy. He plays this tough guy on television … but he wants to see people succeed," she said. "He actually cares about how he can help us."

Da Mimmo is continuing in the right direction four months after the filming of "Kitchen Nightmares." Gigante said the restaurant even had reservations booked the night after the episode's premiere, a rare occurrence for a Tuesday night at the once-floundering business.

"We see a lot more positivity. We are getting a lot of new faces," she said. "We're still not where we need to be, but it's definitely a great start."

Tik Tok Influencer Gigante Brothers
Open Da Mimmo Restaurant in Dumont, NJ

DUMONT, NJ (November 14, 2022)


Most know the Gigante brothers as social media influencers on TIKTOK, @vincentgigantee, @antoniogigantee & @vitoandniyah, but they are Italian Jersey Boys at heart, and are bringing an authentic taste of Italy to Dumont, NJ this November.  In the signature words of boxer/influencer Vincent, you won’t “Forget It”!

  “We are excited to show Dumont our family faves & hope to offer a modern twist on old school Italian cuisine in our brand new space!” said Vincent. In addition to traditional Italian fare, Da Mimmo will offer brick oven pizza from a wood burning oven, homemade mozzarella, and pastries made on site! 

Da Mimmo, which means “From Mimmo”, is named after the Gigantes’  great uncle, Dominic Rizzi.  Rizzi was a chef for many years at Casa Dante in Jersey City, as well as the Valley Regency in Montclair.  Rizzi passed away in 2016 after a long battle with Cancer.  The boys’ father, Vito Gigante and Rizzi dreamt of opening a restaurant together.  This is the Gigantes’  way of paying homage to their uncle. Da Mimmo is definitely a family affair, with help from parents Vito and Melissa Gigante, as well as Roberto Paradiso, a family friend and owner of Paradiso Deli in Moonachie.

Da Mimmo also plans to be involved in supporting the community and the school district by hosting events in partnership with different entities.  “It is important for us to invest in the community we serve.  We look forward to creating an environment where people feel like they are at home.” added Gigante. 


Da Mimmo hopes to open their doors on November 22nd and the Grand Opening celebration will take place on December 4th, where “la familia” will all be on hand.  Thanksgiving reservations are already being taken.

 For more information, visit or follow them on IG @damimmo_nj

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