NEW YORK — The founder of Brooklyn’s beloved, decades-old Di Fara Pizza has died, his daughter said Thursday.
Chef Domenico De Marco passed away at age 85, his daughter, Margie De Marco Mieles, wrote on her Facebook page.
“It is with a broken heart that I must share that [De Marco] has left my mom, my brothers, my sister, myself and all those that loved him because it was his time,” she wrote. “My dad ‘Dom’ was 85 years old and all our hearts will be broken.”
“My world revolved around my dad. I worked alongside him since I was a little girl. He used to take me to Italy every summer up until I turned 19 [years] old,” she added. “He was the hardest working man I know and he was a leader and will remain a leader through his legacy.”
De Marco, who hailed from the Province of Caserta in Italy, set up shop inside the storefront at the corner of East 15th and Avenue J in Midwood in 1965, according to Di Fara’s website.
For decades, he made each pizza the restaurant served by hand, using ingredients imported directly from Italy, the site said.
His work paid off, with the eatery frequently securing top billing on roundups of the five boroughs’ best pizza. Its fans include former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who once called it "THE best pizza place in New York City."
Making pizza was a passion for De Marco, he told the New Yorker in an interview published in 2017.
“I guess I like what I do, you know, because I don’t like sitting around and do nothing, you know,” he said. “You got to do with your heart, you see. If you no like it, don’t do it — that’s it. That’s how I look at things, you know.”