A Slice of Life is Beautiful: A Conversation with Chef Vincent Rotolo

By: Jason R. Latham

Despite what your friends tell you, there is no correlation between sex and pizza. When sex is bad, it’s still pretty good. At least that’s what I heard. When pizza is bad, it’s bad. There’s no coming back from a lousy sauce or a gooey or cardboard crust.

And that’s what keeps Chef Vincent Rotolo busy 24/7. The owner of Main Street’s beloved Good Pie is also the curator of this year’s Life Is Beautiful Pizzeria experience, so every day is “taste test day” leading up to the moment the festival gates open (and close).

“We are sparing no expense on quality ingredients and we will be using only the best meats, cheeses, and tomatoes,” Chef Vincent insists.

Festivalgoers have every reason to believe him, as this year’s pizza roster is a “best of the best” that’s far above and beyond anything you’ve ever had delivered to your door. 

The gang’s all here. Pizza Rock. Metro Pizza. Monzu. Good Pie. Yukon Pizza. Old School Pizzeria. Esther’s Kitchen. Rebellion Pizza. Brooklyn’s Best Pizza and Pasta. That’s a World Series lineup, and worth the wait in between concert sets.

A very happy festival-goer with a box of pizza in hand.

“Festival food is typically built on speed and not quality,” Chef Vincent says. “But fortunately for us, through the efforts of our partners, vendors, volunteers, the Life is Beautiful staff and all the pizzerias involved, we are able to provide a high-level and top-quality product in record time.”

Five LIB Questions with Chef Vincent Rotolo

OTS: What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen at Life Is Beautiful? 

Chef Vincent Rotolo: In 2019, Post Malone ordered 17 pizzas from Good Pie before his performance. After being fueled by our delicious food, he went out onstage to put on the best performance in the history of any festival in the world. Haha, I’m just kidding, but he did perform while having our food in his stomach so that was a really special moment for me. 

OTS: Craziest Life is Beautiful story

Chef Vincent Rotolo: I’ve been part of Life is Beautiful for several years, working different culinary activations from the cookout to the Pizzeria VIP and more. The thing I remember most looking back over all the years is the incredible job done by the festival set up and breakdown teams. Watching an entire city be built before your eyes in just days, with a real infrastructure and support system, complete with roadways and accessibility, is unbelievable. The festival organizers do an incredible job, and seeing how the set-up teams complete the tasks rolling around the back alleys in golf carts and through secret passages that don’t normally exist is a unique thing to experience.

OTS: Which artist are you most excited to see this year? 

Chef Vincent Rotolo: I always love seeing all the amazing artists, no one in particular. My favorite part of Life is Beautiful has always been the mural artist and the activations where they turn whole buildings into livable, walkable art experiences that stay after the festival is over and have a wonderful long-term impact on our community. 

People enjoy the murals and art on display during day one of the Life is Beautiful Music Festival held in Downtown Las Vegas, NV on Sept. 16, 2022. (Photo by Alive Coverage/Sipa USA)

OTS: Which experience are you most excited to see this year? 

Chef Vincent Rotolo: I’m looking forward to being a part of another festival, and an opportunity to get this year’s merchandise. I collect LIB merch, and I have a huge hat collection. I have Life is Beautiful merchandise from each of the festivals over the last 10 years, and I’m looking forward to getting my LIB 2023 hat and t-shirt. 

OTS: What’s your No. 1 tip for a first-time festival goer? 

Chef Vincent Rotolo: I think if you’re going for the first time you should go for all three days. I recommend dividing up the areas into sections so you can focus on the full experience in a certain area on each day. It could be overwhelming to try to do it all at once so come in early and get something really good to eat so you could have the energy to get through a long day. Also, staying hydrated is critical, especially if you’re not used the Las Vegas climate.

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