Archive for September, 2011

Mystic Pizza: A Fun Flick for Pizza Lovers


Mystic Pizza
is a fun movie. It’s not a great pizza movie. It may not be totally factual, but it is totally fun!

Mystic Pizza
was somewhat of a cult movie in that it launched the career of Julia Roberts, who had a leading role in the film. Also featured was Anabeth Gish, and Lili Taylor.

The film is less of a pizza movie and more of a coming of age movie analyzing the cultural and female struggles of three high school friends who work at a pizza place. While pizza is featured in the movie, pizza is more of a backdrop for the relationship story. It really is an innocent movie.

And I did enjoy it…
Although, I give Mystic Pizza, an honorable mention, I may have to re-think my position after uncovering an article published in The Day Newspaper (New London, Connecticut) on Sunday October, 19, 2008. The story written by Kenton Robinson, was an eye opener.

Mystic, itself has a piece of my heart because I grew up and went to high school in Southeastern Connecticut. I recognize where the scenes were filmed. The area is quite beautiful with lots of New England charm.

My brother lives in Mystic.

I have countless friends who have remained in Southeastern Connecticut. Although I haven’t lived there for many years, I can’t deny it is still part of my life.

But the facts surrounding the film is what really amazed me.

Here’s what I learned from Kenton’s story:

  • Mystic Pizza’s original name was Ted’s Place. The Zelepo’s family bought the pizzeria from Ted and changed the name. (“There’s no Ted here. Let’s call it Mystic Pizza.”)
  • A 19 year old Julia Roberts, Anabeth Gish (16), and Lili Taylor (20), tried to buy beer at Mystic Pizza but were turned down because they did not have an ID.

(“But we’re in the movie,” they explained. John Zelepos, who waited on them, said: “Well I’ll see you on the Big Screen”. They never did get their beer.)

  • The number of pizzas served during peak Summer hours: 600.
  • Number of menus stolen each year: 30,000.
  • In 1987, there were the three Zelepos who worked there (John, his mother and father) and three waitresses. Now there is a staff of 65. My how things have changed.
  • The owners of Mystic Pizza never received a penny in compensation for allowing film producers to use the name Mystic Pizza.
  • As a matter of fact John Zelepos, owner of Mystic Pizza, stated: “We let them use our name. We didn’t charge them any money for it. We didn’t think it was going to be big or nothing. We said ‘As long as it isn’t a porno movie or nothing like that'”.
  • Originally the producers wanted to rent Mystic Pizza for six months, during the course of the filming. The owner said: no way. People may forget about us in six months.

The producers filmed elsewhere.

How is the pizza at Mystic Pizza? Some locals and visitors claim it really is “A Slice of Heaven”.

In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the film, the State of Connecticut Tourism Bureau created a document, which will allow you to visit all of the actual locations used in the movie. It’s a great resource with lots of behind the scenes information. You can download the “Mystic Pizza 20th Anniversary Movie Trail” pdf. here.(Right click and save)

You can also visit with me as I explore Southeastern Connecticut. Connecticut videos at my Connecticut Page at pizzatherapy.comOf special note is Abbot’s Lobster. One of my favorite lobster places of all time, located in Noank, Connecticut, the next town over from Mystic.

So if you get a chance, see Mystic Pizza
again. And if you haven’t seen it, you are in for a treat!

Pizza Tips from the Masters…

I cornered two Italian pizza masters (pizzaioli) at the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

I told them I was not leaving until they gave me their best pizza tips.

They had no idea what I was talking about: they do not speak any english.

They just nodded and waved. Nodded and waved.

I decided to find an Italian translator.

I needed to know the secret. I had to know their best advice. I had to discover what made great pizza, great!

I needed to have the best pizza advice, from Antonio Stariata and Adolpho.

Don Antonio Stariata and Adolpho, two master pizza makers from Naples, share their best pizza tips. This interview was conducted at the Pizza Expo, in Las Vagas.

And you need great pizza tools to make great pizza. Check out this pizza peel:

Epicurean Cutting Surfaces 21x14-in. Pizza Peel Series Pizza Peel

Epicurean Cutting Surfaces 21×14-in. Pizza Peel Series Pizza Peel

The Pizza Peel won’t necessarily help you to hand toss the dough, but it just might make you want to. It works great with frozen pizzas as well. The beveled front edge helps to scoop the perfect pie from the oven and the hole in the handle makes for a convenient hanging option.

Epicurean Cutting Surfaces 21×14-in. Pizza Peel Series Pizza Peel

Beer and Pizza= Pizza Beer

Pizza Beer is here! In the following interview we discover the history of pizza beer, how it was created and the future of pizza beer! Stay tuned to this one, its a sohcker!

I did sample some Mama Mia’s Pizza Beer and I must admit I really liked it. The taste was bold but not overstated. There is a hint of pizza taste with every sip. And believe it or not that is a good thing.

Pizza Beer is the brain child of Chef Tom. He was experimenting with some home brews in his own kitchen when he made the discovery.

He shared it with some Friends and they shared it with their Friends. He knew he had a hit on his hands.

As a matter of fact, one pizzeria in California (Portino’s) actually uses pizza beer as the basis for all of their pizza.

And it’s good. chef Tom uses basic beer ingredients and then adds: basil, oregano , tomato and garlic.
I was able to do an interview with the creator of Pizza Beer, Chef Tom and Frank of Portino’s.

Chef Tom explains the entire history of Mama Mia’s Pizza Beer and Frank explains how he uses Pizza Beer in his pizza.

Here is the story:

You can learn to make your own beer. Who knows where that will take you?

Coopers Brewery DIY Beer KitBeer Brewing)

Revolving Pizza Oven Video

This is one of the most amazing pizza ovens, I have ever seen.

Watch as the oven revolves. The pizzas are cooked compleely in just a few minutes.

A most incredible way to cook pizza.

This oven is avaiable from Goodfellas Woodfired Pizza School.
Ask For Scot THE BEST OVENS IN THE WORLD! 718 987- 2422

Music in this video from Glen Kaiser Band.
The Glen Kaiser Band rocks and so does this pizza oven!

pizza on earth,

Albert Grande
The Pizza Promoter

Here is an amazing show of professional pizzaioli at the Pizza Expo.

The Pizzaioli from Italy make pizza at Pizza Expo. Watch the dough technique.

These pizza master came to make pizza. The pizza pros made pizza after pizza. Each pizza was then passed out to the crowd. The pizzas were consumed in minutes.

Amazing pizza!

Watch the incredible dough technique. See how they shape their dough.

Learn more about pizza:
How to use a pizza stone.

The Pizza Promoter

Pasta Therapy

Abate’s Pizza on Wooster Street Interview by Pizza Therapy

Wooster Street in New Haven Connecticut is an Italain food paradise. You will find great Italain food, but especially great pizza. Home of Sally’s Apizza and Pepe’s, Wooster Street boasts extraordinary pizza. But these two well known pizzerias are not the only great places to have pizza on Wooster Street.

Abate’s makes great pizza on Wooster Street, also.

When you are in the shadows of two pizza heavy weights, like Pepe’s and Sally’s, you definitely try harder.

In the following interview, Louis Abate explains what makes his pizzeria special. He shares his pizza secrets. He has been on Wooster Street for over 20 years, so he is no fly by night. Louis is here for the long haul…

You can visit Abate’s yourself.

Abate Apizza and Seafood Restaurant129 Wooster St
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 776-4334

Here is one of my favorite books: