Spirit of Pizza Archives

Paulie Gee's Logo

I was extremely lucky to land this interview with Paulie Gee. After stalking him for 2 days at Pizza Expo, I was excited to be able to discuss pizza, and to discover his favorite pizzerias and how he started in the pizza business.

Albert Grande and Paulie Gee

Albert Grande and Paulie Gee

The interview started badly. I called him a legend of pizza as well as a pizzaiolo. He stopped me dead in my tracks by proclaiming he was no legend, just a guy who makes pizza. And he said there are no pizzaiolo at Paulie Gee’s, just pizza guys.

After we got over that bump, the interview went well. Paulie Gee was open about how he happened to get into the pizza business. After working in the IT profession for 30 years he decided to move on and follow his dream. Although he loved to cook, he did not see himself opening a restaurant. He knew it had to be pizza. So he formulated a plan.

He started to make pizza at home and worked at perfecting his craft. He used Peter Reinhart’s book: American Pie My Search for the Perfect Pizza as a model. He worked on his pizza dough recipe and kept working on it. He experimented with different dough recipes until he had it the way he wanted it.

"First and foremost its about the love of pizza..."

Paulie Gee on the love of pizza!

His goal was not to be a pizza hobbyist. Rather he knew all along he wanted to get into the pizza business. He made pizza for friends, family, and bloggers. He fed them pizza, got them drunk,  and they spread the word. He continued to make pizza and soon many people were discussing Paulie Gee’s great pizza..

His vision of Paulie Gee’s was not so much to open just another pizzeria. He wanted his place to be an experience. He explained he he wanted Paulie Gee’s to look like the “Little Rascals” opened up a pizzeria. He wanted his place to be totally different. He wanted a certain amount of mystery as well as a comfortable. All along the way he sought out assistance from established pizza makers who shared his vision. Paulie Gee is thankful to all the assistance he has received and he acknowledges the assistance from others along the way.

Paulie does not allow any of his employees to wear Paulie Gee logos or hats. Rather he encourages his staff to wear t-shirts and hats from other pizzerias. Celebrating pizza is one of Paulie’s goals. The pizzas are non traditional melding various flavors such as sweet and savory with a hint of hotness.

Albert Grande Interviews Paulie Gee

Albert Grande Interviews Paulie Gee

He is also very supportive of anyone else who wants to follow the path of having their own pizzeria. He embodies the heart and soul of pizza. Because as you may know pizza is more than just water, salt yeast and flour. Magic happens when you make pizza. Paulie Gee wants to spread that magic around.

In the following interview Paulie talks about his favorite pizzas in New York. He speaks about some of the pizza makers who influenced him. He closes out by talking about what it takes to follow one’s dreams. Here’s the interview:

You can listen to the audio of this interview and
download a copy if you wish below:

i_094

 

 

Visit Pauie Gee on line at:
Paulie Gee’s
60 Greenpoint Ave.
Brooklyn, New York

Pizza-Fixes-Everything-T-Shirt

Exclusive Collection of Pizza T-Shirts (CLICK)

Discover Pizza Inspiration here, go to:
Pizza Therapy Pizza Books

Mix together flour, salt yeast, water (and depending who you talk to: olive oil), and you can make a great pizza. Mix together two of the most passionate pizza makers in the U.S.A. and there is no telling what you are going to end up with. The end result as in both examples will be pure pizza satisfaction. With the later you will discover what fuels that passion and drive. You will also understand the spirit of pizza and the relationships that can be created as a result.

Pizza Brothers: Jonathan Goldsmith and John Arena

Pizza Brothers: Jonathan Goldsmith and John Arena

I was very fortunate to snag John Arena (Metro Pizza, Las Vegas) and Jonathan Goldsmith (Spacca Napoli, Chicago) at the close of Pizza Expo 2016, in Las Vegas. The conversation was fast, furious and totally from the heart. Both come from very different places in the pizza industry.

John, from New York, grew up around pizza and began making pizza at a very young age.  John continues to make pizza at his pizzerias in Las Vegas. In addition, he also teaches the only certified Collegiate Level class on pizza at UNLV. John spreads the joy and love with pizza at several locations around Las Vegas. While he knows New York style pizza well, he is also able to make numerous styles of pizza. John was recently invited by Caputo Flour to go to Italy to help develop a New York Style Flour. He was accompanied by pizza luminaries Tony Gemignani, Scott Wiener, Guilio Adriani, and Michele D’Amelio. (You can see a video of this event by clicking here)

Jonathan Goldsmith, learned his craft by going to the source of pizza: Naples, Italy. Jonathan learned his craft from Master Pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia. Jonathan has studied and continues to study his craft. His pizzeria, Spacca Napoli, recently celebrated a tenth anniversary. Jonathan who was a concerned with social change in a former profession, carries that over into his business of creating pizza.

While John will use olive oil in his pizza creation, Jonathan will use none. Their pizzas can be quite different, however they share a love of pizza and of each other. They have developed a strong bond over the years which continues to grow. Their passion for the craft of creating pizza is endless. When asked where is the common ground, John holds up his hands.

Both Jonathan and John embody the true spirit of pizza. While there are certain differences in their style. there is common ground in turning simple ingredients into pure pizza magic. The wonderful thing about both is their willingness to share and collaborate with others who share in the joy of creating pizza.  Both are willing to share their experience with a pizza master or someone who is just discovering the love of pizza. Pizza is a dish which inspires and illuminates.

This is a great interview with two incredible pizza makers who share in the brotherhood of pizza.

 

 

You can listen to an audio of this interview,
or download it if you wish, below:

Jonathan’s Pizzeria is:

Spacca Napoli

 

 

 

 

 

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria

1769 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
773.878.2420

John Arena is the co-owner of:

2015-08-21_10-32-40

 

 

 

 

Metro Pizza:
1395 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tropicana & Maryland Parkway
Phone: (702) 736-1955

2016-03-16_12-49-03

 

 

 

 

 

You can discover more about John by going to Pizza Quest:
https://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest

Information about Pizza Expo can be found:

Pizza Therapy supports the Pizza Expo

 

 

 

http://pizzaexpo.com

Pizza Therapy Website is located at:
http://pizzatherapy.com
And more Pizza Related Videos can be found at the
Pizza Therapy Channel on YouTube

Here is Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby’s book:
Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food

A Preview of Pizza Expo

Pizza Expo is right around the corner.

This incredible pizza event also known as the International Pizza Expo will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 7-10, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

There will an incredible array of Pizza Vendors, showing the latest pizza products. Of course there will be lots of pizza to sample.

Understand Pizza Expo is:

The Largest Pizza Show in the World.

THE Trade Show for the Pizza Industry.

Attendees include pizzeria or pizza-concept restaurant owners, operators and managers, as well as distributors and food brokers.

Pizza Expo is not open to the general public.

According to the Pizza Expo website:

With nearly 500 exhibiting companies on the show floor, Pizza Expo is the place for independent and chain pizzeria owners and managers to one-stop shop for nearly any needed product or service — and see what’s new in the industry. Attendees can expand their knowledge on topics relevant to business success during Expo’s more than 90 seminars, workshops and baking demonstrations. They also can participate in pizza skills competitions and go to special events such as the Beer & Bull networking session and the Pizza Expo Block Party.

I wanted to share two preview interviews with you.

The first from Tony Gemignani who discusses his key note presentation. I was able to catch up with Tony on a recent visit to Hawaii. Tony was forthcoming and fun. He will be discussing the past, the present and the future of Pizza.

The second interview is with Tony’s Number One, Executive Chef Laura Meyer, at his restaurant Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. Laura was recently named one of Forbe’s 30 Under 30, an honor which was richly deserved.

You can catch both Tony and Laura in person at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.
And if you are in San Francisco make sure you go to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

For more info go to: Pizza Expo 2016

Pizza Expo will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. MARCH 7 – 10, 2016

Pizza Expo 2016

Pizza Expo 2016

Inspiration from Billy Manzo, Federal Hill Pizza

Chef Billy Manzo is an inspirational pizza maker. He takes his craft seriously. He is funny and loves to laugh. He has a unique sense of humor, and he loves making pizza. He believes in using only quality ingredients to make the best possible pizza.

He is also an inspirational story teller. He shared his story during our visit to Federal Hill Pizza in Warren, Rhode Island.

Federal Hill Pizza, Warren Rhode Island

Federal Hill Pizza, Warren Rhode Island

Billy started in the pizza business out of necessity. He owned a Cigar Lounge on Atwells Avenue in Providence for 16 years. Part of of the licensing agreement was that he serve some type of food. He thought about hot dogs and hamburgers, but decided he would do better with pizza. The first day he started he sold 40 pizzas. and thus began his pizza journey! He only did 2 types of pizza, a Margherita and a pepperoni pizza.

The pizzas became a hit. The owner of the Eastside Market in Providence asked if he could sell the pizza dough. He recognized the quality of the pizza dough.  Soon other businesses were asking for some of his dough, so he decided to get in the wholesale pizza dough business. Within 6 months Billy was selling his dough to over 200 retail outlets in the state of Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts.

Chef Billy Manzo

Chef Billy Manzo

After his daughter was born, he decided to go into a different direction and went into the retail side of the pizza business. He opened his shop, Federal Hill Pizza in Warren.

Billy believes the best route to take for any entrepreneur is simplicity. You need to know the simplicity of where your product comes from and where it is going to the end consumer. Simplicity is the philosophy that drives his business. The is why one of the foundations of his pizza is the Margherita.

Pizza at Federal Hill Pizza

Pizza at Federal Hill Pizza

As he explains, “you can’t hide from a Margherita”. It is the foundation of his entire menu. While he offers a number of Italian dishes at his pizzeria, he prefers to stick with the basics.

He was laos forht coming on some tips for the home pizza maker.

  1. Temperature of your oven.
  2. A pizza stone in your oven and
  3. patience.

The patience in working your dough and allowing it to ferment properly is key. You need to let your dough rise for at least 24 hours…

You can watch the entire interview here:

 

 

Please make sure you visit Federal Hill Pizza and discover the magic yourself.

Federal Hill Pizza
495 Main St, Warren, RI 02885
Phone:(401) 245-0045

Thank you Billy, you are truly amazing!


Tony Gemignani Pizza Tour, Pizza Rock

Tony Gemignani and Albert Grande at Pizza Rock, Las Vegas

Tony Gemignani and Albert Grande at Pizza Rock, Las Vegas

Here is an exclusive video interview with Tony Gemignani, World Famous Pizza Chef as he takes us behind the scenes of his award winning pizzeria Pizza Rock. One of the most knowledgeable and colorful pizzaiolo in the Industry, he is friendly and forthcoming. Tony is the owner of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, one the best pizza places in that city.

I was very fortunate to be able to interview Tony as he explained every important feature of the restaurant. This was an exclusive “back of the house” pizza tour with one of the Legends of Pizza. He takes us to the prep stations where the pizzas are made and prepared. He shows the pasta station where fresh pasta is made daily. He shows the making of fresh sausage. He even introduces us to Chef Andrew, a mainstay at Pizza Rock in Green Valley.

Tony explains the importance of using the best and freshest ingredients when making his Italian recipes and especially pizza.

Tony Gemignani inspects a pizza

Tony Gemignani inspects a pizza

One of the more important aspects of any pizza according to Tony is the water used when making pizza. He discusses the use of a reverse osmosis machine in preparing the water used for pizza. The water is critical in making great pizza Tony explains. The reverse osmosis process pulls everything out of the water. Tony shows us the industrial dough mixer that is used to create the pizza dough.

Tony's Pizza Naoletana

Tony’s Pizza Naoletana

 

“Water is the second highest ingredient is pizza dough, states Tony. “Not so much the flavor of it, but how the yeast works, the softness of it, the conditioning of it, the manageability of it. There is a lot that goes into it. You do not want to use super hard water”.

 

Tony with The Pizza Bible

Tony with The Pizza Bible

Tony is the author of The Pizza Bible: The World’s Favorite Pizza Styles, from Neapolitan, Deep-Dish, Wood-Fired, Sicilian, Calzones and Focaccia to New York, New Haven, Detroit, and more. This pizza book is like taking a master class with Tony. He takes you every step of the way creating incredible pizzeria style pizza. I own a copy and give it my highest recommendation.

Here is an interview with Roberto Caporuscio and his daughter Giorgia.

Pizza at Don Antonia by Starita

Roberto Caporuscio and his daughter Giorgia are master pizzaioli (pizza makers). Roberto explains the oven he uses to be able to cook his pizzas in 90 seconds. He explained they come out perfect every time.

Giorgia, Albert Grande and Roberto Caporuscio

Giorgia, Albert Grande and Roberto Caporuscio

From his website we share the following:

World-renowned Neapolitan pizza chefs, Roberto Caporuscio of the wildly popular Kesté Pizza & Vino in New York City, and his maestro, Antonio Starita, third generation owner of one Naples’ oldest and most revered pizzerias, Pizzeria Starita a Materdei, have joined forces to bring authentic Neapolitan pizza to Midtown Manhattan at Don Antonio by Starita.

Located at 309 West 50th Street in New York City, Don Antonio by Starita is where pizza fans can indulge in an expansive assortment of more than 60 traditional and creative, wood-fired Neapolitan pies, crafted from the finest ingredients, including homemade mozzarella. Highlights include a selection of pizze fritte (lightly fried pizza), such as the “Montanara Starita”,

Roberto discusses his pizza oven which was made in Naples and imported to New York. The oven is very unusual in that it has a small opening in the front. The pizzas come out perfect in 90 seconds.

Girogia happened to be in New York at the time of this interview, so it was a treat to be able to discuss pizza with her. She explains her favorite pizza and how it is made. She curently works at the Don Antonio’s location in Atlanta. She is a master pizza maker and is following in the footsteps of her famous father.

Here is the interview:

Don Antonios has several locations.

Don Antonio’s by Starita
309 West 50th Street (at 8th Ave.)
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 646.719.1043

and find them in Atlanta:

Don Antonio by Starita
102 West Paces Ferry Road Northwest
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Phone: (404) 844-2879

Our friends at Metro Pizza, in Las Vegas are celebrating an anniversary…
They have been making pizza at Metro for over 35 years…

John Arena with pizza

John Arena with pizza

John and Sam, the owners have pizza in their blood. They grew up making pizza at the family run pizza business.

Learning to make pizza at Metro

Learning to make pizza at Metro

Here’s the story:

Thirty five years ago, two young men from New York saw an Ad in an Italian newspaper. The ad was for the sale of pizza place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After much discussion, they packed their bags borrowed a car and headed to a new life in Las Vegas to start a pizza business.

Things were not easy, but both were determined and dedicated to make their pizzeria work.
They named the pizzeria, Metro in honor of their New York roots.

They struggled. They worked. They tried. And they made pizza…

And more pizza. And more pizza!

Metro Pizza

Metro Pizza

They held onto the dream… and expanded their pizza vision

Along the road, they influenced other would be pizzeria owners in their own pizza journey…

They freely share their love and knowledge of pizza to anyone who asks. They continue to make pizza, teach pizza share the spirit of pizza …

They are known simply as:

“The pizza guy and the other pizza guy!”

Metro Pizza

Metro Pizza

John and Sam, We thank you! We praise you… We salute you!

Here’s to Metro Pizza and to you both.

The pizza guy and the other pizza guy!

Keep on doing what you do….

Check out our video tribute to Metro pizza:

From the Metro website, here is their philosophy:

We believe that a true Pizzeria should be a gathering place for family and friends to relax, share great food and enjoy each other’s company. We have visited hundreds of Pizzerias across the country, learning and gathering recipes to bring our guests a taste of home, wherever home might be.

 

Which city has the best pizza? At Metro Pizza we celebrate all of the great traditions of the pizza experience and we Thank You for choosing us as your neighborhood Pizzeria.

 

Metro Pizza
1395 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tropicana & Maryland Parkway
Phone: (702) 736-1955

And if you are looking for Pizza T-shirts…
Check this out:
Pizza T-shirts

Pizza Rock Pre-Party Party for Pizza Expo

Pizza Rock Pizza Expo Pre-party Poste

Pizza Rock Pizza Expo Pre-party Poste

Pizza Rock Pizza

Pizza Rock Pizza

Pizza Rock Pizza Party

Pizza Rock Pizza Party

At Pizza Rock Pre-Party Party for Pizza Expo. Lots of pizza, lots of conversation, lots of Fun! #thinkaboutpizza #PizzaExpo

2014: The Daily Meal 101 Best Pizza in America

Daily Meal 101 Best Pizzas in the USA

Daily Meal 101 Best Pizzas in the USA

 

With permission from our friends at The Daily Meal, we are pleased to present their list of the Best Pizza in america for 2014.

We were so excited about this list, we created a video about it. The list is from #50 to #1.

Watch the video and please comment. The entire list is below:

 

You can see the list here, here at the Daily Meal.

#50 Zuppardi’s, New Haven, Conn. (Special: Mozzarella, Mushroom, Sausage, Marinara)

#51 Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza, Elizabeth, N.J. (Sicilian: Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Pizza Sauce)

#50 Pizzaiolo, Oakland, Calif. (Margherita)

#49 Franny’s, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Clam Pizza)

#48 The Cheese Board, Berkeley, Calif. (Changes Daily)

#47 2Amys, Washington, D.C. (2Amys: Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella)

#46 Don Antonio by Starita, Atlanta, Ga. (Montanara Stari ta: Lightly-Fried Dough, Starita Tomato Sauce, Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella)

#45 Antico Pizza Napoletana, Atlanta, Ga. (Pepperoni)

#44 Prince Street Pizza, New York City (Prince Perfection: “Our Signature Square”: Fresh Mozzarella and “Our Secret Sauce”)

#43 Spacca Napoli, Chicago (Diavola: Blended San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala, Spicy Salami, Basil, Calabrian Chili Powder, Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

#42 Nellcôte, Chicago Ill. (Sunnyside-Up Organic Egg: D.O.P. Fontina)

#41 Juliana’s Pizza, Brooklyn N.Y. (Margherita)

#40 Little Vincent’s, Huntington, N.Y. (Cheese)

#39 Pequod’s, Chicago Ill. (Deep Dish with Sausage and Pepperoni)

#38 Best Pizza, Brooklyn, N.Y. (White Pizza)

#37 Star Tavern Pizzeria, Orange, N.J. (Thin Crust)

#36 Colony Pizza, Stamford, Conn. (Sausage Pie)

#35 Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco (Salsiccia Pizza)

#34 Lombardi’s, New York City (Pepperoni)

#33 Patsy’s, East Harlem, N.Y. (Cheese)

#32 Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria, Staten Island, N.Y. (Vodka)

#31 De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville, N.J. (Tomato Pie)

#30 Al Forno, Providence, R.I. (Margarita)

#29 Regina Pizzeria, Boston (Melanzane)

#28 Grimaldi’s, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Margherita)

#27 John’s of Bleecker, New York City (Bruschetta)

#26 Louie and Ernie’s, Bronx, N.Y. (Sausage Pie)

#25 Varasano’s, Atlanta, Ga. (Nana: San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Herbs and Spices)

#24 Bru Room at Bar, New Haven, Conn. (Mashed Potato and Bacon)

#23 Nick’s Pizza, Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y. (Mushroom and Sausage)

#22 Kesté, New York City (Kesté)

#21 Gjelina, Los Angeles (Lamb Sausage)

#20 Co., New York City (Popeye)

#19 Apizza Scholls, Portland, Ore. (Apizza Amore)

#18 Lucali, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Pepperoni)

#17 New Park Pizza, Howard Beach, Queens, N.Y. (Cheese, “Well-Done”)

#16 Rubirosa Ristorante, New York City (Vodka: Vodka Sauce and Mozzarella)

#15 Santarpio’s, Boston, Mass. (Mozzarella, Sausage, and Garlic)

#14 Motorino, New York City (Brussels Sprouts)

#13 Joe’s, New York City (Cheese)

#12 Modern Apizza, New Haven, Conn. (Italian Bomb)

#11 Una Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco (Margherita)

#10 Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco (Margherita)

#9 Paulie Gee’s, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Regina)

#8 Totonno’s, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Margherita)

#7 Flour + Water, San Francisco, Calif. Margherita)

#6 Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles Calif. (Squash blossoms, Tomato, Burrata Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce)

#5 Sally’s Apizza, New Haven Conn. (Tomato Pie: Tomato Sauce, No Cheese)

#4 Roberta’s, Brooklyn N.Y. (Margherita)

#3 Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix, AZ (Margherita: Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil)

#2 Di Fara, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Classic Round Pie: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Plum Tomato Sauce, Basil, Olive Oil, Sausage, Peppers, Mushroom, Onion)

#1 Frank Pepe, New Haven, Conn. (White Clam: Clams, Grated Parmesan, Olive Oil, Garlic, Oregano)

 

Pepe's Clam Pie

Pepe’s Clam Pie

 

The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book

 

 

The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book

The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book

Product Review

Albert Grande Of Pizzatherapy.com Shows You To Make Pizza

Claim your copy below:

The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book: Unlock the Secret of Making Pizza

Tony Gemignani at Google on the Pizza Bible

Tony Gemignani at Google

Tony Gemignani at Google

This is an wonderful talk given by Tony Gemignani at Google on the The Pizza Bible: The World’s Favorite Pizza Styles, from Neapolitan, Deep-Dish, Wood-Fired, Sicilian, Calzones and Focaccia to New York, New Haven, Detroit, and more

According to Google:

A comprehensive guide to making pizza, covering nine different regional styles–including standards like Neapolitan, Roman, and Chicago, as well as renowned pizza sub-specialties like St. Louis and Californian–from chef, 11-time world Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani.

Everyone loves pizza! From fluffy Sicilian pan pizza to classic Neapolitan margherita with authentic charred edges, and from Chicago deep-dish to cracker-thin, the pizza spectrum is wide and wonderful, with something to suit every mood and occasion. And with so many fabulous types of pie, why commit to just one style? The Pizza Bible is a complete master class in making delicious, perfect, pizzeria-style pizza at home, with more than seventy-five recipes covering every style you know and love, as well as those you’ve yet to fall in love with. Pizzaiolo and eleven-time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani shares all his insider secrets for making amazing pizza inhome kitchens. With The Pizza Bible, you’ll learn the ins and outs of starters, making dough, assembly, toppings, and baking, how to rig your home oven to make pizza like the pros, and all the tips and tricks that elevate home pizza-making into a craft.
Category
Science & Technology

“I got to travel around the world and make pizzas…: Tony G.

Here is a memorable account of Tony’s recent visit to Google. Simply outstanding!

 

Check out The Pizza bible, here.

The Pizza Bible is HERE!

Tony's Pizza

Tony’s Pizza

True story. Tony Gemignani and his wife, Julie are visiting Honolulu for the first time. We want to take them to lunch to one of our favorite restaurants.

I’m thinking an upscale sushi place or maybe seafood dim sum. Something special.
“What do you want for lunch?” I ask.

Without batting an eye, “pizza” he states with a grin. And that is exactly what we ate.

The Pizza Bible

The Pizza Bible

Tony Gemignani thinks about pizza all the time. He lives pizza. He honors pizza.
And now he has put all of that knowledge and passion into a book about pizza called The Pizza Bible.

The The Pizza Bible is an extraordinary book which shares his passion and desire about teaching you to make incredible pizza. This book describes in detail how to recreate many different types of regional styles in your own kitchen. As you may know there are a number of different regional styles of pizza in the United States. While certainly a melting pot for many ethnic dishes, the United States has allowed pizza to be cultivated and influenced by region. And Tony takes the best of each region showing you how to create that particular pizza.

With this book Tony has raised the bar in teaching how to make great pizza. As Tony explains, this book is less about actual recipes and “more about inspiring people to master the craft of pizza.” And he takes these words to heart or more precisely as the tattoos on his hands state simply: “Respect the craft”.

Tony gives you the tools you need and the ingredients necessary. As any professional chef will tell you a scale is essential to get the exact weights of ingredients. You can keep your measuring spoons in the drawer. He starts with an equipment check list and then moves into the Master Class Shopping list. He goes into detail on the rationale about using particular tools and ingredients.

Pizza maker be warned: the path to pizza perfection takes effort. As with all crafts you wish to master you must be dedicated and tenacious. And Tony is a task master. He insists you read the first 19 pages before you try a single recipe. His notion is to teach you, then inspire you to create memorable pizzeria style pizza. He provides the steps involved and wants you to share his vision of creating pizzeria quality pizza in your own home.

You won’t do this by obtaining ordinary pizza ingredients or tools. Tony guides you as he would the pizzaioli he mentors at his pizza school or at his rare quality driven pizza workshops. He encourages you to master each step along the way. He takes you through the techniques of his Master Class. The best part is that you are sitting right in the front row!

10394059_917668311595429_1863713096477902336_n

There are no short cuts here. As he testifies, anyone can follow a recipe and make reasonable pizza, but if you want to make authentic pizzeria style pizza, you need to follow his lead. And he takes you to pizza possibilities you never imagined. Pizza paradise, if you will. He is with you each phase along the way.

His go to flour list is a massive list of flours needed to create different types of pizzas. The flours range from Harvest King, to King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot and his own Tony’s California flour. He describes each one giving the protein percentage and why it should be used. And he shares the theory of pizza relativity. Simply stated that means making your pizza the best it can by adding touches and variation that will improve the experience. While he is an expert, Tony realizes there needs to be adjustments and flexibility in creating pizza. He gives you his framework for pizza nirvana and it up to you to become your own pizza master.

Tony Gemignani, Pizza Master

Tony Gemignani, Pizza Master

“Tony’s Ten Commandments of Pizza” are his must follow rules for pizza perfection. The commandments will help keep you grounded and on task as you go through all of the recipes.
Tony takes you on an unprecedented pizza journey in teaching you, how to create various styles of regional pizza. He shares New York, and New Haven. He gives Chicago Deep dish lessons as well as how to make Detroit and St. Louis pizza. In addition he gives many pizza secrets for making California Style, Regional Italian, and grilled pizza. Tony has also included a section on focaccia and bread. Tony shares a wealth of pizza knowledge.

Tony Gemignani has accomplished his mission with The Pizza Bible. As Tony explained to me: “I put everything I know about pizza into this book.”
If you ever wanted to make pizza like a pizzeria, this book is for you. If you are looking for the inside secrets about pizza, you have just opened the magic doors of pizza knowledge.

As Peter Reinhart once explained to me, there are two types of pizza: good pizza and great pizza. The same can be said about pizza books. “The Pizza Bible” is a great pizza book.

Check out it out here: The Pizza Bible

Pizza, A Slice of American History Review

One day in the near future The Complete Encyclopedia of Pizza will be published. This distinguished work will contain at least 150 volumes and will explain in detail the impact pizza has had in America and the known universe.

There will be a volume on every type of pizza, including New Haven, New York, Chicago, California, Old Forge, Detroit and much more. Some volumes will be dedicated to those influential pizzaioli such as Frank Pepe, Salvatore Consiglio, Jonathan Goldsmith, John Arena, Peter Reinhart, Ike Sewell, Dom Demarco and Ed Ladue to mention but a few.

Until the Encyclopedia of Pizza is completed, you will be more than satisfied to discover Liz Barrett’s: Pizza, A Slice of American History. This volume covers numerous types of pizza in America, those persons who influenced the regional pizza and how the various styles developed.

As a student of pizza, I was somewhat skeptical how one book could explain the history of pizza in America and the various styles included. My fears were immediately laid to rest when I started reading the introduction by pizza activist, Scott Wiener.

Barrett discusses Neapolitan and New York style pizza. She opens with the history of pizza and the differences between AVPN, New York, Tomato Pie and New Haven Apizza (Ah-beets). Sprinkled throughout the book are sketches of pizza luminaries such as Penny Pollack (Everybody Loves Pizza), Mark Bello (Pizza A Casa), Roberto Caporuscio (Don Antonio by Starita), Peter Reinhart (American Pie) and Adam Kuban (Slice).

Each type of American pie is described and dissected. She covers Detroit, St. Louis, California, Sicilian and Grandma style pizzas. Barrett’s pizza knowledge is extensive and she has a unique gift to distill the information into delectable slices. As an added benefit recipes for most styles are included. This makes this a true hands on volume as the recipes can be replicated by the home pizza chef. You can learn not only the history of each type of pie but also how to make it with step by step instructions.

She even added to the knowledge base of pizza by describing Pizza Strips created by Rhode Island Italian bakeries and found throughout the “Ocean State”. These were slices of pizza I enjoyed growing up and have only found them in that region. The pictures included are a wonderful addition and fit in nicely with the character of the book. The images are impressive and create a brilliant visual history of pizza. You will discover some rarities which are true nuggets of the pizza saga.

For anyone who loves pizza, this book will fit nicely on your library shelf. Some of the topics are brushed over, but understanding the depth of the subject matter, that is not an issue. I would have liked to have seen a discussion on the strong influence of the Internet on Pizza, but maybe that can be included in a volume of the Complete Encyclopedia of Pizza.

This is a well written book for anyone who ever held a slice. Grab your own copy, and discover the wonders of “a magical little disk that makes things happen”. You will encounter with this book how pizza is very much a part of the fabric of America. Pizza, is A Slice of American History.

Claim your own copy, right here: Pizza, A Slice of American History

Giulio Adriani is a master pizza maker. He shares his knowledge freely about how to create incredible pizza. He opened his pizza restaurant  Forcella in New York, to rave reviews. He featured an unusual version of pizza to New York: the fried pizza. This pizza was such a big hit, he opened two more pizzerias. In addition to his Park Avenue location he now has pizzerias in the Bowery and Williamsburg. He is an incredible pizza talent.

Albert Grande amd Guilio Adriani

Albert Grande amd Giulio Adriani

I was fortunate to catch Giulio at Pizza Expo. He was at the Caputo Flour Booth furiously making pizza. He has a strong connection to the other master pizzaioli, including Roberto Caporuscio of Don Antonio by Starita and Jonathan Goldmsith of Spaca Napoli. He shares some of his philosophy about pizza in the interview. Pizza is a universal food. Pizza is an easy going food. You can find a business man with a tie sitting next to a construction worker. It is truly a social food, that cuts across all cultural and economic fields.

Giulio says “Pizza is the only food you can find all over the world.” And this is true as anyone who travels can attest. He further states that pizza is totally a balanced food. Nutritionally it is very balanced between protein carbohydrates and fat. He also teaches individual classes at Forcella. He loves to share his knowledge about making pizza. You can discover more pizza secrets in the following interview.

 

” Pizza is a social food…” Giulio explains.

 

Guiliano Adriani and Mark Dym of Marco's Coal Fired

Giulio Adriani and Mark Dym of Marco’s Coal Fired

You can find a review of the Best Flour to make pizza at Pizza Therapy Flour Review and Recommendations.

How to Get Into the Pizza Business

Have you ever thought about starting a pizza business?

If always wanted your own pizza operation where you can make the world a better place by making great pizza, read on.
Would you like to starts a pizza business where you could give pizza to people who wanted it?
Your potential pizza customers are craving incredible pizza cooked in a wood fired oven!
And you can deliver.
You could bring your pizza to Farmer’s Markets, football games, festivals, and special events.

The Fire Within is your answer.

The Fire Within offers mobile pizza ovens that can be the answer to starting a pizza business.
The Fire Within folks are more than just creators of all types of incredible portable pizza ovens. They offer training in making great pizza as well as offer complete business plans to get you started.

You can attend one of their pizza making workshops and learn the pizza business from the inside out. In addition they will even help you find financing to get you started with your own portable pizza oven.

If you ever thought about getting into the Pizza Business you need to check out:
The fire within, a pizza making community with true pizza passion.

Fire Within

Fire Within


Get started now, go to firewith.com

Discover your own passion and learn how you can start your own pizza business.
firewithin.com

In Search of A Pizza Dream Part 3

Anthony Saporito had a dream to own a pizzeria…In this the final episode, we conclude our interview with him. Listen and learn about a Legend of Pizza in progress!

Albert: What kind of Pizza do you make? What is you favorite to make.

Anthony: At my new place, “Urban Fire” we will being making Authentic Neapolitan style, using “00” flour, salt, water and yeast, That’s it. We just purchased a beautiful Stefano Ferrara, wood burning oven from Naples, and really want to do things the Authentic way. I’m all about tradition, and nostalgia. but I also experimenting with new ideas as well.

Just recently, I had the honor to be invited over my cousin’s house and cook with his 88 year old Mother in Law. Her name is Mrs. Kay Cammareri, and she is the Matriarch of “Cammareri Brothers Bakery” in Brooklyn. Her bakery was a focal point in the hit Movie, ‘Moonstruck’, and even Nicholas Cage’s Character took her last name. She still lives above where the old Bakery was located in the movie. She showed me how to make, “Sfincione”, a Sicilian pie made in a rectangular tray, topped off with tomato paste, onions, anchovies and Bread crumbs. The pie was phenomenal, The onions and the paste make for a very Sweet sauce. The experience I had while making it was even better. As Mrs. Cammareri was instructing me, she told different stories about different people, and places, different occasions to whom she served the dish to over the last 60 years. That makes the dish even more special. So I guess my favorite pizza to make is any one that has a great story behind it.

Paulie Gee and Anthony Saporito

Paulie Gee and Anthony Saporito

Albert: Tell me about your new Pizzeria

Anthony: The name of my place is Called “Urban Fire”. We are located in Madison, New Jersey. Its a great little town filled with friendly people who love good food. We will be serving traditional Neapolitan pizza and Italian Street eats. Our Pizza is going to be done in a Fast Casual/ Create your own, model. You will be able to choose your base of, Margherita, Marinara, Bianco, or Pesto and then go down the line and choose what you want. If you don’t want to create your own, you can choose from our list of Specialty pies. I like giving people the chance to interact in what they want. It creates for a lively, different experience. It’s a great way to also get to know your customers. I’ve already said, If someone comes in and orders the same pie a bunch a times, we will definitely feature it on the menu board. So I plan to have a lot of “Joe” or “Mary” Specials.

I know that few other people are doing “create your own”, out west, but from what I understand, we will be the only ones doing it with a 100% wood fired oven. Even though the assembly line method is a bit unorthodox, I still wanted to keep the artisan tradition of cooking the pie intact, which is why we got a Stefano Ferrara oven. Hopefully I’m not crazy in trying this out, but Think it’ll be fine.

We also will serving a variety of “Street Eats”. In Italy, you can eat some really great food without ever stepping foot in a restaurant. I loved the idea of replicating what street Vendors have been doing for Decades. We will have sandwiches that represent different street foods from different cities, such as a “Porchetta” (Rome), Panelle,(Palermo Sicily) and Lampredotto (Florence–ours will be made of beef and not cow stomach-haha). We will also have sides such as Arancini, (rice balls) Prociutto balls, and Zeppole. And of course, in Naples, Pizza is the original Street Food.

Albert: What would you tell someone who wanted to get into the pizza business?
What advice would you give them?

Anthony: I’d say “Do NOT get discouraged”. When you first start out, its almost like learning a different language, and can be a bit overwhelming. I’ve noticed that 99% of Pizza makers are friendly, and want to help each other out. It also seems like everybody knows each other. It’s really cool. So ask questions, and don’t get discouraged. Of course you will run into the Naysayers and extremists; The guys with egos as big as a house, who think that they are curing diseases, and keep everything a secret. Don’t bother with them. There are plenty of people out there who want to help. And if you can’t find anyone, call me.
Once you get your basics down, start experimenting. Have Pizza Parties where you cook for everyone. It’s fun and gratifying. You’ll see that after a while, you will adopt your own style. Special ways you like doing things which are 100% yours. If you are into it, everything else will fall into place. You’ll start picking up things you weren’t even looking for. Like I said earlier, it’s not rocket science. It’s supposed to be fun and creative. And if anyone tells you, “That’s not the right way to do this” , or, “That is wrong”, ask them to see the book where the rules of Pizza are written.
When I first said I wanted to start my own place, everyone had their own opinion. People will tell you “How will you pay the bills?” , “It’s a lot of work”, “It’s very hard”, or my favorite, “There’s so many places for Pizza”. All of a sudden, everybody is an expert of a sudden. Paulie Gee gave me the best rebuttal for these naysayers. “Tell’ em thanks”, he said, “And then ask them how many Pizza places they own”
If you’re considering getting into the Pizza business, think about why it is that you love Pizza. What about it moves you? I guarantee its because it evokes happy feelings, and in turn you want to share those feelings with others. What is better than that? While its true, I haven’t sold a Pizza on my own just yet but I know that I will do everything in my power to make sure I succeed. I love the quote from Henry Ford that says; “Whether you think you can, or can not do something, you’re right.” This goes for anything in life. Even Pizza

Albert: When do you plan to open? What is your address?

Right now I am playing with all my recipes. I’m having a pretty good time with it too. I invite everybody
I see walking outside to come inside and give me their opinion. My store is all built out. Right now I am just going through the hiring Process. So Hopefully I will be able to get open by mid April.
Our address is:
URBAN FIRE
6 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940

I am also currently getting a Web Site up, but nothing is up yet. However, I make sure to post on our progress on Social Media.
Facebook:
Urban Fire

Instagram:
Urban_Fire

Twitter:
urbanfirepizza

I would like to thank you, Albert. I’ve enjoyed your articles and videos over the years, but I’ve also enjoyed your insight. So Thank you for helping me tell me story, and please stop by the Next time you are in the NY/NJ area.

All the Best,
Anthony Saporito

 

 

In Search of the Pizza Dream Part 2

This is Anthony Saporito, pizza story of how he went from dreaming about opening his own pizzeria to actually doing it. Anthony has opened his new pizza restaurant called,   Urban Fire located in Madison, New Jersey. We will be serving authentic Neapolitan pizza and Italian Street eats, Such as Porchetta sandwiches, zeppoles, Arancini, salads and more.

Albert: What kind of research did you do? Where did you go for your information? Did you get any help?

Anthony:  As I was leaving the Stock Exchange the day I got laid off, I had a smile on, ear to ear. Instead of, “Oh God what do I do now!” My only thought was what Wood fired oven I was going to buy. I took a chunk of my Severance package my company gave me, and bought a Forno Bravo, Primavera oven and Put it in My Parents Back Yard. That summer, all I did was research recipes, and techniques, and make Pizza. My parents had people over all the time, and I tried to make pizza for each and every one of them. At first, Like Many Others, I searched the internet, and found sites like Pizzamaking.com very informative. I got very discouraged at first, because a lot of what I read was explained scientifically. I felt like I was back in grade school (where science was my mortal enemy). I’d read as some of these guys would break down the pizza process molecule by molecule.

Forno Bravo Primavera

Forno Bravo Primavera

Thankfully, soon after, my wife (at that time, my girlfriend) bought me “American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza” by Peter Reinhart. The book really opened my eyes up to a whole new world of how people “thought” about Pizza. Not to mention, it explained the science of the process in a way even I could understand. Almost like a “Pizza for dummies”.

Ha. I was always more into the emotional gratification of Pizza, rather then the science of it Anyway. The book made me realize that Pizza isn’t just a food that tastes good, it’s a special something that invokes a whole slew of emotions for everyone, young and old, rich or poor, man or woman. And its a different feeling for everyone. So I became obsessed with it. From there I adopted the Philosophy that Pizza was not so much about “How” it is made, but the “Who” was making it. I came to really admire the people whose passion came through the pages as I read them, or whose facial expressions practically screamed to me how much they loved to make pizza when I met them. The simple fact is this; If you eat a pizza that is really delicious–chances are there is an extremely passionate person behind it. But like with anything else, you can read or research all you want about a subject, but you can’t get good at it until you actually physically do it. I had to get my hands dirty. Or better yet, full of flour.

Albert: Why Did you go to Pizza school?

Anthony: The same summer I read American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza, my parents took my sister and me to Italy. After reading how much Mr. Reinhart loved the Pizza at Da Michele, in Naples, I insisted we try it out. so we did. The line wasn’t bad at all, surprisingly and I must admit, I was a little apprehensive at the fact that they only had two kinds of pies (marinara and Margherita). That quickly changed. The four of us all took our first bite, and then there was complete silence. We all just looked at each other. Nobody said a word, but the expression of our faces let each of us know that we all felt that this pizza was unlike anything we ever ate. I will fully admit that when you are from New York, you have an arrogance about you when it comes to Pizza. Don Antonio Starita and Albert Grande I “Thought” I knew great Pizza. Humbly, I Knew I was wrong the second I ate that first piece of Da’Michele. It tasted like something your Grandmother made for you. For me that was my “ah Hah” moment. After that, I became obsessed with Authentic Neapolitan Pizza. I’m very fortunate that a couple Neapolitan places were starting to make their mark in the New York area. So, I wrote e-mails to all the owners, telling them how passionate I was about learning how to make Neapolitan pizza, and that I would love to come and apprentice for them. That was when Roberto Caporuscio wrote me back, telling me about the Pizza Class he gives.

Don Antonio Starita and Albert Grande

Don Antonio Starita and Albert Grande

I couldn’t pass up an opportunity like that, to learn from such a master of his craft. The first thing he instructed us to do was “Open your minds”. In other words, to not just think of pizza as how you knew it growing up, but instead to keep an open mind for the simplicity, yet creativity of Neapolitan Pizza.

I learned a great deal, and am very Thankful to Roberto for the opportunity he gave me. to say the least, the course certainly opened my mind. I wanted to go work for him at Keste, but he was too busy starting up “Don Antonio” and didn’t have the time to train a new person at that point. So I decided to keep looking for a place I could not just work at, but where I would also be able to learn more, and sharpen my skills.

Paulie G. and Albert G.

Paulie G. and Albert G.

Albert:  I understand you apprenticed with Paulie Gee. How did you approach him? Was he skeptical or very open? Did you tell him for the start about your goal?

Anthony: One day I drove around Brooklyn the area to see if they would hire me. A few places turned me down, or said, “Come back another day”. Looking back on it, I very grateful they did. My last stop of the day brought me to Paulie Gees in Greenpoint. I hadn’t eaten there yet, nor had I met Paulie, but I really enjoyed watching some of the interviews he gave. We sat down at one of his tables in the front, and I think we were two sentences into the conversation when we realized we liked each other. We are both Brooklyn guys, and the conversation flowed as if we were both sitting on somebody’s front stoop in the old neighborhood. I told him my intentions of one day opening up my own place right off the bat. He then shared with me his experiences in getting his own place started and how helpful other Pizza makers like Mark Iacono of “Lucali”, and Chris Bianco of “Pizzeria Bianco” in Phoenix, were to him. “When Chris Bianco helped me out” , he explained, “The only thing he asked of me in return was that someday I pay it forward.” So in hiring me, he wasn’t just getting another worker, he was helping someone out in attaining their dream. He was paying it forward. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for that. Still to this Day.

At first I worked in the Kitchen doing Prep work, but eventually I got a shift or two a week doing Pizza at night. The first night I worked the Pizza station, Paulie came up to me and reminded me, “You’re officially serving Pizza to the Public”. I really have to say it was an incredible feeling, not to mention, Paulie was just as excited saying it. He knew what I was feeling, and I thought it was a great gesture to bring it to light. While working Pizza, my main goal was to learn how to work the oven. Paulie has a beautiful Stefano Ferrara and I was always in awe of the pizzaioli who could cook 4 or 5 pies at one time, on a busy night. So I was determined to be like them. It wasn’t easy, and I hit a few bumps a long the way and burnt many ‘a pie. I quickly realized that it wasn’t just about how fast you cooked the pies, but more about how well, you cooked them. Making the last pie in the oven look as good as the first. There is no room for error, and you have to concentrate. I would usually come in an hour or two before my shift and practice with old dough to just get my technique down. Once I started getting the hang of it, I was relentless. I would beg the person working the oven that night to just let me cook for “Ten minutes”. After a few months, I got pretty good at it, and it became second nature. I worked at Paulie Gee’s for almost 2 years. My experience was great, and I learned a lot of little ins and outs that I would not have known, had I just picked up and went into the business blind. I am very grateful to Paulie for the opportunity he gave me and we still remain close friends till this day. He refers to himself as my, “Pizza Daddy”. Its an affectionate term, almost like “Godfather”, explaining that he was my Mentor in the Pizza business. haha. I’m very lucky to have him as my “Pizza Daddy” and hopefully, some day I can Pay it forward also, and become a “Pizza Daddy” myself to somebody.

Albert: What are your earliest Memories of Pizza?

Anthony: My earliest Memory of Pizza was the homemade kind my Grandmother made. She had this old, cast Iron frying pan, which was, as she put it, “As old as the hills”. And in a Time before Williams and Sonoma, or Pizza stones, she’d gently coat the bottom of the frying pan with Olive oil and then put the dough in it, cupping the side rims of the pan, and then cook it in the oven. She only used the “plum” of the tomato, no sauce, which she crushed by hand. Sometimes she put cheese, sometimes she didn’t, but it didn’t matter. It was Heaven on Earth. When the pie came out of the oven, she’d take it out and cut it with a scissor. Man was it good. During Lent, being that we ever ate meat on Fridays, she’d take that same pan and fill it up about a quarter of the way with oil, and fry the dough first, then top it off with tomatoes and cheese in the oven, almost like the famous, “Montanara”. Or make a bite size pocket with ricotta cheese in it, like a mini Calzone, or Pizza Fritta. Other’s may refer to it as , “Peasant Food”. But Man, did we eat like kings when she cooked. Other than that, growing up in Brooklyn, Pizza was everywhere.

The pizza place we went to was usually accompanied by an event. For instance, in the summer, we went to the beach at Coney Island almost every weekend, and always stopped off at “Totonnos” to bring a pie or two home. I loved the old man, Jerry who was the son original founder. He was not very pleasant, and wasn’t a fan of kids, and I was as he’d call me, a “Rascal”. At 8 years old, every chance I got, I’d try to do something to make him yell at me, which I got a kick t of. However, as soon as he alluded to chance of , “No Pizza” I quickly shut my mouth and stood in the back, as quiet as a mouse. His pizza was that delicious.

Every Halloween, we always went to go see the parade in Greenwich Village, so before that, we stopped off and had a Pie at “John’s” on Bleeker street. We went about once a month to Staten Island, to visit my Parents close friends, and had the Friday night tradition of going to “Deninos” for Pizza, and then across the street for Italian ices at Ralphs. When I became a teenager, the local hangout became L&B Spumoni Gardens. It was the perfect spot to meet up with your friends, talk to girls, and oh yea, eat pizza. I never really thought of it much until now, but , WOW I’ve eaten a lot of Pizza in my life. Geez. But, the fact that I still love it after all these years, and that I am always looking for new places to try, or new recipes to create, just reminds me why I love it so much. It’s the same for many people. Pizza is just one of those foods you can’t get tired of, and even if you do get tired of it, you can’t help but crave it after some time off.

 

Stay tuned for Part 3… In the meantime, please check out:

How To Open Your Restaurant In 8 Weeks

A Step-by-step Guide To Open A Restaurant In Malaysia Within 8 Weeks. The Ebook Has Helped A Lot Of People From All Over The World In Achieving Their Dreams Of Starting Their Own Restaurants In Malaysia Check out How To Open Your Restaurant In 8 Weeks

In Search of the Pizza Dream Part 1

Here is a letter I recently received:

“Albert, A few years ago I sent you an email, asking you for some advice. I had just gotten laid off from my Job on Wall Street and knew that I didn’t want to go back into the fat race of the financial world. I loved making pizza and knew I wanted to do something with the passion I had for it.

Alberto Grande, Giorgia, and Roberto Caporuscio

Alberto Grande, Giorgia, and Roberto Caporuscio

When we first spoke ,you pretty much told me that I knew what I had to do, deep down. You reminded me that since I lived in New York, there were ample opportunities to sculpt my craft. In other words The knowledge was there for the taking. I just needed to cease it. Not long after we spoke I wrote a letter to two titans of the pizza world. Roberto Caporuscio, of Keste, and Paulie Gee of Paulie Gees.

Paulie G. and Albert G.

Paulie G. and Albert G.

You commented to me you enjoyed reading that letter so much that you put it in one of your newsletters. In the letter I explained my passion, and how serving pizza, and more importantly, bringing others together with good food was in my blood.

The letter went over so well that I was able to learn from both of these masters, first at Roberto’s pizza class and then working at Paulie Gees as a Pizzaiolo for 2 years. The knowledge I gained has been invaluable and I am indebted to both Men for the opportunities they gave me as well as my resume. Now I am starting my own place. It is called ” Urban Fire” located in Madison, NJ.

We will be serving authentic Neapolitan pizza and Italian Street eats, Such as Porchetta sandwiches, zeppoles , Arancini , salads etc. We have a Stefano Ferrara oven from Naples , and our pizza will be severed I a fast/casual style, where the customer gets to go down the line and choose what sauce, cheese and toppings they prefer, to create their own pie. We cook it in our wood burning oven at 800- 1000 degrees and the pie will be ready in 60-90 seconds! I am very excited We should be opened in March, but before then I just waned to reach out to you and say, “thank you” for your help and advice in getting me started.

You helped me get on the path to following my dream and now that dream is finally becoming a reality. Please, if you are ever in the NY/NJ area, please stop by and see me. I’d be honored to host you. Also.

Once again Albert, thank you for everything, for all your help along the way and as always,

Pizza on Earth!

Yours truly,

Anthony Saporito, Owner

Urban Fire,
Madison, NJ

Thanks Anthony. Tell us more about your pizza quest!

I understand you have just undertaken an incredible journey to have a goal
of getting into the pizza business.

Albert: You had a dream, you showed passion and you put effort in and you made
your dream a reality…

 Tell me a bit about you Anthony. What led you to get into the pizza
business?

Anthony: I studied Finance in College. Don’t ask me why. It never really excited me. For the first 10 years after college I worked as a Trader on the Floor of the New York Stock Exchange. At first I loved the fast pace, and interaction with others, but one day we all came in and they told us that the Exchange was abandoning its 200 year old way of doing business, and going computerized. After that, Layoffs started coming every few months. It was a terrible feeling, wondering day to day, when it was going to be your turn. When I first started, my company had 350 employees. When I finally did get laid off, there was 48. I was actually ecstatic when my Boss tapped me on the shoulder to tell me the news -I had already been dreaming of Pizza for the last 2 years prior. Getting laid off was just the kick in the rear I needed to get started.

Albert: Of all the other Jobs, why did you decide to do your own business. Why Pizza?

Anthony:  Entertaining others and cooking for them is in my blood. I grew up in a traditional Italian/American household and my Grandmother’s house on Sunday was like Grand Central station. People came in and out all day. Some stayed for dinner, some ate and ran, some came for coffee. I was always enamored how she was able to feed everyone with such ease and how much Joy she was able to bring to others by doing so. It was contagious. Even when I was in college, and studying Finance, I was still always using the Kitchen in my dorm to cook for everyone. I loved it.

Working in a Job that I had zero drive for really annoyed me. I knew that the next line of business I went into was going to be something I had a Passion for. I didn’t have to think for too long to come up with, what exactly that was, and the answer was Pizza. Pizza is just one of those things that makes everyone happy and excited. You have an age old recipe, and yet you can still be creative. And creating different pizzas with the sole purpose of having others enjoy it, and bringing a smile to their face is what moves me. Much like the feeling I had at my Grandmothers house. I always wanted to do something on my own in the food service industry. This was my chance. I was 30 years old, and decided to do something on my own that I knew I would love. Had I just put my Résumé online and took another desk job, I knew I’d regret it for the rest of my life. I had to take a shot.

Stay tuned for the rest of this incredible interview….

If you are in the pizza business or interested in getting into the Pizza business, I recommend: Growing Pizza: How to Plant the Seeds to a Successful Pizzeria

And also: Profits in the Pie: Effective Marketing Tactics to Seize YOUR Slice of the $38.1 Billion Pizza Pie

Step-by-step Secret Profitable System Shows You Exactly How To Start & Manage A Successful Restaurant Business & Increase Success Rate Even If You Have No Business Experience Or Background!

. Even If You Have No Business Experience Or Background. Check Out & Promote Today.

La Strada Pizza on Pizza, Secrets, Best Pizza Places

lastradalogo

La Strada Pizza logo

Here is an interview I did recently with Nick Schneider, owner of La Strada, Pizza in Matunuck Rhode Island.
The pizza was excellent. A thin crust with lots of taste. We were all impressed. I had to ask him
what were his secrets. How did he learn to make pizza?

Nick gave me more than I asked for. He was honest and forthcoming…
and don’t even call him a pizzaiolo…he’s a pizza guy!

Albert: Nick, tell me how you got into the pizza business?

Nick: I got into the pizza business through my father Paul.
He’s been making pizza for over 50 years now. He opened his first place in his late teens
in Provincetown, Massachusetts called Spiritus Pizza, which is still there.

Paul, my father and John Yingling, (Jingles) opened Spiritus together. So it’s been around a long time,
then he opened a bunch of other places. He is one of the original East Coast, New York Pizza Guys.
I’m not saying that because he is my father but Paul Schneider is one of the original old school guys
and a lot of people have learned from him and used his recipe and are kind of pushing on.
He’s still around and that’s
where I got all of my pizza stuff from.

He’s an artist and sculptor and a cook and a really interesting guy. That’s where my pizza
comes from and where my esthetic comes from.

Albert: Is he still making pizza?

Nick: Oh yeah, he’s go a great place in a very unassuming spot,
in Ellsworth, Maine called, Finelli’s Pizza.

People are walking in there all the time with their chest out, saying I’m from New York, I’m from New Haven
and we know pizza. We’ve heard all about this place. And once they have the pizza, they become believers.
And he’s still there in Ellsworth, Maine and he’s still doing it. He makes the best pizza I’ve ever had! Ever!
Way better than mine.
Yeah, the best.

nickoven

La Strada Pizza Oven

Albert: So you learned to make pizza side by side with your Dad.
He took you by the hand and showed you how to make pizza.

Nick: I remember sleeping on flour bags as a kid. I’d always stay there because there was a
rush (of customers)
and he would work really late, and I was a kid and I would stay in the pizza shop…
lastradapizza

Albert: Do you make your dough the day before?

Nick: I make my dough a couple of days before. I at least make it a day before, I like to make it a couple of days
before…Depends on how busy we are.

Albert: So you use a cold ferment method, as opposed to a warm ferment?

Nick: Both actually. I use a warm (proof) ferment, then a cold ferment and then a warm ferment.

Albert: So you think that is the secret to great pizza?

Nick: It’s not a secret anymore, cause you just screwed it up for for me. It was a secret!

You know when you came in here you asked me if I was a pizzaiolo, and I said no, I’m the pizza guy.
My dad’s a pizza guy, he’s not a pizzaiolo either. That stuff I think a lot
of this stuff and secrets that is out on the Internet now,like the DOC stuff is coming from these certifications.
There is a school that says you have to use this flour, you have to use this method, you have to use this water.
You have to do this and you have to do that.

I don’t think that is the case. I’m not a Prima Dona I don’t know anything about anything.
You just got to do what you
do and love it and that’s it.

And the most important thing I believe is the way the dough is handled.
My father calls this dough management.
The way the dough is handled, when it comes out, how long it is sitting around for before
it goes into the oven.
And of course the temperature of
the oven.

Your oven’s got to be hot, hot hot!

And that’s it…

Nick of La Stada and  Albert of Pizza Therapy

Nick of La Stada and Albert of Pizza Therapy

This “your oven’s got to be made here by this guy, who is from this part of Naples, and using this flour,
that’s all”
a little to much, … I’m in Matunuck Rhode Island. I’m not brining in the water from New York. I don’t bring in any crazy stuff.
I just do it the way I was taught, which is the way my dad taught me. And it seems to work for us…

Here is the interview on You Tube:

You can watch the rest of this interview here. You can also listen if you wish and download for later listening….


Find La Strada, here:
La Strada
920 Matunuck Beach Road
Wakefield, RI 02879
Shop: 401.284.2253 Mobile: 401.533.2019

Best Pizza Peel: the Super Peel Part 1

Gary Casper had a pizza problem.

A BIG Pizza Problem. He was given a pizza stone, but he didn’t know how to use it. He was able to make pizza alright, but getting the pizza on and off the stone proved to be a problem.

Gary had been given a pizza baking stone similar to this one: Old Stone Oven 4467 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone

Then he had a brilliant idea…
Gary and I have been an Internet friends for a number of years. I’ve always been amazed at his unique way of moving pizza on and off a pizza stone.

In the following interview, Gary explains the Secret of The Super Peel: (EXO Limited Edition Super Peel in Solid Cherry! 100% Made in USA)

Albert: The Super Peel is a new take on an old tool. A peel is used to transfer a
pizza on and off a pizza stone (or wood fired oven).

Gary how did you come up with the idea of the Super Peel? How does it work?

Gary:

This truly was a Father-Daughter project from the getgo. Jen (my youngest)
had given me a pizza stone when she was about 9. We tried sliding pizzas
from a cardboard sheet and off of a flat baking sheet. Neither worked too
well initially. I am sure now that the whole shaking-sliding thing was
probably not beyond my abilities with a bit more practice.

But, impatience and stubbornness and a need to fix things was already kicking in.
Generally, we just set off try and incorporate a floured pastry cloth into
“something” that pizza wouldn’t stick to and that would magically put our
pizzas onto our baking stone.

Albert: How did you first create it? Did you go through a couple of design
ideas?

Gary:
Ha, I wish I had pictures of some of the variations. I do still have one
early version that was sort of a cloth held between two wooden rods and
third rod to move a loop of the fabric.

Another one incorporated parts from a car window shade. Fun yes, but getting more complicated all the way.
The basic design that is used in the Super Peel today, came as sort of a
“bolt out of the blue”, a flash of thought that came after having set the
whole project aside for a while. It was so simple and elegant!

Albert:
What gave you idea that the Super Peel would be popular with pizza makers and home chefs?

Gary:
A lot of research: books, magazines, internet, etc. all led to the
confirmation that we were not the only ones with this dough transfer
problem. We were clearly focused on pizza initially. Regarding possible
patenting, what is important is that which has already been done or
described before – referred to as “prior art”.

During my research, I came across a bread baking cook book by Carol Field – “The Italian Baker”. In
one part of the book she is describing how she observed bakers loading their oven in the “Old Country”.
She described them using a sling of fabric to place loaves in the oven and then just whipping it out to leave the loaves behind.

She then goes on to lament the fact that there is unfortunately no
such device for use in the home kitchen. That helped to further enforce the
notion that maybe we really were onto something and that it might find uses
beyond pizza making.

Albert: Does the Super Peel have any other uses in baking other than pizza?

Gary:
Yes, bread bakers, both amateurs and professionals have found it useful and
have endorsed it. The Super Peel has been used in classes at the CIA and
has even been mentioned in some bread baking books over the years. It can also be useful for pie and pastry making, as it can be slipped beneath and dough sheet even if it is partially stuck to the rolling surface.

Generally, it can help with any dough moving task and will reduce the amount of handling and reduce the amount of extra flouring needed. As you know, too much of either of these can adversely affect the quality of your
finished baked goods. Most recently, the wood fired oven gang has been giving us more attention. The use of too much bench flour can leave deposits on the bottom of your pizza, where it burns in the high heat of the
WFO. The result can be an unpleasant bitterness which can really detract from the pie.

Albert: How did you first start to Market the Super Peel?? What was your most successful promotion?

I actually started by attempting to license the concept. There was good
interest and a couple of near misses, which actually bolstered my confidence
in the product idea. The major obstacle to licensing was the fact that it
was just too new of an idea. One might think that a revolutionary game
changer would be a good thing, but such a product often requires so much
education up and down the line so as to be a real negative, regardless of
how cool and functional the product is. If customers cannot easily
understand a new product, they are not likely to buy it, especially if it
purports (like the Super Peel) to do magic.

I pitched the product to The Baker’s Catalogue, and they were interested in
trying it. Eventually, it appeared on the cover of the Catalogue in Nov. of
2003 and they sold about 1000 units. It was such a good fit with the
Catalogue that we had to do it, even though we didn’t make any money on the
whole deal. But, the exposure in The Baker’s Catalogue would later lead to
product testing at Cook’s Illustrated. Gaining a Cook’s Illustrated
endorsement has undoubtedly played a role in the success of the product.

End of Part 1 of Super Peel: Interview

Tony Gemignani Interview at Pizza Expo

Tony Gemignani at Pizza Expo

Tony Gemignani at Pizza Expo

 

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

Tony Gemignani, always has something going on. I got a chance to chat with him recently.
We talked all about pizza….

Tony discusses his latest concept for pizza called Capo’s.  This is a Chicago styled pizzaeria based on the prohibition era.
They specialize in deep dish Chicago pizza and have a whiskey bar as well as many different Chicago style Italian dishes.Tony explains when you look at the pizza industry, Chicago is making a new wave.

Tony’s got a new book coming out next year. He’s opening two new restaurants, one in California and one in Las Vegas.
Both restaurants will be opening at the end of the year. He’s also doing something pizza related for Hollywood.

Yeah you heard that right, Hollywood!

This guys got a lot on his plate! How does he have time for all of these projects.  How does he do it, I just had to know.

“I barely sleep, I just love it”, he stated sheepishly. “I always thought the independent operator could make a statement in this industry, and we are…”

I wanted to know if he still keeps making pizza. I mean how does he have time for all of his projects and still be a hands-on pizza operator.

“When you come to Tony’s (Tony’s Pizza Napoleletana) you’ll see me behind the line. There are a few things we introduced to Tony’s. I think I said a few years ago Detroit was going to make a big impact. I brought that to the Tony’s menu, Detroit style, about a year and a half ago. That style is one of the hottest styles on the Expo floor.A few years ago it didn’t exist.
Last year a guy won best pizza in the world. Now everyone is talking Detroit.So we’ve introduced a couple of styles: St. Louis and Detroit. Places that most people don’t think existwhen it comes to pizza, but, if you do it right, it can be pretty awesome.
So we launched that about a year and a half ago.

That’s been a big part of the program at Tony’s because we have every style.
It’s crazy to go to Tony’s now and get 11 styles of pizza…”

Tony Gemignani

Tony’s Back

Here’s a video interview. I recorded of Tony at Pizza Expo. Tony was very honest and forthcoming in his responses.

Tony was a super star at Expo. Everyone wanted to speak with him. I was very appreciative that he was able to

spend some time with me….

 

 

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
1570 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 835-9888

No Reservations. No Exceptions.

The philosophy at Tony’s:

A small pizzeria in Naples, Italy is the inspiration behind Tony Gemignani’s story for Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. A fulfillment in his ever growing passion for pizza drew him to self content when he first tried an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Since then he was determined to learn this art of pizza making and one day open a restaurant like no other.

 

Tony Gemignani and Albert Grande          of Pizza Therapy

Tony Gemignani and Albert Grande of Pizza Therapy

 

 

You can listen to Tony’s Interview (and download it if you wish) below:


Tony’s book Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza is available right here…


John Arena of Metro Pizza, Las Vegas, Interview

John Arena  is both a student and a teacher of pizza.

John Arena contacted me several years ago explaining he had developed the first course about pizza to be offered at a major university.

Albert Grande and John Arena at the Pizza Expo.

Albert Grande and John Arena at the Pizza Expo.

The class is entitled: The Culture of Pizza.   

Here is the course description:

Course Description: A survey course on the history, culture and developing trends in the creation and production of pizza. The course includes, lectures, readings, ingredient analysis, production demonstrations and hands-on work with regard to the art and science of pizza-making.

Week 1: History of Pizza

A discussion of the evolution of pizza and related flatbreads from the ancient Greeks to the kitchens of celebrity chefs. We will discuss how historical events and migration have shaped pizza, where we started, where we are now, and where we may be headed. Class will be divided into three teams for final project.

Week 2: Napoli

Napoli is the birthplace of pizza as we know it. Discussion and hands-on demonstration of pizza as it is prepared in Naples. We will examine the approved standards of the VPN Italy’s governing body of pizza.

Week 3: Pizza Comes to the New World

An examination of pizza as it was prepared in New York’s Little Italy in the early 1900’s and how and why it has changed over time. Demonstration and practice of proper hand-crafting techniques.

Week 4: Dough Production

It all starts here. Basics of crust formulation. We will examine selection of ingredients, proper mixing and fermentation, and variations that will change flavor profiles and texture.

Week 5: Basics of Sauce, Cheese and Spices

We will sample and compare ingredients and learn to prepare a base pizza sauce. This class will also examine regional preferences and variations of the basic ingredients.

Week 6: In the Thick of It

Chicago Style Deep Dish, Foccacia, Stuffed Pizza and Calzones. We will examine the origins and elements of these pizza variations including hands-on practice of basic techniques.

Week 7: Pizza in the 21st Century

An examination of multi-cultural influences and current trends in the pizza world including sample and discussion of pizzas with nontraditional toppings.

Week 8: Presentation of Final Projects

Each team will have 15 minutes to prepare the team’s Pizza Creation including a spoken explanation of the inspiration and rationale behind its development. Final written examination.

The mandatory text book used was: Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food

<
I was honored to be able to interview John. He is not only a master pizzaiolo, but also a wonderful person.

In the following interview john discusses:

  • How he learned the pizza business
  • His philosophy of creating a pizza community
  • Why he pays his customers $25 gift certificates to visit other pizzerias
  • His take on the kinds of regional pizzerias in the United States
  • Why he takes his entire staff to visit Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria every year
  • He offers incredible insight on Chris Bianco
  • He gives great tips for the home pizza maker
  • What is the one pizza tool you should “throw away” if you are making pizza
  • How he created a College Class called The Culture of Pizza

This was a fascinating interview. You will discover tons of use information.

This interview is full of incredible pizza facts and insight, about John, his pizza philosophy, his relationship with his cousin, Sam, and more. 

You will be astounded with the amount of knowledge that John shares in this incredible interview. John Arena is a true Legend of Pizza.

You can listen and / or download this interview below: 

 

How the Internet Changed Pizza History

How the Internet Changed Pizza History

Pizza has always been America’s favorite food. It’s been the subject of movies, books, and songs. Pizza is not only a food of sustenance, but for some has become an obsessive delight. And for many Pizza Fans, pizza is a sheer and utter passion. Pizza debate brings on an endless thirst for argument that cannot be easily quenched with just a slice or two.

People discuss their favorite pizzerias with the same emotionally charged energy as they would discuss politics or their favorite sports team. Pizza has become so entrenched into the culture that it is easy to forget, pizza was once simply peasant food. Pizza was for many years, enjoyed by the lower echelons of society, who could afford little else.
For most of Pizza’s long and romantic history, pizza was a regional dish. The great pizza in New York stayed in New York.

The inside secrets of the best New York pizza remained in the boroughs and neighborhoods where it was created. There would be an occasional newspaper or magazine article. Television and radio reporters would sporadically discuss pizza on regional and local venues. However, unless you visited New York, these inside pizza secrets remained mysteries to the rest of the country.

The pizza in New Haven stayed in New Haven. Frank Pepe began making pizza in 1925. Sally’s founded by Franks, nephew, Salvatore Consiglio, came into being a decade later. Modern Apizza, also in New Haven developed their own brick oven masterpieces. Up the road in Derby, Connecticut, Roseland Apizza had created their own brand of incredible pizza, independently of anyone else.

Most people outside of New Haven were clueless to the pizza being created there. This was true for most of the residents of the entire state. Most Connecticut residents had never thought of traveling to New Haven to eat pizza. And why would they? They had their own great pizza, or so they thought.

And so it had been across the country. State by state, region by region. From the East Coast to the Heartland. From the Deep South to the West Coast. From Chicago to Los Angeles. From Portland to Louisiana. Pizza made in that region stayed in that region. There was no cross over. No sharing of pizza ideas.

The only way you discovered regional pizza was by knowing someone who lived there or by traveling yourself to a particular area and searching it out. Other than that, pizza was regionalized remained hidden and undiscovered.
This was true not only of the United States but across the entire planet. Pizzerias in Italy, all of Europe and other continents hid their pizza secrets to all but the fortunate residents and random traveler.

However, things were about to change. Enter the great game changer. The Big Kahuna of Information was about to turn regionalized pizza into a global point of argument and dialogue.

The floodgates of the great pizza symposium were opened. The Internet was the single biggest catalyst to educate, inform and open the debate of how to make pizza and where to find great pizza. The earth had truly become a global village of pizza. Now various countries, regions cities and towns were able to showcase their own marvel of pizza.
Slowly at first, websites were created. Here and there pizza was discussed. Pizza making secrets were shared. People became aware of pizza in other areas. Pizza Forums and blogs picked up the banner. And today you will find hundreds and hundreds of pizza related websites, blogs and discussion forums. All of these information portals share insights and knowledge about pizza.

Finally pizza lovers across the globe had a common voice. Pizza was given a common arena of deliberation and examination.

And we are just getting started. More pizza blogs and websites are created daily. All with their own unique pizza perspective, individual recommendations, pizza picks and pans. The pizza debate continues.
I don’t want to discount the many books on pizza, which assisted in the process of promoting the joys of pizza. Certainly, Peter Reinhart’s American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza
fueled the fire of pizza information. Ed Levine created a master piece with Pizza: A Slice of Heaven: The Ultimate Pizza Guide and Companion
. Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby with their pizza tribute Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food
made a huge statement.

(Shameless plug: to purchase these books and a video review, go to: http://pizzatherapy.com/pizzabooks.htm ) Pizza Books

However, even the Internet assisted with the promotion of these books and allowed for more seasoned debate about pizza. Now you did not have to go out to purchase a book. If you found a pizza book you liked, you could just order it online and have delivered right to your door.

As much as the Internet did to create knowledge about countless unknown pizzerias, it became a way to show people how to make pizza. For the first time pizza fans could learn recipes and techniques from home. They could discuss and even ask questions. And if that weren’t enough the advent of video allowed pizza fans to learn pizza making by seeing it demonstrated in front of their eyes. And if they missed something the first time around, they could watch it again and again.

Some of the pizza information was free, while others (myself included I created: The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book ) created their own pizza e-books for sale.
There were a number of pizza fans who decided to take pizza making to the next level by opening their own pizzeria. I have been shocked and surprised at the number of world class pizzaioli who revealed to me, they first learned pizza making from the Internet.

This has happened to me on a number of occasions. I arrived at a pizza restaurant, looking forward to a classic pizza. I had the pizza, I loved the pizza, and when I asked the owner where they learned to make pizza, they proudly declared: they learned all about pizza making directly from the Internet.

And so that’s how the Internet changed Pizza History. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book on Kindle:

 

 

The Best Pizza in New Jersey Interview

 

Undici from Legendsofpizza.com

The following interview is with Victor of Undici Taverna Rustica in New Jersey.

Victor claims to make the best pizza in New Jersey.

After listening to some of Victor’s responses, you will understand this is no idle claim.

Undici Taverna Rustica, has no equal in New Jersey or anywhere else. Their pizza is in a word: simply outstanding.

Honestly I was amazed at some of the information shared in this interview. Victor talks about his early influences of pizza, how he got into the business, his collaboration with Anthony Mangieri and more.
Albert:  Victor, thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Do you have a memory of your first pizza? Please  describe it.

Victor: I made my first pizza as a child I was 3 or 4 years old at my father’s pizza parlor Rallo’s Pizzeria in Newark, New Jersey. They tell me it was pretty good maybe I had a knack early on.

Albert: Where did you grow up? How was the pizza?

Victor: I grew up as a child in Newark and then in My school days in Franklin Lakes New Jersey. The pizza was standard pizza parlor pizza. I ate the pizza but it never really impressed my as something delicious or gourmet.

Albert: How did you get interested in making pizza?

Victor: My dad was in the restaurant business his entire life so I was always around Italian food and pizza. My dad made a great pie in a conventional Bakers Pride oven. But he always used great ingredients his pizza’s were better than anyone else at the time.

Albert: Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana, is a legendary pizzaiolo. And I
believe he is from New Jersey. He is from what I understand, actually quite a purist when it comes to pizza.
You mention him as endorsing your pizza. Any endorsement from him holds a lot of weight in the World of Pizza.

How did you meet him?

Victor: I met Anthony riding bicycles; he and I share a passion for cycling. He rides more mountain bike then I do, I ride and race more on the road. But we used to ride together often. So we met on our bikes.

Albert: What is your relationship to Anthony?

Victor: He is a good fiend and my pizza mentor I believe he is the best pizza maker in America!

We made pizzas together at Undici my restaurant in Rumson New Jersey, for almost three months. We made so many pizzas together. He is a purest and that’s what I love about him.

Albert: Can you  give us an Anthony Mangieri anecdote or pizza story?

Victor: Sure as we were making pizzas I asked Anthony if the staff could eat them and he said no not until the pizzas are perfect.  About a week later we they tasted the pizza, a purest with a passion that is lost in most American kitchens.

Albert: How did you learn to make pizza? Did you struggle with anything in learning how to make great pizza?

Victor: I always knew how to make good dough, I learned that from my father but getting it all right at very high temperatures is very difficult. This is what sets the great pizzaiolas apart. They understand the balance of heat, texture of the dough, the cheese it’s a true art. So it took me quite a while to get the wood burning oven down, every day is a challenge.

Albert: I understand you make Neapolitan pizza. And your pizzeria is in New Jersey. New Jersey is famous for their tomato pies.

How is your style of pizza different or similar to the Tomato Pie?

Victor: This is a great pizza, classic Napoletana pizza, san Marzano tomato, Bufala Mozzarella, Caputo “oo” flour, fresh basil and really good extra virgin olive oil. Plus we use a three day dough so the dough has great character and life.

Albert: What makes your pizza the “best in New Jersey”?

Victor: Passion, precision and purity.  I have a deep passion for Italian history and culture, so I try every day to put on the table the closest possible thing top Pizza Vera Napoletana. If you taste my pizza and you have been to Naples you will taste, see and smell Naples in every bite. Very few people in New Jersey are doing this the authentic way.

Albert: What kind of oven do you have and why do you use it?

Victor: We use a Woodstone oven that burns only wood.

Albert: What kind of flour do you use?

Victor: Always Caputo it is the best.

Albert: Do you think water makes any difference when making pizza?

Victor: Absolutely only a master like Anthony could figure it out in California, because the water is not great there. In New Jersey the water has a perfect balance of minerrality to make great pizza. Yes it makes a difference.

Albert: Can you give the home pizza maker some pizza tips?

Victor: First buy a pizza stone, get your oven as hot as you can , use the ingredients I have described above and you can make a darn good pizza at home

Albert: Can you share a pizza recipe with us?

Victor: One of my favorites is making a traditional pizza Napoletana and when it comes out of the oven tossing some fresh garden arugula in olive oil and laying it on top of the pizza and then slicing some Prosciutto di Parma and laying a beautiful thin piece on each slice. BRAVO!!!!!

Albert: Do you make your dough the day before? Do you ferment your dough?

Victor: We start our dough with a mother on day one, some people call it a starter. On day two we add the remaining ingredients into the mother and mix the dough. We then let the dough set for 15- 30 minutes depending on the temperature of the kitchen. After it settles we ball the day and refrigerate it for use the third day. So the long and short answer is yes we ferment the dough.

Albert: Tell us a bit about your restaurant,  Undici Taverna Rustica? Do you have
a specialty house pizza?

Victor: The restaurant was built to recreate a Tuscan farmhouse, my partners the Diaco family had a major influence on the design it is absolutely a beautiful recreation. Besides pizza we make all of our own pasta homemade including ravioli and gnocchi.

Albert: How do you stay in touch with your customers?

Victor: We have a great staff that touches every customer that walks in our door. And we also monitor and use the internet and social media to touch our customers.

Tell us your website address: www.undicirestaurant.com
I love your video. You tell the whole  Undici Taverna Rustica pizza story.

Victor: I think my videos tell the whole story search Da Michele in Naples the best pizza place in the world I shot a great video from there.

Albert: Have your videos been a successful way to market  Undici Taverna Rustica?

Victor: Absolutely we have thousands of hits and views on our videos.

Albert: What is in the future for  Undici Taverna Rustica?

Victor: Undici will continue to serve the freshest seasonal interpretations of Italian cuisine in New Jersey and continue to make perfect Pizza Vera Napoletana for many years to come.

Albert: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Pizza on Earth, to you.

And Pizza All Over:

Undici Taverna Rustica

11  West River Road
Rumson , NJ 07760

732-842-3880

www.undicirestaurant.com

Victor from Undici

And for more great New Jersey Pizza:

Discover The Best Pizza in New Jersey at Pizza Therapy

The History of Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana

Pepe's Clam Pizza

Pepe's Clam Pizza

Frank Pepe Sign
The Famous Frank Pepe Sign on Wooster Street

 

From Gary Bimonte, Frank Pepe’s grandson, we are pleased to share the real history of Fank Pepe’s:

 

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

 

is one of the oldest and best-known pizzerias in the United States. Known locally as Pepe’s, is has its Original Location in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, CT, as well as stores in Fairfield, Manchester and Danbury CT, Yonkers, NY., and Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria was founded in 1925 by Frank Pepe (b. April 15, 1893 d. September 6, 1969). Born in the town of Maiori, on the Amalfi coast, southwest of Naples, Frank Pepe was the quintessential Italian immigrant. Poor and illiterate, he immigrated to the United States in 1909 at age 16 with little more than his health and a strong work ethic. His first job was at a New Haven, CT factory until he returned to fight for his native Italy in World War 1 a few years later.

He married Filomena Volpi, also from Maiori, in 1919. As newly-weds they returned to New Haven, CT in 1920 to begin building their new lives together.

Frank Pepe took a job at a local Wooster Street macaroni manufacturer, Genneroso Muro (the current location of Libby’s Italian Pastry). He then worked for Tony Apicella at his bread bakery, also on Wooster St.

He made his first entrepreneurial move by establishing his own bakery at 163 Wooster Street — in business today as Frank Pepe’s the Spot – baking his bread and delivering to the local community with a cart. Since he had difficulty documenting, because of his illiteracy, to whom he delivered and to the quantity, he soon abandoned his efforts of delivery. Instead, he made the fortuitous decision to start a business where his customers would come to him.

In 1925, with his wife Filomena, who was a pivotal influence on his success (she was literate and learned to speak and write English), they started making a simple and humble product from their homeland, pizza — or as they would say in their Neapolitan dialect, “apizza” (ah-beets). They baked their pizzas offering two types, tomatoes with grated cheese, garlic, oregano and olive oil and the other with anchovy. The Original Tomato Pie is still offered today and anchovy is still available as a topping. Mozzarella and additional ingredients were to follow.

In the formative years 1925 — 1937, he employed a small crew of relatives that included his half brother Alessio Pepe and his son Mac, cousin Tommy Sicignano, nephews Salvatore and Tony Consiglio. Incidentally, Salvatore Consiglio, after learning pizza baking from his uncle Frank, eventually made the decision to establish his own pizzeria on Wooster Street, the well known Sally’s Apizza.

In 1937, Frank Pepe bought the building next door at 157 Wooster Street, and moved his pizzeria to what is historically understood to be the main (although not the original) location. The original location continued as a pizzeria, called The Spot and operated by the Boccamiello family.

Like many business owners of the day, Frank Pepe lived above the pizzeria with his family that now included his daughters Elizabeth and Serafina. Everyone worked downstairs in the pizzeria. Frank Pepe became know as “Old Reliable” for his contributions to community and unwavering love for his growing family.

In the late 1970s, Elizabeth and Serafina, purchased the original bakery (163 Wooster St.) from the Boccamiello’s and re-opened Frank Pepe’s the Spot as an annex to the main building.

Pepe’s reputation as one the country’s premier pizzeria spread through word of mouth. In the early 1990s, Elizabeth and Serafina retired and the business passed to their children – Anthony, Francis, Lisa, Bernadette, Genevieve, Jennifer and Gary — who still operate the business today and have overseen its expansion.

Frank Pepe originated the New Haven-style thin crust pizza which he baked in bread ovens fired by coke. Coke is a byproduct of coal and it was used extensively until the late 1960’s when it became unavailable and hence coal was then put into use to fire the oven.

Pepe’s signature pizza, the White Clam Pizza, was most likely an organic inspiration by Frank Pepe; an idea born from the fact that Pepe’s also served raw little neck clams from Rhode Island, on the half shell, as an appetizer. This development occurred around the mid 1960’s and gradually became popular through the past 40 years. Contrary to what many have heard, Frank Pepe did not have an allergy to cheese and tomatoes and the white clam pizza’s evolution should not be attributed to this false malady.

A lot has happened since Frank Pepe starting baking “ah-beets” 85 years ago. Pizza has gone from an obscure ethnic dish to become a mainstay of the American dining scene. But what hasn’t changed at Pepe’s is the family’s commitment to the tradition of food quality and commitment to the community at large that Frank Pepe envisioned in 1925.

For more info about Pepe’s Visit Pizza Therapy Pepe’s Page

Comments from Pepe’s Pizza Lovers

Why You Should Make Your Own Pizza

Pizza is a universal food. Originally confined to Italian neighborhoods, pizza has now become mainstream. Travel anywhere in the world and you will be able to find some type of pizza..

As noted bread baker Peter Reinhart explained to me: “Pizza is the perfect flavor delivery system.” Pizza is the ultimate comfort food.

With a little practice, you can easily make your own delicious home made pizza.

Here are four reasons why you should make your own pizza.

1) Making pizza is easy. With the basic tools found in any kitchen, you will be able to make pizza dough. All pizza dough follows the same basic pattern. Mix flour with yeast, water and salt. Some pizza dough recipes call for oil, however this may be omitted. (I use olive oil in my recipe, but this is a matter of preference.) There are many wonderful pizza dough recipes available to you. You need to find one that you like and will satisfy your own taste.

2) Making pizza is healthy. Since you are making your own pizza, you have total control over the ingredients used. I encourage you to use the freshest ingredients available. The old standards, pepperoni, sausage, tomato sauce, and various cheeses make excellent toppings for pizza. There are many vegetables that can be used for pizza as well including fresh garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, mushrooms and zucchini. Fresh seafood such as shrimp and clams can also compliment your pizza. Experiment. You will create new taste sensations. You are only limited to your imagination when deciding what to put on your pizza.

3) You will save lots of money. You will be amazed at how economical it is to make your own pizza. The actual price of putting together a quality pizza at home is much cheaper than buying pizza at a pizzeria. One way to save money is by purchasing ingredients on sale. You can multiply your savings by obtaining items in bulk at a food discount warehouse. For example some items like mozzarella cheese can be purchased in bulk. Use what you need, and freeze the rest to be used the next time you make pizza. The savings of buying your pizza ingredients in bulk is substantial.

4) Making pizza is fun. Pizza can be a wonderful group activity. When you make pizza, you can get everyone around you involved in some part of the process. Pizza is also an enjoyable family activity. All kids love making pizza. Pizza is a fun activity which can be enjoyed not only by families but by singles as well. When you make pizza, you make magic happen.

Still not convinced you can make your own pizza? Here are some steps you can take to painlessly, create your own pizza. Start with a frozen pizza shell purchased at a supermarket. This is a good way to begin to learn how to make your own pizza. You are in complete control of what toppings you will use.

The next step is to purchase fresh pizza dough from a bakery or pizzeria. This will give you good experience in working with dough and shaping your pizza. Making pizza like this will allow you invaluable experience.

Finally, you can try making your own dough from scratch. Making dough may seem difficult at first, but will get easier and easier over time. You can find a link box to get a free copy of my pizza dough at the end of this article.

Without much effort, you will be making healthy pizza, saving money and having a lot of fun. The hardest part of making pizza is the clean-up.

Listen to an audio of this article, here:

Learn to make your own homemade pizza and dough at Pizza Therapy, click here, now!

Olive Oil

The Pizza Place, Westerly Rhode Island

The Pizza Place, Westerly Rhode Island

Rosario Cacciatore knows pizza. He first started to make pizza while he was the dishwasher at the Recovery Room, in New London. FYI: the Recovery Room makes some of the best pizza in Southeastern Connecticut.

Now, Rosario has opened his own pizzeria in nearby, Westerly, Rhode Island. Known simply as the Pizza Place, he continues to make great pizza.

Now The Pizza place is making the best pizza in Rhode Island.

For me one of the most interesting things he states is about making pizza. He does explain that you need to use only the finest ingredients. You need very fresh high qulaity ingredients.

But then he goes on to explain that unless you have a love for pizza, it just does not turn out right.

Visit the Pizza Place and let us know what you think.

The Pizza Place
43 Broad Street,
Westerly, RI 02891
(401) 348-1803 or Toll Free 1-877-596-7739

Here is something you may find useful, if you are in the Pizza Business or considering the pizza business. Profits in the Pie: Effective Marketing Tactics to Seize YOUR Slice of the $38.1 Billion Pizza Pie

Vision of Pizza by John Arena from Metro Pizza

John Arena explains the Vision of Pizza embraced by Metro Pizza in Las Vegas. Jon explains everyone has thier own vision of great pizza. Whether you are from Brooklyn or New Haven. New Jersey or Chicago. Seattle or San Francisco, everyone has their own idea of the perfect pizza.

Metro has a great concept for out of town pizza fans. If you go to Metro with a picture in front of you favorite pizzeria, you will recieve $25.00 worth of food. Metro pizza wants to recgnize and celebrate great pizza the world over.

John and his cousin Sam came from New York to begin their pizza adventure.

In the following presetation John, explains his vision of pizza.

John’s pizzeria philosophy:

“…We believe that a true Pizzeria should be a gathering place for family and friends to relax, share great food and enjoy each other’s company. We have visited hundreds of Pizzerias across the country, learning and gathering recipes to bring our guests a taste of home, wherever home might be….”

Metro Pizza( 5 Locations including:)
1395 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tropicana & Maryland Parkway
(702) 736-1955

John teaches a pizza class at UNLV. Here is the course outline:

Week 1: History of Pizza

A discussion of the evolution of pizza and related flatbreads from the ancient Greeks to the kitchens of celebrity chefs. We will discuss how historical events and migration have shaped pizza, where we started, where we are now, and where we may be headed. Class will be divided into three teams for final project.

Week 2: Napoli

Napoli is the birthplace of pizza as we know it. Discussion and hands-on demonstration of pizza as it is prepared in Naples. We will examine the approved standards of the VPN Italy’s governing body of pizza.
Week 3: Pizza Comes to the New World

An examination of pizza as it was prepared in New York’s Little Italy in the early 1900’s and how and why it has changed over time. Demonstration and practice of proper hand-crafting techniques.

Week 4: Dough Production

It all starts here. Basics of crust formulation. We will examine selection of ingredients, proper mixing and fermentation, and variations that will change flavor profiles and texture.

Week 5: Basics of Sauce, Cheese and SpicesWe will sample and compare ingredients and learn to prepare a base pizza sauce. This class will also examine regional preferences and variations of the basic ingredients.

Week 6: In the Thick of It

Chicago Style Deep Dish, Foccacia, Stuffed Pizza and Calzones. We will examine the origins and elements of these pizza variations including hands-on practice of basic techniques.

Week 7: Pizza in the 21st Century

An examination of multi-cultural influences and current trends in the pizza world including sample and discussion of pizzas with nontraditional toppings.

Week 8: Presentation of Final Projects

Each team will have 15 minutes to prepare the team’s Pizza Creation including a spoken explanation of the inspiration and rationale behind its development. Final written examination.

Here is the textbook for the course:

Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food