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:




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


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

John Arena is the co-owner of:






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







You can discover more about John by going to Pizza Quest:

Information about Pizza Expo can be found:

Pizza Therapy supports the Pizza Expo





Pizza Therapy Website is located at:
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.
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.

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