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The Harlem Globetrotters Visit Tony Gemignani

The Harlem Globetrotter visit Tony Gemignani at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

The Basketball World Collides with the Pizza World:

Tony Gemignani and the Harlem Globetrotters

Tony Gemignani and the Harlem Globetrotters

When you get World Champions together you know you are in for something special. When the Champions are from totally different areas, well you get a total mash of talents.

That is exactly what happened when the Harlem Globetrotters visited Tony Gemignani at his Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.

Tony explained his fond memories of his Dad taking his brother Frank and him to see the Harlem Globetrotters play. “It’s one of your childhood memories you grow up with and it stays with you forever,” he stated.

Now the amazing stars and legends of basketball were going to be visiting and playing basketball with him at his restaurant.

Tony, a Legends of Pizza, has distinguished himself as both an incredible pizzaiolo (pizza master) and World Pizza Champion as a pizza acrobat. As a matter of fact he is a 9 time World Pizza Champion.

Inside the pizzeria, Tony amazed the Globetrotters with a few tricks and showed them the finer points of pizza tossing. They explained not only does Tony have some of the best pizza around, but they dubbed him: “He’s a Globe Trotter With the Pizza dough.”

They said: “We want to know the secrets to what you do..What is the first thing? ” And there was Tony giving a pizza tossing lesson to the Harlem Globetrotters! He gave them an intro lesson into pizza tossing. “This trick is the basis for all pizza tricks…” he stated. “Grab it and turn it..”

Then they showed Tony the basics of spinning a basketball. After that they invited him to join the Globetrotters. “He’s got a lot of skills…” they said.

 

After mincing a few words, the Globetrotters took Tony outside. They explained they were at: ” Here at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, (right on the corner), we are going to have a going to have a Magic Triangle A.K.A. a magic pizza slice…”

And there they were, two Harlem Globetrotters and Tony Gemignani, doing their acrobatics to the familiar strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown“.  Tony tossed and flipped his pizza dough. at one point bouncing it off his shoe while the basketball experts tossed and flipped and did everything imaginable with the basketball. They bounced the ball everywhere imaginable. Of course they balanced the ball on the tip of their fingers and spun it. The ball was balanced on the tip of their nose, on their backs, and even the top of their heads. All the while Tony was manipulating the dough in every way possible.

Then they brought out 2 basketballs and Tony brought out two pizzas. Each trying to outshine the other. Laughs, jokes and hugs continued throughout the demonstration. Tony got on his back still tossing the pizzas. Through his legs, under his body and he never missed a beat!

You can see the video of their performance right here:

 

 

You can get a copy of Tony’s book: The Pizza Bible, here

 

 

You can discover Harlem Globetrotter stuff at this link.

And claim an official Harlem Globetrotter Basketball:

Pizza Expo 2017

Pizza Expo is the premier event for the pizza industry and the world’s largest gathering of pizza professionals.
This is your once-a-year opportunity to come together with other successful pizzeria operators from across the U.S. and the world to see, shop, network and learn!

Pizza Judges

Pizza Expo, will be held on March 27 – 30, 2017 Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

This year’s show is going to be bigger and better than ever with 450+ exhibitors and 90+ educational sessions, demonstrations, workshops and networking events. This is the Las Vegas Pizza Show, sponsored by Pizza Today magazine.

You can find out more by going to
Pizzaexpo.com

Pizza Therapy supports the Pizza Expo

Why You Should Go:

Discover endless possibilities to take your operation to the next level. Make plans now to join 7,000 of your fellow pizza professionals to exchange ideas…improve your operation with a world-class education program…and discover the hottest new products and innovative trends. You can’t beat the experience or the value.

Check out this video:

 

With so many business-boosting opportunities in one place, it makes sense to bring key employees with you. Please remember to take advantage of our popular discounted Buddy Rates…the more people you bring, the more you save.

Pizza Expo attendees

 

You can also take part in the World Pizza Games. Showcase your own pizza making skills with the best of the best pizza makers in the world. You can also participate in the World Piza Games and become a world pizza champion! Or you can just enjoy the show.

World Pizza Games

World Pizza Games

It’s all Pizza and it’s all for YOU!

There are countless reasons you should attend Pizza Expo. You can discover the best pizza vendors in the pizza business.  The most powerful reason to attend is to the networking you will be able to do. You will develop relationships with the most successful pizza professionals in the world. You will take part in the World’s Largest Pizza party.

Tony Gemignani Pizza Demo

Tony Gemignani Pizza Demo

 

Discover all you can about Pizza Expo go to: pizzaexpo.com

Pizza Expo Las Vegas Convention Center

Pizza Expo Las Vegas Convention Center

 

If you are searching for a Wood fired Oven, please check out:
Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens
6 Exciting New Models Just Arrived!
All-Stainless or Black: $1695-$7195

For web hosting we recommend:

Pizza Maker of the Year Award for Joe Leroux

Pizza Maker of the Year Award for Joe Leroux

Joe Leroux was awarded Canadian Pizza Maker of the Yrear for 2016.

In the following interview, Joe discusses how he won the award and what it meant to him.
He entered the pizza competition with the Best Pizza Makers in Canada. There were 25 entries in all. The contestants had come for all over the whole country.
Joe knew he had made a great pizza. As far as he was concerned, he thought it would be good enough for 3rd place.
When the winner of 3rd place was announced he was a little disappoint but he thought, well maybe 2nd place.
When he did not win for 2nd place, he was a little disappointed and he decided to pack up all of his stuff and head home.

That’s when the winner was announced and he won First Place for the Best Canadian Pizza.

In the following Interview, Joe explains how he entered the contest which was sponsored by a Canadian Pizza Magazine.

He has been making pizza at his pizzeria, Amadio’s located in the Greater Toronto area since 1975. He explains there have been many ups and downs since then. But the one thing he will not sacrifice on is the quality of ingredients when he makes pizza.

He says that you must dedicate yourself to the craft of making pizza but he also says he needs to shut down every year for his own vacation. He understands the importance of taking care of yourself in the pizza business. He is works many hours a day to keep on top of his business.

The following interview was recorded at Pizza Expo.

Amadio’s Pizza
360 Revus Ave., Unit 6
Port Credit/Mississauga
905-891-5500
Website: http://amadiospizza.com/

If you are interested in Pizza Expo you can go to:
Pizza Expo

Pizza Therapy supports the Pizza Expo

 

 

 

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Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens
6 Exciting New Models Just Arrived!
All-Stainless or Black: $1695-$7195

 

Marra Forni Pizza Ovens

The following interview took place at Pizza Expo.

Marra Forni

Marra Forni

I was walking through the exhibition area when Francesco Marra motioned to me. Francesco is the CEO of Marra Forni pizza ovens. He wanted to discuss his pizza ovens with me. I asked if I could record the interview and he was enthusiastic about sharing his story.

Francesco Marra

Francesco Marra

He explained that he started the company seven years ago with his brother. At first the company was in a small 3,000 foot space. They wanted to not only offer quality pizza ovens but were interested in being a “one stop shop” for every pizza business. The rotator deck oven is able to cook 200-250 pizzas in one hour. The unique aspect of this particular oven is the programmable touch screen. The screen has an automatic turn on and turn off. You can set the oven to be cranked up by the time you get to the store to open your pizzeria. There is a very special insulation used in the ovens which allow them to cook their pizza at 900 degree F.

Enzo Marra

Enzo Marra

All of the raw material for the ovens is imported from Italy. The company assembles all of the ovens in the United States.

The oven line includes Neapolitan style ovens, rotating deck ovens and electric ovens. They offer a wide variety of pizza tools, pizza ovens, both wood fired and electric. They also do consulting. He stressed that the company is very customer service oriented.

“If you succeed, we succeed…” Francesco Marra

He is very interested in all aspects of the pizza business. He went on to explain that Marra Forni is not just an oven company.  The company wants to help in all aspects of the pizza business. From choosing the correct oven to helping you be a pizza success.

Here is the interview:

Pizza Tools from Pizza Therapy Click HERE

You can order a Marra Forni oven here:

Marra Forni Vesuvio 110 Wood Fired Brick Pizza Oven – Six Tile Choices

 

Marra Forni Vesuvio 90 Wood Fired Brick Pizza Oven – Six Tile Choices

I get the following question asked of me regularly about getting into the pizza business..

“How do I get into the pizza business?”

Here is an example, of the question with my response:

Abhi writes:
“Hey Albert
How are you doing ? I’m planning to open my own pizza cafe in the future,
but I have a long way to go.

Today I made some pizza’s, but wasn’t too happy with how the pizza came out, when I make the dough, I know I’m using the
measurements to make the dough, but i fail to get the same dough every time,

I was wondering if i could work as an apprentice at your pizza place? That will help my solve my unanswered question
Ride,Respect,Rewrite

Abhi

My response:

Hello Abhi,

Thanks for writing.

I do not own a pizza place at this time.

I do have some options for you….

If you would like to learn the pizza business with hands on experience I have a few suggestions for you….I have personal experience with different ways to learn the pizza business.

I suggest you apply for employment at one of the pizzerias in your area. I think that is the best way to get hands on training.

Pizza Therapy supports the Pizza Expo

Consider going to Pizza Expo. you can learn first hand all about the pizza business and the options available to you.

Find out more here:

http://pizza expo.com

 

If you want to learn to make professional pizza skills I suggest you take a class at my friend Tony Gemignani’s pizza school.

Here is the link:

TONY GEMIGNANI’S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PIZZA

The Fire Within is another option:

One of the best operations to learn the Pizza Business is The Fire Within.  They are a combination Pizza School as well as makers of portable wood fired ovens. The school has classes regularly and will teach you everything you need to know about the pizza business. The staff are dedicated pizza professionals and will help you in any way possible to succeed.
Here is a video I created about them:

 

Fire Within

I can’t say enough about the integrity and the passion of the Fire Within. They really want you succeed.

These are just some ideas to get you started and thinking about starting your pizza operation.

I did an extensive interview with Anthony Saportio. Anthony was very motivated to get into the pizza business. He took an interesting path to learn the pizza business. He started by taking classes and researching different pizza schools. He took years to learn his craft and finally became an apprentice of Paulie Gee. (FYI: I intervewed Paule about the pizza business, you can find out more by watching the Paulie Gee interview on YouTube.

Anthony and I did a series of interviews. He outlines his whole process for getting into the Pizza Business. The interview was so long I posted in in 3 parts.

Here is the interview:

In Search of A Pizza Dream Part 1

In Search of A Pizza Dream Part 2

In Search of A Pizza Dream Part 3

Or if you are interested in learning some great recipes go here:

Pizza Books

 

 

You will find incredible resources in how to make pizza, including my Pizza Therapy Pizza Book.

I hope this helps. Please let me know how you make out and what you decide…

pizza on earth,

Albert

Here is another guide that may be helpful:

You can learn the complete how to system of being in the outdoor catering business.

 
Lists & Crowds Incl: Street Food. Catering. Restaurant. Food Truck. Bbq. Ice Cream. Hot Dog. Recipe. Chefs. Foodies. Work-from-home & More. Https://

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:

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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

Albert: Albert Grande here from pizzatherapy.com legends pizza.com/blog I have cornered my old friend Tim Huff master baker at General Mills, and I wanted you to talk a little bit about the hydration of flour and in particular Pizza Dough Hydration. That’s something that’s come up a lot in my video, I did a previous interview with you. Could you address that Tim?

General Mills

General Mills

Tim Huff:  You bet. When it comes hydration it’s the amount of water that goes into formulation and when we look at that we compare that to flour weight so it’s in Baker’s percent

In these days I see a significant influence from the artisan baking industry we’re used to higher hydration doughs and so a lot of the folks that are baking Neapolitan style pizzas these days I see ranges from 60 may be close to 70% hydration so that be 60 to 70 pounds of water to hundred pounds of flour.

If you’re talking kind of traditional New York style crust a lot of the folks I talked to they may be around 55% absorption but I think they’re leaving money on the table by not hydrating the high gluten flours to the extent they could be. Pushing up to 60% is certainly very doable.

In a lot of ways, I think it actually makes the crust bake out better. The more you hydrate a dough the softer that dough is. It actually expands quicker in the oven and bakes more efficiently. So a lot of the folks that have a soggy dough or say hey I have a gum line I can’t figure it out. I keep taking away water and keeps getting worse and that’s why it’s getting worse cause as her take water away it makes the dough stiffer, the dough doesn’t expand when it hits the oven.

If a dough has higher hydration, it’s a little bit looser it pops quicker on the deck when you put it in the oven actually bakes more efficiently so pushing the hydration on those is something I think a lot of pizza operators could do.

Albert: So I’ve also heard Tim that using a higher hydration will make your pizza crisper? Is that true?

Tim Huff: Exactly and that’s the reason that it is crisper because it is baking more efficiently and it seems counterintuitive if I add more moisture to something how could it be crisper? The reason it is, is because it’s opening up the cell structure of that dough as it hits the oven it expands quicker when you have that expansion you’re essentially developing more little air cells, the bubbles there. It’s easier to bake something that’s airier versus baking something that’s dense.

And so it bakes more efficiently therefore gives it a crisper crust

Albert:  Okay great and what are some of the flours that you recommend from General Mills

Tim Huff: Sure sure I mean when I think of the quintessential New York style pizza I think of All Trumps. All Trumps is a 14% spring wheat high gluten flour that’s predominately used in the New York market.

Right now with the advent of a lot of the Neapolitan style pizza as we came out with a flour a couple years ago called Gold Medal Neapolitan it’s a 12% winter wheat protein. It’s actually what I call and they can flour we have no treatment on it so it’s no bleach, no brominated but it also has no malted barley flour.

With some of these high heat applications what they’re wanting is a something that reduces a little bit of that browning because the oven does such a great job with the browning so we took away the malt so that you don’t get those additional residual sugars in there. So those two are some of the big ones right now.

For the rest of the Tim Huff interview, watch the video below or you may listen to the MP3 below video.

 

You can contact Tim at: tim.huff@genmills.com

You can listen to the MP3 of this interview or download of below:

 

Find out more about Pizza Expo at this link.Pizza Therapy supports the Pizza Expo

 

 

 

You can find All Trumps here:

General Mills Gold Medal All Trumps High Gluten Flour, 50 Pound

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

Frank Pepe Making Pizza

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Here is some priceless video of Frank Pepe making pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Wooster Street in New Haven, Connecticut. You can view step by simple step how he casually puts together a pizza. Simple, easy with the love of making an incredible pizza.

The Frank Pepe Pizza Box

The Frank Pepe Pizza Box

What I find most fascinating is the how casual he is while putting together his pizza.

The simplicity of the ingredients. The master is able to shape the pizza gently and deliberately.
There is no hesitation in his pizza making…

I do not know the origin of this video. It was posted on YouTube and I am just sharing it. Frank Pepe passed away in 1969 so this video was shot some time in the 50’s or -60’s.

The Pizza Crew at Frank Pepe's

The Pizza Crew at Frank Pepe’s

Just as a contrast, I present some video of pizza maing at Pepe’s. This is a video I created myself.

Here are some the pizzas that come out of the Pepe’s oven.

A fresh pizza at Pepe's

A fresh pizza at Pepe’s

Another great Pizza from Pepe's

Another great Pizza from Pepe’s

The Legendary Clam Pizza:

Pepe's Clam Pizza

Pepe’s Clam Pizza

Scott Anthony talks about his pizza, and how he uses his pizzeria Punxsy Pizza as a vehicle for social change.

Scott Anthony is a Pizza Consultant as well as a pizzeria owner. He has been in the pizza business over twenty years. For many of those years he ran a very successful pizza franchise. He took the franchise to one of the top selling pizzerias in the chain.

2015-10-15_20-22-21

Scott decided he wanted to take his pizza making to the next logical step and that was to open his own independent local pizza shop in his home town. He dropped the franchise and created his own local pizzeria called: Punxsy Pizza.

What sets his pizzeria apart is what Scott has done for the local community. He has created a fund raiser for the local fire department known as Punxsy Pizza and Prevention. Scott gets the fire Department involved in making pizza and delivering pizza. This fund raiser is wildly successful for the Local Volunteer Fire Department as most of their funds come through donations. According to the local paper more than $40,000 in donations was raised in a single day. Every dollar went to support the local fire department.

Donations from Punxsy Pizza!

Donations from Punxsy Pizza!

Scott is at the forefront of using pizza for social change. He is a role model for other pizzeria operators regarding the power of pizza. Scott understands using pizza for Social Good.

Punxsy Pizza and Prevention

Punxsy Pizza and Prevention

Scott has had Tony Gemignani come to Punxsutawney, PA to promote pizza. Tony is the author of The Pizza Bible and did an entire event there. In addition Tony G. was almost attacked by Punxsutawney Phil. Scott cites one of his highlights in his career was being named to the World Pizza Champions Team.

Scott Anthony and Tony Gemignani

Scott Anthony and Tony Gemignani

The following interview with Scott was done at Pizza Expo. One of my favorite quotes from Scott is :”What’s good for Punxsatawney, is good for me”. Scott is the conscience of pizza! Thank you Scott for all that you do!

 

Punxsy Pizza
115 N Findley St, Punxsutawney, PA 15767
(814) 938-8132

Scott’s Book primarily for pizza professionals:
Profits in the Pie: Effective Marketing Tactics to Seize YOUR Slice of the $38.1 Billion Pizza Pie

Tony Gemignani’s Book:

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

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

Chef Maurizio Crescenzo with pizza

Chef Maurizio Crescenzo with pizza

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Maurizio Crescenzo of Grano Trattoria, an Italian restaurant and pizzeria
in New York City. Read on for this revealing interview.

 

As the recently crowned Chopped Champion on Food Network Chopped, Chef and owner Maurizio Crescenzoo is no stranger to brick oven cuisine. On a daily basis he makes pizza, bakes bread and pasta, and even braises all types of meat in the brick oven. Maurizio has been showcasing his culinary skills since the age of 14. He came to New York City in 1996 and one year later launched Grano Trattoria in Greenwich Village. After the success of his first restaurant, Maurizio opened up Taverna Di Bacco in the Lower East
Side in 2011.

Albert: Thanks very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me…

Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into the restaurant business:
What is your training? Did you learn in Italy? Did you have any pizza mentors there?

Chef Maurizio: At a young age, I discovered my passion for food. When I was 14, I attended I.P.A.S. (Istituto Professionale Alberghiero Di Statoculinary) culinary school in Italy which is where I really fell in love with cooking. I worked alongside great Italian chefs who also mentored me through culinary school. I learned everything I know about cooking while living in Italy since I lived there my whole life until 1996. My biggest pizza mentor was in my hometown Sarno. For one year, I worked with a family who owned a pizzeria for two generations. They even built their own brick ovens.

Albert: What are your earliest memories of pizza? How have these memories influenced your pizza making today? What is your favorite pizza?

Chef Maurizio: My earliest memory of pizza is when I was a little boy and my parents took me to a local pizzeria. I thought it was the best food I had ever tasted (apart from my mom’s cooking of course).
This memory has influenced my pizza making today because I try to relive my memories of living in Italy through cooking. When people taste my pizza, I want them to have the same feeling I had when I first tried it. One of my favorite pizzas is Pizza Margherita. My absolute favorite when I am at home is Napoletana pizza made with all fresh ingredients. All my pizzas use only the freshest of ingredients.

Albert: What is your philosophy about making pizza? Are your pizzas influenced by any particular style of pizza? Have you been influenced by any pizzailo?

Chef Maurizio:: My philosophy is to make pizza as good as anything from Naples. My pizzas are not influenced by any particular style of pizza, but they have been influenced by the family of Tonino and Michele in Sarno because they taught me everything I need to know about pizza. They helped me develop my own feel in each pizza I make.

Rustica-pizza

Rustica-pizza

 

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

Chef Maurizio:: I would suggest that someone who wants to get into the pizza business should go to Italy at least once and see how pizza is made in Napoli. Until you have tried their incredible pizza, you will have no baseline to work from.

Albert: Tell me a bit about your restaurants. Do they have the same menu? Do they both feature pizza?

Chef Maurizio: My first restaurant Grano Trattoria (in the West Village) has a wood burning brick oven which is used to make my authentic pizza. Although my restaurant Taverna di Bacco (on the Lower East Side) does not have a wood burning brick oven, it has a beautiful garden. Both of my restaurants have different menus but feature traditional Italian Cuisine.

Chef Maurizio Crescenzo making pizza

Albert: Congratulations on your recent win on the Food Network Show Chopped. I understand you started filming at 6:00 AM and didn’t leave until midnight. How was that experience? What were your winning dishes? How were the judges?

Thank you! It was definitely a long day taping the Chopped episode, but it was well worth it! Being on Chopped was a great experience and I was really able to showcase my creativity and ability to cook under pressure. I wanted to stay true to my comfort food style and create laid-back homey dishes. The episode was all about cheese, so each dish required the use of at least two different types of cheese.

For the appetizer round, I had to use the mystery basket ingredients which were domed goat cheese, blue cheese, mostarda and guanciale. I used these ingredients to make Zuppa di Formaggio which is cheese soup with guanciale fat potatoes using thyme, cream and bread.

For the entrée round, the mystery basket ingredients were raclette, brie, chicken thighs and garlic scapes. I created Pollo alla Cacciatora which is chicken cacciatore with cheese mashed potatoes using red wine, onions and garlic.

For the dessert round, the mystery basket ingredients to use were manchego, garrotxa, fig spread and tarragon. I made Formaggio al Cioccolato which is a deconstructed cheese plate using chocolates, prosecco and almonds.

For a limited time, my restaurants are featuring the Chopped tasting menu with a wine pairing. Monday nights at Taverna di Bacco and Thursday nights at Grano Trattoria.

Overall this was a great learning experience and I am very lucky I was given the opportunity to be on Chopped. The judges were tough critics but I know they were doing their job and trying to find the best chef to be the newest Chopped Champion.

Chef Maurizio Crescenzo tossing pizza

Albert: Any tips for the home pizza chef, who wants to make great pizza in their own kitchen? What is the secret to making great pizza?


Pizza Stone

Chef Maurizio:: Make sure you buy a good pizza stone! It is also important to have delicious pizza dough. If you live near Grano Trattoria, come stop by the restaurant and we can provide you with fresh dough to make your own pizza at home.

Grano-pizza

Albert: What next for you: Chef Maurizio Crescenzo? Will you be adding new dishes or pizza items to your restaurant’s menu?

Chef Maurizio:: I am always challenging myself in the kitchen. Whether I am cooking pasta, pizza or any other dish it is extremely important that each one is just right. For that reason, I am refining the menus at each restaurant as springtime is upon us. I am making sure that we continue to serve some of the best Italian cuisine in New York City.

Albert: Are you planning on opening any new restaurants?

Chef Maurizio:: I have no plans to open another restaurant at this time. Right now I have Grano in the West Village and Bacco on the Lower East Side and I ride my bike back and forth between the two locations throughout the day. That is more than enough for me! My family is very important to me and I like to put aside time to spend with my wife and twin daughters.

in the pizza oven with Chef Maurizio Crescenzo

Albert: Why do you think pizza has become so popular? It is the ultimate comfort food in America… But it seems like in the last few years there has been an upturn in pizza popularity.

Chef Maurizio:: Pizza is the ultimate in convenience for the customer. Pizza has become so popular because it is an extremely tasty meal (with so many different varieties), but it is also quick and easy to eat on the go. At my restaurant people like to order pizza and take their time to savor the dish. I find that many customers will start off their meal with one of my specialty pizzas and then continue by ordering an entrée as their meal. We also find that pizza is also a great plate to share whilst having a pre-dinner cocktail. Pizza is something that can be had by one person or shared by many; it can be served as an appetizer, lunch, dinner or snack. There are endless possibilities when it comes to pizza and I think that is why people enjoy it so much.

You can discover Grano Trattoria
21 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014
(212) 645-2121

And Taverna Di Bacco
175 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-0077

How To Start A Restaurant Following A Profitable System

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Check out How To Start A Restaurant Following A Profitable System


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

Happy New Pizza Year!

Happy New Year!

I wanted to take this opportunity to say Happy Pizza Year. And also thanks for all of your continued support!

Check out the Pizza Video Celebration, below. just click Play!

Have a wonderful, safe and prosperous, New Year!

Happy 2015 Pizza Year!

Happy 2015 Pizza Year!

If you are interested in learning, please check out Udemy:

Clcik Here >> Save up to 90% on more than 9,000 courses!

Happy Holidays, Pizza on Earth!

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.

Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours is not only all about showing pizza fans, the best New York Pizza (yes there are a lot of them!), but he also has a very unique hobby. He collects pizza boxes. Unusual pizza boxes. Pizza Boxes that are works of art. Scott was recently honored by The Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest Pizza box Collections in the world!

Mark Bello, Pizza A Casa and Scott Wiener, Scott's Pizza Tours

Mark Bello, Pizza A Casa and Scott Wiener, Scott’s Pizza Tours at Pizz Expo

I have personally taken his pizza tour and I was totally blown away by his knowledge and enthusiasm for all things pizza. He showed us the exact spot where Genaro Lombardi opned the first pizzeria in the United States. He had us sample some freshly made mozzarella at a hidden gem of a place in New York’s Little Italy. Then he took us to the current location of Lombardi’s to sample some amazing pizza cooked in a coal fired oven. The tour was informative, educational and tons of fun! The guy loves his job. He loves sharing his pizza knowledge.

You learn about pizza by just being on the street with him. He oozes pizza passion. He has traveled the world sampling the pizza and sharing his journey. He is a walking encyclopedia about pizza. And on top of everything else, Scott is a great person. He is a fun loving pizza advocate. He is someone I really enjoy hanging out with.

Scott talks about his latest book: The Art of the Pizza Box. Scott runs pizza tours in New York city and has an obsession with pizza. He loves all things pizza and is a true pizza activist!

You can see more of Scott at this You Tube Video.

Mark Bello, Scott Wiener and Albert Grande  Pizza Expo

Mark Bello, Scott Wiener and Albert Grande at Pizza Expo

You can check out Scott’s book, here: Viva la Pizza!: The Art of the Pizza Box

 

Outline of the Pizza Journey to Date

The Pizza Bible

The Pizza Bible

Tom writes:

“I always admired the best pizza shops in the area.  I had heard there was good margin in it, and I marveled at the business they did, extrapolating the numbers and easily estimating profits over $200K, sometimes far more.  Benny’s Pizza in Marysville went ballistic about 10 years ago. Then it was Michael Angelo’s in Kenton that topped my favorites list for a while. I got a wood fired oven in the back yard a few years ago.

I’d serve pizzas after croquet parties and didn’t expect perfection.  It was a lot of fun and I got better over time.But then about a year ago I started getting more serious about perfecting things, talking to more shop owners, reading a lot on the web, always making two different doughs and comparing the results. And I caught a break this past summer  when a friend gave me a perfect sauce recipe that hit a home run.Then comes the The Pizza Bible  in October – shipped to my door unordered and unannounced.  The “master class” works out so beautifully.

doughballs

The precision.  The patience.  The feel.  The art.  Finally last week, my first shipment of diastatic malt powder from King Arthur arrived.  You see I cook in my 500F home convection oven in the winter, and needed a dough that would brown on schedule with the toppings.  I use two large 14 x 19 stones 1 1/2″ thick, preheated for two hours and the top one “broiled on” for 20 minutes before the pizza goes in.  Even before the malt Tony’s dough system was really paying off.  Now I am in a very good place, with almost every home guest telling me “that is the best pizza I have ever had.”

I have an idea for a high end shop, with a way to deliver pizzas with no loss of dough quality.  But I promised my friend Michael (Six Hundred Downtown) I wouldn’t go into business in his market. I think there is an even better market 30 – 40 miles to the east…
We’ll see what happens.

I have also started doing a little private function work – supplying dough and sauce for a minimum of 50 14″ pizzas – throwing in basic lessons on shaping, assembly, baking and finishing, and using a local church’s commercial kitchen.  Flying under the radar for now.

So that’s where I am.  51 years old, still feeling like I am near the beginning of my pizza journey and loving every bump and curve in the road.

The Pizza Bible   I guess you could call me a true believer.”

Tony Gemignani making pizzza

Tony Gemignani making pizzza

 

My response:

You are truly an inspiration to every wannbe pizza maker in the world (I include myself into that group.)

Thanks so much for sharing your journey and please keep sharing the rest of your journey with us!

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

The following interview with Liz Barrett, author of Pizza, A Slice of American History is revealing and timely. She explains how she was able to research her book and how she was able to find some of the incredible information contained in her new treatise on pizza. Liz also shares some great advice for anyone who wants to write their own book. Thanks, Liz for taking the time to speak with me.

Liz Barrett author of Pizza, A Slice of American History

Liz Barrett author of Pizza, A Slice of American History

How did you start researching the book?

Even though I’ve been writing about the pizza industry for seven years with PMQ Pizza Magazine, I was surprised at how much research went into writing Pizza: A Slice of American History. With PMQ, I mostly write about what’s happening now, along with some predictions for the future; for this book, it’s all about pizza’s history here in America, so I turned to all of my favorite pizza books, called up some pizza folks I know, and started scouring the Net for pizza information to help fill in blanks.

What was the reason you wanted to write the book?

I wanted to bring something different to the pizza book offerings that are currently available. My publisher and I had a long discussion before I started about the various topics I could discuss in the book that would make the book more unique. Because I came at it from the standpoint of a seasoned pizza journalist, I’m able to share lots of fun nuggets of information that readers can’t necessarily find in other books. I break down the history of each of the major pizza styles and then include a variety of additional snippets of information all throughout the book, like where to find the slices outside of the normal zone, how to make them at home, pizza trivia, and more.

9780760345603 A Slice of American History Review

What were a couple of the out of this world pizzas that you sampled?

I didn’t necessarily sample pizzas for the book. I’ve been “sampling” hundreds of pizzas since 2007, both for PMQ and for my own personal enjoyment.

Do you make your own pizza?

Every once in a while my husband and I will make pizza, and it’s good, but it’s not something we do on a regular basis. I really prefer to support the pizza makers and enjoy the pizzeria experience.

Any pizza tips for the home pizza maker?

Page 49 of the book has a whole list of tips for the home pizza maker. My favorite is: If you’re using a pizza stone to cook your pizza, put the stone in the oven during the pre-heat phase; when you put your pizza on the hot stone, it will mimic a deck oven.

What was the most fun you had researching the book?

When it comes to research, I’m kind of a nerd. I actually had the most fun with the research itself—looking back through old records to find when an ingredient was mentioned, and checking patent dates to see when certain ovens were invented, etc. When I’m on a hot lead, I’ll stay up until 3 a.m. trying to find the answer.

How did you choose the mini interviews that were included in the book?

2-pizzas-from-pizza

The people I chose to interview are just a few of the people I’ve respected over the years for being innovative, entrepreneurial, industrious, or just being a great example of the term “pizza lover”. There’s never room for everyone you want to include, but I wanted to give readers a taste of some of the people that help to make the industry what it is today.

What was the big takeaway from writing your book? Did you come to any conclusions?

That’s a great question. I think what stood out to me the most was that the same ingredients and equipment that were being used decades ago in some of these regions are still being used today. Pizza makers are very dedicated to their craft and honoring its traditions. The same ovens are being used in New Haven, Connecticut; the same square steel pans are being used in Detroit; and the same Provel cheese is topping pizzas in St. Louis. With pizza, you don’t have to be overtly innovative to please people. Give them what they remember, what gives them that warm, fuzzy, comfortable feeling inside, and they’ll love you forever.

Chicago Deep Dish from Pizza

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to write a book like yours?

Clear your schedule. If you can write, you can write a book. But, you need to have the time for the research, phone calls, follow-ups, late nights, re-writes, deadlines, etc. I put all of my freelance writing on hold when I wrote this book because I knew there was no way I could do both at the same time. You have to focus on the book until it’s done, or you will never meet your deadline on time.

What’s next? Do you have any other books planned?

I recently spoke with someone who wanted to co-author a book with me in the business/marketing field, since I cover that topic a lot for PMQ and my blog, The Pizza Insider. For now, though, I’m focusing my efforts on getting the word out about Pizza, A Slice of American History and making sure that it ends up on the coffee table of every house and the counter of every pizzeria!

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

Correct Way to Eat A Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Just to let you know….there is a correct way to eat a deep dish Chicago Pizza.

Kyle Olsen writes:

Many claim to know how to eat the scrumptious round dish of love we
call a Chicago deep dish pizza. The problem is; they often fail to
realize the proper Windy City etiquette and technique.

This is where Lou Malnati’s and
TastesofChicago.com come in. We’ve
worked together to develop a video that will once and for all show
everyone how to properly each a deep dish pizza like a true
Chicagoan.

How to Eat Pizza like a Chicagoan

101 Best Pizzas in America from the Daily Meal

Daily Meal 101 Best Pizzas

Daily Meal 101 Best Pizzas

The Daily Meal took on the task of discovering who makes the Best Pizza in America. Certainly no easy mission. As has been discussed on these pages many times, people are passionate about pizza. You won’t find this kind of emotional fervor about sushi, Thai Food or French Cuisine. Certainly all those who enjoy food, have their favorites and if asked are willing to share opinions. But you are going to get very few arguments on the best spring rolls or steak. There may be disagreements, sure…but you will not many folks willing to fight to the death about doughnuts.

Pizza? Well, pizza is a food with a difference. Once you enter this arena of the “best pizza”, there is no turning back. The gauntlet is tossed. And the swords are drawn. (Verbal swords of course.)

Discussions about pizza are another matter altogether. There are few opinions on the planet that evoke as much emotion. Certainly sports teams come to mind. Super Bowls have become a National Pastime. Political debates can bring out the best and the worst of those involved. And discussion about religion…well let’s leave that one alone.

Pizza is in a showground all it’s own. Some argue New York is the home of the best pizza. If you’ve ever discussed pizza with natives of New Haven, the lines are are drawn in the sand. Don’t leave those from the West Coast out. Pizza fans from St. Louis and Detroit have their own favorites. And those from Old Forge, Pennsylvania would have you believe pizza was invented there. The tribes from Chicago have their own passions.

Pizza is a food that has been continually discussed, debated and argued. And that is the beauty of pizza. That is what makes pizza special, unique and wondrous. “Pizza is a magical little disk that makes things happen…” (And yes, I’m quoting myself here…)

 I was honored to be chosen to be a one of the Pizza Expert Panelists. I was very flattered and of course grateful to be part of this elite group. The list of pizzerias was extensive. The voting was totally subjective and asked for my complete biased opinion. This was my type of pizza panel.

Albert Grande, Pizza Ambassador

Albert Grande, Pizza Ambassador

I was in very good company as a number of my closest pizza pals were also voting on their choices for Best Pizza in America. The other panelists included John Arena, from  Metro Pizza, Mark Bello from Pizza A Casa (PizzaSchool.com),  Tony Muia, A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, Cary & Lillian Steiner Passion-4-Pizza.com, and Scott Wiener Scott’s Pizza Tours, to name but a few.

Very good company indeed. These are pizza professional experts, whose opinion I greatly respect. An honorable bunch of pizza aficionados. There may have been other pizza experts who voted but they chose to remain anonymous. I guess the anonymous voters wanted to avoid a pizza controversy that is inevitable with such discussions!

Pepe's Calm Pie

Pepe’s Calm Pie

Here are the Top 10 Winners:

#10 Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco (Margherita) (You can read more about Tony and his new book “The Pizza Bible,” below.

#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)

And number 1 for the Second Year in a Row:

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

You can find out the rest of the 101 Best Pizzas in America, here.

Pepe's Famous Clam Pizza

Pepe’s Famous Clam Pizza

My latest book:
The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book


 

 


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.

The Pizza Trolley Is for Sale

The Pizza Trolley

The Pizza Trolley

I was recently contacted by Michael about The Pizza Trolley.
Michael purchased the trolley and retrofitted it to sell pizza. And it turned out beautiful!

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, he needs to sell it…And once I saw this baby, I had a lot of questions myself….

Albert: Where did you purchase your mobile pizza oven?

Michael: We purchased the Trolley thru a trolley broker located in Colorado. The Trolley was used in a park in Arkansas for transporting their visitors. We had it shipped to us in FL. We are in construction, so we did the complete retrofit. I have attached an information sheet on all the work we have performed. Also, this link is to our drop box with photos of inside and out. 

Albert: What type of oven do you have? 

Michael: We have a Mugnaini 120 purchased directly from them.

Albert: What is your asking price for your mobile pizza oven? 

Michael: Asking $129,000, but will listen to reasonable offers. We have actual cost of slightly over $130,000 into it with all the work, equipment, etc.

Pizza Trolley Pizza Oven

Pizza Trolley Pizza Oven

Albert: You want me to put the word out that your pizza business is for sale?

 Michael: Certainly I would welcome that. We have not been in business long enough to establish strong Good Will for a business sale, but the reception we received in the short time we were in service is truly  a great sign. We were very proud that we offered personal sized, made to order pizzas of very high quality. With the speed with which the oven bakes, we were well ahead of any other food truck at truck festivals and events because we could service our customers much quicker. We use a 3 ½ oz ball, makes 7” pizza. Use 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, imported olive oil. We had not yet gotten to point of making our own mozzarella and burata but it was in our sights to do so.

Albert: Would you be willing to train the new owner? 

Michael: I would be happy to do so. And, I think a smart buyer would want that, unless they were to go to one of the very noted Masters of Pizza for training.

Albert: I also have a few tried and true suggestions, if you want to hear them…  

Michael: Absolutely I would be interested in hearing them. Trolley is way too costly to leave parked in garage. I need to find a happy owner.

Albert: Michael, one of the best ways to promote anything is through video.

I was so excited about the Pizza Trolley, I had to make a video.

If you are interested in the Pizza Trolley. you can contact Michael at:

The Pizza Trolley.

Here is More Information:

 FOOD TRUCK FOR SALE PIZZA TROLLEY

The Pizza Trolley

The Pizza Trolley is For Sale!

 

1991 Chance, authentic Old World Trolley for sale. Exterior veneer in varnished wood and brass
25’ Long; 10’6” High. 8’6’ Wide. 20,000 Pounds

Features:
1. Cummins diesel motor (5.9) 70,335 miles on odometer.

2. Custom built air conditioning system by Ocean Breeze, Stuart, FL. Thermostatically controlled
temperature with 3 independent fan motors.

3. Exhaust fan- MaxxAir with rain cover. Reversible fan for air intake or exhaust in work cabin.

4. Pizza oven- wood fired, Mugnaini 120 brick oven with Exhausto oven exhaust fan. Oven exterior
inside work cabin and exterior elevation are faux painted brick to replicate brick without the
added weight of actual brick. Oven baking floor is 48” x 52”.

5. Electrical- Power supply is by shore power when on board generator is not in operation, or via
on board generator. Shore power will operate all refrigeration. Generator operates all electrical
requirements of Trolley.

6. Generator- water cooled diesel powered 20 kW Kubota. Generator can be turned on and off
from inside Trolley. Generator is located on a slide out rack for service only. Maintaining the
generator inside the specialized, insulated compartment provides a much quieter operation and
more aesthetic appearance. Generator does not need to be exposed to exterior for operation.

7. Gray water- Trolley is equipped with a 30 gallon gray water holding tank with exterior “dump”
for gray (used) water. On board stainless steel hand sink and stainless steel 3-compartment sink
drain to this storage reservoir.

8. Fresh water- Trolley is equipped with a 25 gallon fresh water reservoir with easy fill exterior
connection. Hot water is generated via an Eemax electric tankless hot water heater.

9. Pizza prep table- 2-door stainless steel Alamo refrigerated pizza work station, 70” W x 31” D x
42” H. 16.85 cubic feet. 2 doors under counter refrigerated storage and 2-door lift up top
refrigerated work station.

10. Refrigeration (beverage) – Frigidaire Professional Series stainless steel 19 cubic foot
refrigerator.

11. Audio and Electrical
Fully wired with 110v receptacles inside to receive devices such as: TV, credit card
processor; portable cooking (steam table, micro, induction, charge I-pad, phone, etc.), sound
equipment. Exterior lighting is accent, 2 levels LED rope lighting at upper and lower fascia’s,
weatherproof outlets on service, rear, and driver sides of vehicle, and 2 exterior portable flood
lights on extension arms to illuminate service side of Trolley; accent lighting over exterior dome
of oven. Interior cabin lighting is LED puck lighting above work station, oven, and service
counter, giving a much softer and comfortable light than fluorescent lighting.
Audio- wired to permit portable exterior speakers to play music through I-pad or other
device, and customer paging or announcements. Music can also be played in work cabin as well.
Fully wired to permit adding TV to Trolley exterior for menu, sporting events, etc.

12. Rear camera- Trolley is equipped with rear view camera that operates to a separate monitor
whenever the motor is operating.

13. Air curtain on sliding service window

14. Air pump to maintain 120 PSI in the Trolley’s air brake and air ride system for balance and
stabilization of vehicle while on shore power parking

15. Custom vehicle identification and branding wrap

16. Ample shelving storage above work counters and below. Under counter cash drawer.
Under counter small utensil storage drawer.

17. Summary of work performed after our 2013 acquisition:
Interior of Trolley was completely gutted to bare frame. All suspension air bags were replaced.
Metal sub-floor and waterproof membrane was installed for protection from undercarriage
water intrusion. All 6 tires were replaced with new Toyos.

Both heavy duty batteries were replaced . The engine injection pump and alternator were completely rebuilt, and new injectors
were installed as a matter of routine maintenance.

Running lights have been replaced with LED lights. All upper window glass was removed and resealed to prevent water leaks. Care was taken
to preserve the old world integrity of the Trolley during its transformation to a food truck.

Build Your Own Wood Burning Pizza Oven

Product Review

You Can Build Your Very Own Wood Burning Pizza Oven And Make The Same Delicious Pizza As You’ll Find In Those Authentic Italian Restaurants All Over The World!

Check out Build Your Own Wood Burning Pizza Oven

 

How to Get into The Pizza Business Cheap!

Fire Within

Fire Within

Get Into The Pizza Business without a lot of capital…

Here’s Pete’s story.

Meet Pete.

Pete wants to open a pizza business, but he does not know where to start…
Pete wants dreams of making memorable pizza in his own pizza restaurant.
He realizes that this would take an investment of hundreds of thousands dollars…
Just to get started….

Pete is very sad…

Pete watches YouTube videos to cheer himself up and discovers:
A video by Pizza Therapy about The fire within…

The Fire Within makers of wood fired mobile pizza ovens.

The Fire Within offer all types and sizes of mobile wood fired pizza ovens that can be the answer to starting a pizza business.
They offer training workshops in making great pizza as well as offer complete business plans.
Pete is happy. He found the solution to starting a pizza business.

Pete signs up to attend one of their pizza making workshops and discovers a wonderful pizza community of pizza operators, just like himself…
Pete is able to not only able to learn to make great pizza but also he learns the pizza business from the inside out. In addition The Fire within folks even help him to find financing to get started with his own mobile pizza business.

If you are like Pete. And are interested in getting started in the Pizza Business, owning a portable wood fired pizza oven may be the answer.
For more information on getting started with your own mobile wood fired pizza oven business, contact The Fire With In.

That’s firewithin.com….
We also recommend: Growing Pizza: How to Plant the Seeds to a Successful Pizzeria

And make sure you check out: 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 by my friend, Tony Gemignani:

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.

Pizza Games 2014 at Pizza Expo, Let’s Party!

Everyone is getting ready for the World Pizza Games at Pizza Expo….

2014 Schedule of Events:
The Daily Schedule of Events
Tentative Schedule – it may change

Tuesday, March 25th
10:45am: Fastest Dough Trials
11:45am: Fastest Dough Finals
12:00pm: First Division Acrobatic
2:00pm: First Division Acrobatic Finalists Announced
2:15pm: Fastest Box Folding
2:45pm: Fastest Box Folding Finals

Wednesday, March 26th
10:30am: Pizza Triathlon Trials
11:15am: Pizza Triathlon Finals
11:30am: Largest Dough Trials
3:00pm: Largest Dough Finals
6:30pm: World Pizza Games Rocking Finals Party!

For more information, go to:

Pizza Expo at http://pizzaexpo.com

Video sponsored by Pizza Therapy http://pizzatherapy.com
and Hawaii Business Videos http://hawaiibusinessvideos.com

Here is the latest on the world Pizza Games coming up to Pizza Expo. This will be a wonderful event!

If you at all interested in the Pizza Business, this is an event you should attend. You will be able to meet incredible pizza masters and other experts in the Pizza Business. If you are on the fence about
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
10:45am: Fastest Dough Trials
11:45am: Fastest Dough Finals
12:00pm: First Division Acrobatic
2:00pm: First Division Acrobatic Finalists Announced
2:15pm: Fastest Box Folding
2:45pm: Fastest Box Folding Finals

Wednesday, March 26th
10:30am: Pizza Triathlon Trials
11:15am: Pizza Triathlon Finals
11:30am: Largest Dough Trials
3:00pm: Largest Dough Finals
6:30pm: World Pizza Games Rocking Finals Party!

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

International Pizza Expo 2014

International Pizza Expo, March 24-27, 2014.
The Pizza Expo will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

 

 

The 3-day registration package includes the following:

  • Admission to your choice of more than 80 education seminars and cooking demonstrations, special Monday sessions for New Operators and Early-Arriving Attendees, Pizza Crust Boot Camp™, two keynote speaker general sessions (Donatella Arpaia and The Pizza Cuz, Sal Basile and Francis Garcia), two Beer & Bull Idea Exchanges® and the World Pizza Games® Finals and 30th Birthday Bash. (An additional fee is required for the Sunday-Monday Advanced-Track Workshops.)
  • Admission to three exciting days of pizza-only exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Exhibits are open Tuesday and Wednesday (10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) and Thursday (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.).
  • Watch the world’s most prestigious pizza-making contests. The International Pizza Challenge™ will crown the best pizzas in five categories: Traditional, Non-Traditional, American-Pan, Italian-Style and Gluten-Free. There will also be a “Best of the Best” bake-off featuring Pizza Maker of the Year honorees from past Expos.
  • An evening at the World Pizza Games® Finals and 30th Birthday Bash featuring dough-spinning acrobatics, onstage entertainment, free food and drink, prizes and more.
  • The opportunity to win big cash in our $20,000 MEGA BUCKS Giveaway™.
  • Discounts on air travel and rental cars.
  • Special discounted hotel room rates with complimentary shuttle service from selected hotels.

Here is the website to register:

International Pizza Expo.

Pizza Expo, Las Vegas Pizza Expo

The International Pzza Expo, held in Las Vegas each year is a showcase of pizza products and distributors. More importantly it draws some of the best pizza makers in the planet at one time in one place.

The list of amazing Pizza Makers is a veritable who’s who in the world of pizza. You can find Tony Gemignani, Domenico Crolla, Roberto Corporuscio, and Don Antonio Starita. The fact that you can meet and chat with these legends of pizza is truly extraordinary. Each was very approachable and willing to share pizza secrets as well as thoughts on the pizza business.

This video captures some of these moments as it unfolded. I chose to use the slideshow technique to give a feel, taste and smell so you can bombard your senses and feel the moment.

This video was shot on the last day of the Expo. Pizza was being made everywhere. The tastes of these pizzas were as varied as the pizza masters themselves.

You can see more Pizza Expo Videos, here.

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Antimo Caputo, The Philosophy of Pizza

Antimo Caputo comes from a long line of  pizza flour makers. Antimo Caputo Pizzeria Flour is used by the finest pizza makers in the world.

He supports the concept that making pizza is truly an art form.

“Pizza is not just a plate”” he explains, rather “pizza is a expression of cultural philosophy. The pizza maker is an artist….The pizzaiolo is an ambassador of pizza.”

Pizza is a story as well he suggests. Antimo wants to share the joy of making pizza with the rest of the world.

Caputo

 

In the following interview Antimo discusses  his love of pizza and why he brought the most amazing pizzaioli in the world to Pizza Expo….

 

 


For a long time the only way to purchase Caputo flour was through a food distributor. Now you can get it by clicking on the link: Antimo Caputo Pizzeria Flour, 55 Pound

 

The Super Peel Interview, Part 2

This is part 2 of an interview, I did with Gary Casper, creator of the Super Peel:

Here is Part 1 of the Super Peel Interview. Part 2 follows:

Albert: You sell the on Amazon How did you get Amazon to sell the Super Peel for you?

Gary:
That is an interesting question. Several years back, Amazon   opened up its site to products other than used books and CDs. This was a game changer for
me and others with their own products to sell – Amazon exposure, WOW!! Initially, we packed and shipped everything in house, but have gradually
migrated most of this over to Fulfillment by Amazon. Product is shipped to Amazon’s warehouses and they take it from there right through customer
service. Using Fulfillment by Amazon carries with it the free Amazon Prime shipping offer. Of course, someone actually does have to pay for the
shipping until UPS and the Post Office offers to deliver for free. There are more fees for this service, but you get actual shipping prices that are
ridiculously low compared to what one could get themselves. So it averages out, and so far Amazon has been good for the product.

Albert: Is the Super Peel used by commercial bakers? Or is just used by home bakers?

Gary: From the very beginning there was some interest from commercial bakers and pizza shops, but it really has been a home use type of product. We continue
to sell some to restaurants, pizzerias and bakeries, but these are generally small and/or specialized. Last year I spent a large chunk of time designing
and building a large prototype that would work with a particular commercial oven brand. It was an interesting project, but it did not end up going
anywhere. On a related note, Eric Kastel from the CIA tells his bread baking students to get a Super Peel as part of their home baking arsenal
when they leave. It is the best tool to simulate the oven loaders that they have been using in class. In the end, the Super Peel is and has mostly been
a tool for home users.

Albert: How did you come up with the design for a long handled Super Peel?

Gary: The design for the long handled Super Peel has been in the works for some time. Over the past several years, I have sent out maybe a dozen of various
prototypes to customers who wanted a longer handle, mostly for their WFOs. Early users have been very happy with it. Having one for my own use has
converted me, even for indoor oven use. There is just something very cool about having the extra reach. So, the design has been sort of shape
shifting, but has been getting more refined.

Albert: We understand you will be working with the Fire With In as well as Forno Bravo. How did that come about?

Gary: Hooking up with The Fire Within group was a bit of serendipity. Jim, who works with them and also operates one of their WFO “pizza wagons”, just
happened to receive a Super Peel from Florida from his Mom’s estate. He had never seen one before, but was struggling a bit with loading pies into his
WFO. He tried it out and was totally hooked. Turns out that he lives in my home town, just 20 miles from where I am located. We got together and I
set him up with a few more of the standard Super Peels. I actually had a chance to see his WFO pizza wagon in operation a few weeks back at local
farmers market. It is a winner for sure! I was there only 2 hours and I bet he made and sold 200 pies. People could not walk past without stopping,
gawking, shooting video, etc., and even buying a pie or two!

The connection with The Fire Within has only been through Jim so far, and I am not entirely sure where it is going. We will have about a dozen
preproduction units in a few weeks and, hopefully we will be able to equip their cart packages with both standard and long handled Super Peels.
Pairing the Super Peel with the traveling WFO does make a lot sense, as many people starting one of these operations have never made a pizza before. The
Super Peel makes prep and loading of their pies so much easier. And, as I mentioned earlier, using less bench flour can really improve the results.

Albert: Do you have any advice for someone that wants to create a new product?

Gary: I would strongly recommend that they start with a concept that fits their knowledge base and is relatively simple, ideally being a product that they
could actually make and sell themselves in order to test market and develop some sales data. Even if they wish to license the idea to another company,
sales data speaks way more loudly than just optimistic words like “everyone will want one of these”. And, a good licensing deal with a good company can
be hard to get. Even with luck finding a willing and able licensee, they need to keep performance requirements and minimum royalties in any contract.

What seemed like a good deal can sour easily for any of many reasons, and they will want the rights to their invention to come back to them in any
case of non-performance by the licensee. As was the case with the Super Peel, they might then still be able to bootstrap a business of their own
around it. I never did make many Super Peels personally – maybe 25 or so. I am sure they will be worth millions down the road, so if you have one hang
on to it!! The best way to get going is to get some sales data to prove the need and pricing, and then work with contractors to make the widget or at
least the parts.

The most important thing, above all, is to persevere! Once they have some “real data” to absolutely know that their idea has good potential, they need
to go at it like a shark on a seal, and drive through all of the many setbacks that will inevitably come along. At the same time, they need to
pay real attention to any show stoppers that might crop up and be ready to
let it all go if that time comes.\

Albert: What has been the hardest thing for you in developing the Super Peel?

Gary: Development was never a hard problem, though redesigning to reach a product that would be of high quality and could be sold at an acceptable price was
challenging. I always continue to look at other products, new materials and manufacturing technology to see if there are improvements that can be made.
Even looking back through old stuff can be helpful.

Case in point, we will be launching a new version – the Super Peel Pro, in October this year. It is
available in limited quantities on Amazon right now, but I just contracted for the first real production run. It will be made of the same resin/fiber composite board that goes by the name “Richite”, sold under the Epicurean brand. In many ways it is a better material for the product than wood, but
it was way too pricey when I first looked at it over 10 years ago. Manufacturing costs have shifted enough that it has now reached relative
parity with wood. We will keep the wooden peels, but I expect that many will prefer the composite for its low maintenance.

Albert: Part of your marketing strategy has always been to give back to
the community. (And yes I think you’ve gotten Pizza Therapy involved more than once..)

How does that fit in with your mission statement of your company? Has giving back to the community helped your business?

Gary: Giving back and paying it forward are two things that I strongly believe in. I can’t say that charitable giving has helped the business directly, at
least not to my knowledge, but it is something that I am committed to.

I strongly believe that all of our kids need every chance that they can get to succeed in life. I donate to local children’s charities and have for years given talks to grade school kids on inventing and being an inventor. I love to see how amazing their problem solving is at an early age, and want them all to know that this is something that they also can do. People usually refer to thinking inside of or outside of the box. Young children tend to think without consideration of any box at all. And, who knows where the next great product idea or company will come from?

Albert: What else is new with the Super Peel?

Gary: As usual Albert, I have probably ranted on a bit long already, and have covered a lot of this question already. I can only add that I do have many
product ideas in various stages of development. Some are just simple existing products that make sense to brand and sell under our company name.
Others are totally new products. And then, there is the next generation Super Peel – the final frontier!, which is always in the works. This last one must remain a secret for now, but stay tuned!!

Claim your EXO Super Peel Gift Set – Our Best Hard Maple Peel With Extra Transfer Cloth and Printed Storage Bag
It makes a great gift for any pizza fan!.

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…


Joe Fugere has an unusual story. He knew he wanted to get into the food business, but he did not know which one. “Hmmm” he thought, “what are the most popular foods?”

He reasoned the two most popular dishes in america were burgers and pizza. He did not want to sell hamburgers, so he chose pizza. And pizza lovers everywhere are glad he decided to take that fork in the road.

Coming from an Italian family he always had the passion for Italian food. His Italain grandmother explained to him that to really experience food he needed to immerse himself in the food of her homeland.

Joe did his homework and fortunately for us he chose pizza. He decided to go to Naples and study with the master pizzailo. He learned the craft well and started to make incredible pizza. He chose t learn to make pizza from the Associzione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This group of pizza professionals adhere to very strict rules of pizza preparation and pizza making. Everything must be to exact standards. There is no room for deviation from the very strict rules. Joe learned his craft well.

Associzione Verace Pizza Napoletana

Tutta Bella Logo

Tutta Bella Logo

His pizzeria Tutta Bella has been an incredible success.

Listen to Joe as he expplains the secret to his success.

Here is a review of Tutta Bella from Pizza Therapy:

 

We had an awesome pie in a place we’ve been hearing about, Tutta Bella. It’s right around the corner from Walter’s place, which I’ve got for the summer.Wood fired, the read-out said 759 degrees F. They use double zero “OO” flour.

The crust is light as a feather and quickly attains a fluffy crispness in no time. Hand shaped, of course, and beautifully burned, the dough is mouthwatering when fire roasted and married with fresh juicy spices and toppings. All the toppings we had were fresh and tasty. 

You can listen or download the interview with Joe Fugere of Tutta Bella below:

Discover incredible pizza…

 Tutta Bella
4411 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 633-3800

 

Don’t forget to search for: Find the Best Daily Deal in Your Neighborhood by Clicking HERE


Giulio Adriani of Forcella , is a pizza master. He oozes pizza passion. His pizzerias in New York have been wildly successful. He loves sharing his pizza knowledge. He is a teacher as well as a master pizzaiolo.

Guliano Adriani of Forcella

Guliano Adriani of Forcella

 

He prides himself on trying new things. He was the first to bring fried pizza dough pizza called the “montanara”. This is a very unusual pizza concept.  As you know to introduce new tastes into the New York pizza scene comes with a certain amount of risk. However, the pizza became wildly popular and is one of the newest pizza concepts sought after in the New York.

He also opened the first Kosher Neapolitan Pizzeria in the World. This became very popular as well. In order to be Kosher certain guidelines must be followed. Guliano also makes his own cheese for his pizzerias. And this is necessary in order to make great taste as well as making sure everything is done properly and correctly.

He explains the reason for his success:

  1. Passion: you need to be passionate about what you do. This needs to shine through with every pizza you make.
  2. Attention to Detail: If you want to make great pizza, you need to be aware of all the details that go into every dish you create.
  3. Knowledge: A key ingredient to success. You have to know what you are doing.

Here is an interview with Giulio from Pizza Therapy:

 

 

Guiliano is willing to share all he knows and offers classes at his pizzerias.

Forcella
485 Lorimer St.
11211 Brooklyn NY
(718) 388-8820

Forcella is an Italian pizzeria in Brooklyn dedicated to the art of making traditional Neapolitan pizza. Double certified pizza master Giulio Adriani creates an assortment of twenty different pizzas, as well as a variety of antipasti, insalate and housemade desserts.

Albert Grande and Giulio Adriani

Albert and Giulio

 

You can listen or download this interview with Giulio, below:

For more pizza passion check out:
Find the Best Daily Deal in Your Neighborhood

Or check out the Cooking Channel:

Michael Shepherd World Pizza Champion

Michael Shepherd is an interesting pizzaiolo.

As he explains on his website:

From humble beginnings as a delivery driver for a national chain to the owner of three independent pizzerias, he has over 20 years of experience in the pizza business. Growing his original pizzeria from a meager $2,000 per week to over $1 million dollars a year in sales in a town of only 8,000 and opening his newest pizzeria at the $1.2 million sales mark in a town of 13,000 with an advertising budget of nearly zero.

 

I interviewed Michael at the International Pizza Expo. He was getting ready to set up all of the games. He was busy with these tasks the entire Pizza Expo.

Michael Angelo Pizza

Michael Angelo Pizza

 

Michael is the owner of Michael Angelo’s, and is a founding member of the World Pizza Champions. He recently started a new pizza restaurant called 600 Downtown.

600 Hundred

600 Hundred

 

Michael explained all the preparation needed for the World Pizza Games. He also spoke on several on several panels.

This is a great interview with one of the greatest World Pizza Champs.

 

Make sure you check out Michael’s new book:
Growing Pizza: How to Plant the Seeds to a Successful Pizzeria

In Las Vegas for Pizza Expo

International Pizza Expo 2013

International Pizza Expo 2013

Coming to Las Vegas for the Pizza Expo, brings back wonderful memories. The pizza, the products, and the people. There are some fascinating people here. The Pizza Expo is a wonderful celebration about pizza and the pizza business. While there are a number of workshop and events, there are also hands on pizza tasting, pizza making, pizza judging and pizza tossing. Make no mistake, Pizza Expo is aimed at the pizza professional.

Estimates are of crowds of over 7,000 attendees. The gathering is made up of pizza pros and those who support the professional pizza business. There are different types of flour, pizza ovens, all manner of pizza toppings, cheeses, pizza hardware and pizza software. If it is pizza business related, even remotely, you will find that item or service at the pizza Expo. From various bakeware,  to pizza ovens,  kitchen magnets, and pizza peppers.if you want it, you got it.

One of the very coolest additions to this years Pizza  Expo is the official International Pizza App. You can find out more about it at the official Pizza Expo Website.

Last time I was here I got to meet some amazing pizzaiolo. The Italian Crew was a personal high-light. This was an amazing crew of some the best pizza makers on the planet. They were sharing there wisdom, their expertise and their energy.

I learned some great dough techniques during my last visit. I discovered the gentle, yet firm touch of the master pizza maker. He was able to shape the dough into finished pizza shape with a few slaps and pulls.

Yes there were some dangerous pizza creatures:

For me the best part of the whole experience are the stories and tales about pizza and those who lovingly make pizza. Meeting Jonathan Goldsmith of Spaca Napoli was one of the most rewarding experiences. Jonathan is not only a gentle pizza spirit who is truly honored when you eat his pizza, but also a social activist, who creates significant change through his business.

Roberto Caporuscio of Keste Pizza and Vino in New York was there. He gave a lot of positive energy to the pizza making crew from Naples. As a matter of fact some of the pizza masters from Naples showed Roberto how to make pizza!

And what can I say about spending time with John Arena. John and his Cousin Sam founded Metro Pizza in Las Vegas. (FYI: you can see a video tribute I did for Metro Pizza, here.)

John is a pizza master who has taken it upon himself to be a pizza advocate to spread the joys, wisdom and enlightenment of making pizza. And yes I did say enlightenment. Making pizza is truly a spiritual experience.

John Arena, discusses pizza

John Arena, discusses pizza

I hope to keep you, updated on all the latest info of the 2013 International Pizza Expo

So stay tuned….

Whenever I leave Hawaii, (and of course return) there is only one airlines I use, and that’s Hawaiian Airlines. You can find out more about Hawaiian Airlines CLICK HERE.

Check out amazon for all of your on-line and offline needs.

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

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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:

 

 

In the following interview Scott Anthony, of Fox’s Pizza Den in Punxsutawney, PA explains the secrets of success for business owners. Scott has been able to turn his pizzeria into a business that is not only profitable but also a valued business in his community of Punxsutawney.

Scott explains that for any business to be successful, one needs to be responsive as well generous to your community.

Scott and his company have created a series of fund raisers and events which have not only helped raise funds but also helped his business succeed exponentially.
Scott also discusses his book “Profits in the Pie” which outlines his secrets for success for not only pizzeria owners but all small businesses.

From Amazon:
“Turn YOUR Passion into Profits’, so you can always do the things you love.
The business tactics and strategies in this book flat out work – not only for
me, but for students and friends of mine. Inside this book you will find tactics
and strategies to:
-Help you envision what your life can be out of the kitchen – Have the time
to do the things you love with the people you love!

-Open your eyes to the possibilities of happiness in the pizzeria – looking
forward to a profitable & enjoyable day at work – everyday!

-Give you marketing ideas that are tried & true – not wasting money, but
making $1000’s!

-Help you easily implement marketing tactics – have an action plan you can
act on making you a local celebrity!

-Tweak ideas & make them your own – be the talk of your town with
‘innovative’ ideas that generate free press!

My 17 years of pizza experience can help put you on your way to the bank.
This book has no theory. It’s operator to operator – and contains what you
need to grow your pizzeria!”
Scott Anthony

Here’s the Interview with Scott:

You can listen now or download for later listening:

 

Kindle Edition:

 

 

Pizza My Heart Video Interview

Pizza My Heart grew from a one store pizza operation serving surfers to over 20 pizza outlets.

According to Chuck, owner, the main goal of Pizza My Heart is to serve the absolute best gourmet pizza available.

They only use the freshest ingredients available.  You won’t find any canned mushrooms at Pizza My Heart.

According to Yelp, Rimi says:

Mushroom Pizza.  Very filling.  Cool drink dispenser.  Free blu cheese to dip the crust in!
Everything a girl needs for a soul food lunch!

 

Pizza My Heart was founded in 1981 right on Capitola Beach, California. A lot has changed in those 30 years, but our commitment to serving hand tossed pizzas with superior ingredients hasn’t. It is part of why we know we are worthy of the title, “World’s Best Pizza.”

[flowplayer src=’http://legendsofpizza.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/pizza-my-heart.mp4′]

Pizza My Heart Capitola
209 The Esplanade
Capitola, CA 95010

Sun-Thurs – 11:00am – 10:00pm
Fri-Sat – 11:00am – 1:00am

(831) 475-5714

If you are interested in making great pizza check out: My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home

The secret to incredible pizza is a superb crust—one that is crisp yet chewy, and slightly charred around the edges. Jim Lahey, the baking genius behind New York City’s celebrated Sullivan Street Bakery and Co. pizza restaurant, has developed a brilliant recipe that requires no kneading and produces an irresistible crust in any home oven—gas or electric—in fewer than five minutes. My Pizza shares this revolutionary technique

 

And for bread discover: My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method

Fire Within Interview With Joseph Pergolizzi

 

The Fire Within

Joe Pergolizzi is a pizzaiolo, who founded The Fire Within”.   The company, located in Boulder, Colorado,  creates Mobile Pizza Ovens, and offers a total support system for those interested in succeeeding in the the pizza business. For Joseph this is a sacred mission. The Fire Within also offers classes, workshops, encouragement and assistance. This is an entire organization dedicated to pizza success through artisan pizza creation.

On their website, Joseph explains:

“We took the age old concept of a wood fired oven on a trailer and modernized it for today’s use. In addition to manufacturing a practical line-up of mobile pizza ovens and we created the tools you need to be set up for success.

After a fiery debate, our 100+ customers across North America agreed upon a collective mission. It is the intention of the Fire Within mobile pizza caterers to save the world from common, cardboard-box-pizza one wood-fired pizza at a time. Taste testers welcome.”

For the record: Pizza Therapy, and Legends of Pizza, whole heratedly supports the mission of The Fire Within.

I was lucky enough to snag an interview with Joseph. I totally raked him over the coals and asked him the tough questions!

He was always gracious and very forthcoming.

Albert: It seems to me that your company has lots of different hats…

Please tell me what exactly is “Fire Within”?

Joseph: Simply, Fire Within offers a turnkey mobile wood fired oven business. In addition to manufacturing almost a dozen custom mobile wood fired oven designs we offer entrepreneurs the necessary tools to succeed and welcome them into a community where they can thrive. For those that need a business plan we’ve written a comprehensive 200 page business manual called Rolling In The Dough that has over 6 years of professional advice on running your own business.  For those that would like hands on training and a business intensive our hands on Getting Started workshops are designed for the first timer as well as the accomplished chef. We started our own mobile pizza oven business over 6 years ago which we still do some select catering events and concerts here in Boulder.

Albert: Do you remember your first pizza? How did you get interested in making pizza?

Joseph: I actually do remember my first pizza. My parents have this photo of me in my high chair eating a slice of pizza from Denino’s with a bottle of beer on my table.

As a young kid I remember looking over the counter at pizzaeria’s and I would stare at the guys making pizza. I was so curious about the dough I couldn’t quite figure out what the texture was of dough – was it wet? soft? fragile?….

Albert: Where are you from Joseph? Where did you grow up?

Joseph: I was born in Brooklyn hours after my parents had pizza at Spumoni Gardens. (True story) They raised us in Staten Island.

Albert: Can you share some early memories of pizza?

Joseph: There are so many. One was a constant occurrence as a teenager. I would scrounged up change from everywhere across the house to get a slice of pizza at the pizzeria in front of the bus stop. Another funny one was eating an entire pie with my best friend on the curb in front of Gino’s pizzeria on Staten Island. We somehow thought it was going to be an impossible task to eat an entire 18’’ pie. After we both had 4 slices we both thought we would be stuffed. We weren’t. We ordered 2 more slices, each.

Albert: Can you explain some of your influences for your pizza?

Joseph: My influences may not be your ordinary influences as other people in the pizza community. Art, a great painting as Color and not too many flavors all at once. The sauce should be as pure as possible.

Albert: What is the most important the crust or the toppings?

Joseph: Ouch, tough question. A good pizza can not have a lacking crust. Toppings you can take off.

Albert: What is your favorite pizza? Why?

Joseph: This is a strange answer.

Peter Reinhart says, there are 2 kinds of pizza. The one that you share with a friend and then there is the one that has carefully selected ingredients. The first kind is my favorite pizza. Interestingly enough my favorite pizza changes every few years. For the past 2 years it’s been a white pizza with kalamata olives, rosemary, with parmigiana and either ricotta cheese or another kind of cheese.

Albert: What is the best pizza in Colorado?

Joseph: Tough call, I have a few friends who own pizzeria’s. In Boulder, Pizzeria Basta and Pizzeria da Lupo. In Denver, Dave Bravdica and Tom Garnick at Brava Pizzeria Della Strada.

Albert: The U.S???

Joseph: The Sicilian slice at Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn is hands down the best Sicilian you will ever eat. No disrespect to those that like to make it, but it’s futile. They figured it out. I don’t make a Sicilian pie out of respect. They achieved perfection. There is one one Sicilian pie. Everything else falls somewhere between Chicago pizza and Focaccia.

Thin crust pizza is either Joe and Pat’s in Staten Island (they won best pizza in NYC) or Denino’s. It’s the subtleties in NY pizzerias. The napkins, the grenade chilli flake dispensers. Whether it’s the table cloths or the tables that make you feel like your back in Junior High. Some say it’s all about the water. Ok. Sure. Whatever makes sense to people.  If it’s not from NY it’s Neo-american pizza. I stand with the rest of the NY loyalists who speak the truth 😉

Respect needs to be given to Crust, Tony G’s in SF, Tony Calzone at Rebbecca’s, Jay Jerrier of Cane Rosso in Dallas, Chris Bianco in AZ, Matt Tierney at Pele’s in FL. For each of their own credit they have done our craft good.

Albert: Favorite pizzaioli?

Joseph: Honestly and I may have touched on this here or in other places and I truly don’t mind sticking my neck out on this…. it’s about the passion, it’s about the love of wanting to make someone happy, it’s all the simplicity that comes along with pizza. how easy it is to eat, how easy it is to make. my favorite pizzaioli is the one that never stops learning, holds no secrets, welcomes everyone over to the table to eat and makes pizza regardless if they got paid or not.

The joy of cooking with wood.

Albert: What are your best tips for making pizza?

Joseph: Depending on your comfort level, years making pizza —For starters, focus on Color, Pizza is simple. leave space to where you can see the crust through the sauce. less is more. most of the time it;s one main ingredient takes the center stage, then it has one or 2 back up singers and then a little bit of flair with some spices.

Albert: What type of flour do you use?

Joseph: Gusto’s

Albert: Do you feel using great flour is critical for great pizza?

Joseph: Absolutely, but you can have a great flour but still make a lousy pizza.

Albert: It seems that The fire With-in has created a type of pizza community.
How do you stay in touch?

Joseph: The people I’ve been lucky to meet and speak with over the years are truly special. They are following their passion, leaving career’s, mortgaging their house, building their own pizza empires.

I was sharing this story with my father the other day – the day after GM laid off 5,000 workers an ex-employee called me and said “ I just lost my job and I’m looking for something new to do. I want to do something I love, something that is for me.” I’ve heard so many stories just like that. To hear people share their dreams of owning their own business or wanting to make a difference in people’s lives through food is very special, it’s changed my life to witness this time and time again. I’m humbled.

Albert: You have a unique pizza philosophy?

Joseph: Pizza presence and meaning is bigger than I fail to realize sometimes.

The product:

I had a student once who was so bent on making authentic Neapolitan pizza. He stressed he wanted to learn the authentic tradition and that it was the best way to make pizza. What he had a difficult time understanding was that he was very far removed from what pizza meant to him. Being genuine comes from within, not from a recipe book. People can tell when you care. The only way you can screw up a pizza is thinking that you know everything there is to know about pizza.

The people:

Pizza promotes conversation. Pizza is an art form to be appreciated. Pizza is comfort food. The only way to ruin a nice meal is to think that you know what good pizza is and the person you are eating it with doesn’t

The experience of eating pizza:

Eating a slice of pizza is unlike eating anything else. Being able to grab a slice of pizza at a deck oven pizzeria fold it in half, walk with it while eating it or sit down and eat it at a small table. It’s a meal, it’s a snack. You don’t just time having a slice around meal time. It’s comfort food. People have a slice as part of their routine in life or they go to a sit down pizzeria every Friday night or call in an order to be picked up.

Wood fired pizza:

Wood fired pizza is it’s own unique pizza experience. It’s like having a third party join you for the meal, in this case it’s the fire. Even though it’s not sitting down with you at the table we are acutely aware that this food was made with fire. It has an impact on the meal, on the conversation.

I’m fortunate enough to be part of something very special with these mobile ovens. Mobile wood fired oven caterers are promoting them and making these 2 pizza experiences available and accessible.

Making Pizza as a profession or a hobby can be very satisfying.

For us pizza fanatics stepping back and looking at how much we get from pizza can be quite a shock.I’m not sure how VPN fits into my philosophy. It has a place in pizza culture but it’s not near my top of ways I relate to pizza.

Albert: Tell me more about the pizza school and how one can enroll….

We host our getting started with your own mobile wood fired oven business 6 times a year. In 2012 we will be adding a few other workshops to our offering, specifically advanced wood fired oven cooking. Peter Reinhart will join us next year for a 3 day workshop. He taught an advanced cooking class for us last year and it was a huge success. We have taught over 200 people how to start their own mobile pizza business. After just the first day the group comes together like a family. A small community is born. People see how similar we all are, we all like fire, we all love pizza, we all are independent souls, we are all searching for something new. I teach people to make their business an extension of themselves. I don’t think enough people were given permission or shown the way on how to do that.

Albert: Where is The Fire Within headed?

Joseph:: We have a number of great projects in the works. Some will be cut from our business plan but I think we’ll have a few really cool things to offer artisan chefs and entrepreneurs in 2012. We are really excited to talk more about it shortly.

Albert: Please add anything else you like.

Joseph: I once spoke with Jim Leahy from Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. I was really impressed by his continuous pursuit to perfect his craft. He’s mastered great dough recipes and he still had the fire to learn more to still be humbled by the knowledge still yet to be learned. Someone so accomplished yet still looking at things from a beginners mind. Artisanship is a pursuit, not an accomplishment. The respectable bakers and chefs are the ones that encourage and make something feel obtainable. I think this type of genuine humility in chefs/teachers is rare.

Thanks so much Joseph. We wish you continued success.

Contact:

The Fire Within
PO Box 1563, Boulder, Colorado 80306

Pizza on Earth, Good Will to All!
Albert Grande

The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book: Unlock the Secret of Making Simple, Easy Pizza

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

New Insight on the $25,000 Pizza Recipe

Our friend Gail won $25,000 from the Food Network, with her special pizza recipe. I have written about it before. I started thinking…sure the $25,000 pizza recipe was important, but in the Big picture of life, there is a more important lesson to be learned.
 
Here’s the story:
 
This is a true pizza story with a happy ending. An amazing pizza story!
 
Our friend Gail, decided to enter her pizza in a contest sponsored by the Food Network.
 
But let me give you a little background first.
 
Originally from Connecticut, Gail now lives in Tennessee.
 
Gail is a long time supporter of Pizza Therapy and she is like a member of the family.
 
A few years back, we had a pizza contest at Pizza Therapy and she won top prize.
 
It is a great recipe. The key ingredient, according to Gail, was the water. New Haven water.
 
The same water used by Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern Apizza. These pizzerias are legendary pizzerias in New Haven.
 
Gail was tired of the pizza in Tennessee and created her own pizza recipes. And whenever she traveled up to New Haven, she would return with a suitcase full of water.
 
She decided her pizza was good enough to enter in a Pizza Showdown on the Food Network.
 
She was right. Out of 10,000 hungry applicants: she made the finals…
 
Wait, there’s more!
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End of ad….On with the show!
————————————————————————————-
 
The kicker is that during the filming of her Food Network pizza show, she traveled to New Haven, and went to Sally’s Apizza. She immediately went into the ladies room and filled a bottle of water. She used the water to make her award winning pizza!
 
(OK first she asked Flo Consiglio if it was OK. Flo said yes!)
 
And she won first prize. She won $25,000 for hep pizza recipe! Plus other prizes.
 
I recorded a great interview with Gail describing, how she entered the contest and how she was able to win.
 
You can listen to the entire interview (and download it if you wish) at this link:
 
 
If you wish, you can also listen at Pizza Therapy at this link:
 
 
I know you are going to love this interview. It is a great pizza tale full of adventure and as I said, a happy ending.
 
But here is the real nugget of gold from Gail’s story: we all have it in us to succeed at whatever we do.
 
We need to have faith and believe in ourselves. That is the real point to this interview!
 
For Gail it was a pizza recipe, for you it is whatever your dreams and hopes are.
 
So dream big my friends! I know you will accomplish whatever it is you set out to do!
 
I know all of your dreams and hopes will come true.
 
And Gail’s dream started out with a simple pizza recipe. She believed and she won.Big time.
 
So not only dream, but dream BIG!
Follow your dreams, follow your heart, follow your beliefs.
 
And never, ever, never, give up! Keep the faith, Yo!
 
Have passion, then take action.
 
I want to wish you all the best.
 
Enjoy this interview. Here are the links again:
 
You can listen to the entire interview (and download it if you wish) at this link:
 
 
If you wish, you can also listen at Pizza Therapy at this link:
 
 
I wish you the best in all that you do!
 
pizza on earth, good will to all,
 
albert
The Pizza Promoter
Pizza Therapy
 
P.S. If you get a chance, check out our digital store.
 
Here is the link:
 
Digital products, secret tutorials, priceless e-books, software at your finger tips.
 


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