Dan Richer’s pizzas have been praised by The New York Times (which awarded the restaurant 3 stars) as well as the Italian-based 50 Top Pizzas list (where his place landed at #1 in North America). His meticulousness and attention to his craft has won him fans around the country; he recently did a series of pop-ups with the likes of Mozza’s Nancy Silverton in L.A. In this episode, I talk with Dan over a couple of gelatos at Freddy’s in Cicero, IL, where I met him on a recent trip to Chicago.
I talk with Frank Tuttolomondo, owner of Mama’s Too! on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Frank’s family has owned Mama’s Pizza nearby for nearly 60 years, but his approach to pizza making is far different. He experiments with hydration levels, baking technique and fermentation, but also offers a more artisan approach to Sicilian and classic wedges (baked in gas ovens).
I talk with Rich Aronson, the 2nd generation owner of My Pi, which was started by his father, Larry, in 1971. Rich talks about how they were the first deep-dish outside of Illinois, then shrank back to just one location. His father’s meticulousness – he was a 3rd generation baker – led to all sorts of tweaks on the original Uno’s recipe. To this day, it’s one of my favorite versions of deep-dish, and it will be yours too, once you try it.
I sit down with Mark Iacono, one of New York City’s most revered pizza makers. Iacono designed his Carroll Gardens restaurant to resemble a pizzeria from the 1940s. Everything may look old, but it’s all new. His handmade, wood-fired oven is the star attraction – more curved than domed – and some of Brooklyn’s most majestic pies emerge from its stone deck.
On this episode, Steve talks with Gina Pianetto, the 3rd generation owner of Pat’s Pizza in Chicago, which started making Chicago tavern (thin) pizza in 1950. They talk about carrying on the tradition her grandfather set forth, and how her father altered the thickness of the dough and length of time in the cooler (six days) to get their signature, cracker-thin crust – the OG Chicago style pizza.
On this episode, Steve talks with Michele Forgione, the owner of Pizzeria Gema in Montreal. His artisan pizza uses a lot of Canadian ingredients, but more importantly, they’re making many of the toppings themselves, including curing their own meats. They also avoid using wood, so they have more control over the finished product.
On this week’s show, Steve talks with Franco Stanzione, owner of Stanzione 87 in Miami. Franco takes an Old World approach to Neapolitan pizza-making, and goes a few steps further, making his own mozzarella in-house, and fermenting his dough up to 72 hours. The results are instantly noticeable. The only problem: a general lack of understanding by locals, as to what true Neapolitan should look and taste like.
Matthew Hyland is the Chef-Owner of three unique pizzerias in New York City: Pizza Loves Emily, Emmy Squared and Violet. Hyland met his wife, Emily, in college, in Rhode Island, and their mutual love of pizza has turned into a successful series of businesses. At Pizza Loves Emily, they focus on wood-fired artisan pies; at Emmy Squared (with locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Nashville) it’s all about Detroit-inspired square pies with caramelized cheese borders. Their latest project – Violet – honors the Providence, RI tradition of grilled pizza, which started at Al Forno.