Chris Bianco from The Manufactory in L.A. and Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix

I talk to Chris Bianco – of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix – about his new collaboration with Tartine Bakery’s Chad Robertson and Elizabeth Prueitt, in The Manufactory in downtown L.A. He’s focusing on flatbreads, rather than the wood-fired pies he’s known for, but the scale of the operation is mighty impressive.

Michael Schwartz from Genuine Pizza in Miami

Steve talks to Chef Michael Schwartz, the owner of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami and Cleveland. Schwartz’s new book, “Genuine Pizza: Better Pizza at Home” just came out, and Schwartz was in Chicago recently, doing a takeover of one of the ovens at Pacific Standard Time. He talks about some of the must-have tools for home pizza-making, but also discusses how he grew up on bad pizza in Philadelphia, then eventually opened Harry’s Pizza in the Design District of Miami, which led to the name change more recently to the Genuine Pizza brand.

Robert Garvey from Robert’s Pizza & Dough Co. in Chicago

Robert Garvey is an engineer-turned-playwright-turned-pizzaiolo, who grew up in Queens with a slice-a-day habit. Moving to Chicago in 1993, he started tinkering with dough recipes and spent the next decade or so, tweaking his recipe until he got it right. He recently re-opened his namesake pizzeria in Chicago after being closed for nearly two years, and his memorable pies are better than ever.

Justin De Leon from Apollonia’s Pizza in L.A.

I talk with Justin De Leon, a former professional photographer who has married his love of photography with his passion for pizza. Having grown up with heavy pizza in Monterey Park, he has spent years developing his Sicilian/Angeleno squares which have enormous interior crumb and impossibly high cheese fricos around the lacy edges. The fact he knows how to photograph them makes them even more irresistible on Instagram.

Anthony Falco: International Pizza Consultant

Anthony Falco was one of the founders of the beloved Roberta’s, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Over the past three years, he has become a pizzaiolo for-hire. He’s set up new pizzerias all over the world, and continues to create new, artisan options for some pizza shops in the U.S. as well. We met at Upside Pizza, in Midtown Manhattan, one of Falco’s recent clients, to learn more about how he’s helping pizzeria owners improve – and in some cases, create – their pizzas.

Dan Richer from Razza in Jersey City, NJ

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.

Frank Tuttolomondo from Mama’s Too! in New York City

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).

Rich Aronson from My Pi in Chicago

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.

Mark Iacono from Lucali in Brooklyn

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.

Gina Pianetto from Pat’s Pizza in Chicago

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.

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