When Nick Buckland and his partner got around to opening Yard Sale, on the outskirts of London, they were looking to try to improve upon delivery and take-out pizza (this was before Covid-19). Figuring that out has helped them succeed, as they now prepare to open their 8th Yard Sale Pizza. Steve talks to Nick about working with ingredients from nearby Italy, and how that may have shaped Londoner’s thoughts about what pizza should be. He’ll also talk about his unique take on a British pizza using a beloved ingredient.
Adam Kuban‘s dad always aspired to have his own pizza place. Maybe that’s why the writer wound up becoming New York City’s first writer dedicated to covering pizza. Tackling a subject as wide and deep (and occasionally controversial) as NYC pizza is no small feat. Kuban agreed to meet at Scarr’s on the Lower East Side for a couple of slices, and to share some of his favorite slices around the city. This is incredibly important intel if you want to consider yourself an authoritative NYC pizza eater.
After a 19 month hiatus, the International Pizza Expo is back, somewhat diminished due to a raging Delta variant, but still, people from all over the country made their way to the desert to talk shop. I roamed the floor for Days 1 and 2 of the Expo, talking to all sorts of stakeholders about what they’re working on these days.
For 70 years, Denino’s has been one of the most beloved pizzerias on Staten Island. Featured in Pete Davidson’s film, “The King of Staten Island”, the restaurant is a family affair, and owner Michael Burke practically grew up in it. He shares some of the pizzeria’s secrets, and has some great advice for would-be pizzeria owners.
Frank Pinello grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, and aside from hearing it in his voice, you can tell how passionate he is about creating the best slices. His work with chefs like Nate Appleman and the opening team at Roberta’s were seminal experiences, but it was when they handed him the reigns to Best Pizza in Williamsburg, that he really came into his own as a pizza maker.
All-Purpose is one of D.C.’s best pizza places, and the pies are a result of owner Mike Friedman’s many experiences at restaurants along the Eastern Seaboard. Sourcing only the best flour, tomatoes and cheese, he has elevated the typical New York thin, deck oven baked pizza, by adding hydration and a solid three days of fermentation.
Scott Wiener started out working in the Department of Cultural Affairs in Hoboken, New Jersey, when an impromptu pizza tour for his birthday led to the creation of a full-time business. Today there are 65 pizzerias in the Scott’s Pizza Tours universe, with more than a dozen tours offered every week. On top of that, Scott leads demos, speaks to industry leaders and even holds the world record for the most number of pizza boxes. The man lives his brand. Steve talks to him about what he looks for in a proper NYC slice.
Tim Semmler and his wife, Lydia, have been running Tinder Hearth Bakery from their home in rural Maine for the past 13 years. More recently, they’ve added pizza. Toppings depend on what their local farmer sells them. The flour is from Québéc and the starter is all-natural. If you’re headed to Acadia National Forest, it’s a must-stop.
Brian Spangler has had a lot of jobs. Some in I.T., some in bread baking. But it’s the four year period while working in rural Oregon that laid the foundation for what would become Apizza Scholls in Portland. We met Spangler in the hills of Montana – at The Resort at Paws Up – where he was tasked with recreating his long-fermented dough and baking pies in ovens he wasn’t necessarily used to; no matter, he figured it all out and turned out some amazing pies.
There is a lot of discussion in New York about where “Grandma style” pizza came from, but the truth is, this thin Sicilian style of pan pizza has been around for a hundred years. A former cook from Umberto’s came up with the official name when entering a contest while employed at King Umberto, a mile or so away. The rest is, well, a complicated history. Steve sits down with Giovanni Cesarano to talk Grandmas, traditional slices and a mind-bending Roman al Metro that we can’t wait to get back and try again.