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.
I travel to Seattle to talk with former Chicagoan Dave Lichterman, a computer science engineer who worked for Amazon for about eight years before deciding to pursue his lifelong passion of pizza making. Dave has two businesses – Windy City Pie and Breezy Town Pizza – where he and his staff experiment with homemade giardiniera, cooked pineapple, sausage ground in-house and candied bacon as toppings, while also using all-natural sourdough starters and other artisan techniques to create their deep, pan pizzas.
Steve talks with Wes Pikula, the V.P. of Operations at Buddy’s, ground zero for the Detroit style of pizza that has spread across the U.S. Started in 1946, Pikula explains how this Sicilian original morphed into the rectangular pie we know today.
Steve talks with Justin Bazdarich, the owner/founder of Speedy Romeo, with two locations in New York City. Justin is originally from Kansas, but his father was from St. Louis, so all of those visits to Imo’s over the years led to an appreciation of Provel cheese. Even though he has worked for chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, opening several of his restaurants all over the world, he always loved pizza, and has created an artisan pie that is truly unique among his peers in NYC.
Steve stays in Chicago this week, to talk to the man behind his favorite deep-dish pizza: Rich Labriola. In 1993, he opened Labriola Baking, an artisan commercial bakery, which at one point sold bread to many of Chicago’s best restaurants. In 2013, he launched Labriola just off of Michigan Avenue, re-engineering the traditional Chicago deep-dish in a number of significant ways. His caramelized cheese “frico” along the perimeter, is reminiscent of Pequod’s and Burt’s – two beloved brands from the Chicago suburbs.
An artisan who learned his craft growing up in Naples, Italy, Daniele incorporates his training from some of the best pizzerias in Campania with his family bakery’s traditional bread recipes. Since his arrival to Los Angeles in 2010, his signature “slow dough” neo-neapolitan pizzas have garnered a passionate international following of celebrities and pizza lovers. At Pizzana, he’s able to create memorable artisan pies with textbook leopard spotting.