Pizza Today - December 2017 - 18

Man on the Street
SCOTT WIENER

Passion of the Crust
Pizza newcomers strive to make the perfect pie

"

They've been around over
50 years, so they must be doing
something right."
That's what most people say about the
pizzerias they praise for their longevity
more so than they do for their food. These
restaurants were founded by resilient,
adaptive, hard-working people with the
sole objective of taking care of their
families. They were smart enough to buy
their real estate before anybody thought
about how it might make possible that
very dream. Multi-generation pizzerias
carry on family tradition to the delight
of those who crave the flavor of the past.

1 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7

But since it's impossible to manufacture
nostalgia, newcomers have to find their
mojo elsewhere. Unlike the lucky few that
are safe perpetuating the achievements of
their elders, the hottest new pizza makers
are following their passion in the quest for
the perfect pie.
All one has to do is take a look at the
recent Caputo Cup in Atlantic City to
see the benefits of passion and dedication. Derek Sanchez took first place in the
Traditional category after just a few short
years in the pizza business. Competitors
may use two toppings in addition to their
sauce and cheese, so pizza makers often

push strong flavors to impress the judges.
Contrary to that convention, Sanchez
opted for a regular cheese pizza with
no toppings. The secret weapon was his
dough, which underwent an extremely
long ferment of nearly one week. This isn't
a technique that can be perfected just by
reading a recipe in a book - it requires a
deep interest in the underlying science.
Meanwhile, in the non-traditional
category, newcomer Jason LaFerrera took
third place with his Croque Monsieur pizza. After returning from their honeymoon
in Naples, Italy, Jason and his wife, Molly,
decided to tackle pizza making as a fun
project. They made their first disastrous
pizza just less than three years ago. Since
then, they've honed their skills enough
to begin hosting (almost) weekly pizza
parties in their tiny Brooklyn apartment,
as well as some pop-ups and catering gigs.
All the while, Jason and Molly consulted
resources for help from the pizza
enthusiast community. All that work and
dedication paid off when Jason's name was
announced as the third-place finisher in
the non-traditional category.
The trend of passionate newcomers scoring big wins in competition and
business is currently increasing thanks to
easy access to information via the Internet
and social media. Norma Knepp won the
traditional division of the Caputo Cup
in 2016, only five years after she started
making pizza. Like LaFerrera, Knepp also
credits community resources for helping
develop her recipes and technique.
It's truly inspiring to see people with
relatively little experience finding success
so quickly. It just proves you don't need to
be in business for decades to show you're
doing something right. Even though
experience might be lacking, excellent
pizza is still being produced by a new
breed of pizza maker with the not-sosecret ingredient of passion. ■
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of Scott's
Pizza Tours in New York City and
SliceOutHunger.org.

RICK DAUGHERTY


http://www.SliceOutHunger.org http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2017

Pizza Today - December 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Respecting the Craft
At Your Service
Destinations
Destinations
Knead to Know
Pizza & Pasta Northeast Recap
Road to Pizza Expo
Menu Guide
2018 Menu Guide
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - December 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza Today - December 2017
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 6
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2017 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 30
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 34
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast Recap
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Road to Pizza Expo
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 48
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 2018 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 52
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 56
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 60
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 64
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 67
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 70
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - December 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 89
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 90
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 91
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 92
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 93
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 94
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 95
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 96
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover4
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