Pizza Today - September 2019 - 54

DEFINITION. Rather than sequestering
themselves within a set of rules, they're
experimenting to achieve their own
visions. Ingredient availability has
expanded so sourcing is much easier
and more exciting. Dan Richer, of
Razza in Jersey City, New Jersey, has
found this to be the key to creating a
unique identity with his pizza.
"Let's move away from buying what
they want and switch to buying what
we want," he says about breaking free
from the paint-by-numbers majority
of the industry. That's the idea behind
movements like These Hands, which
credits pizza makers' personal decisionmaking power in their processes rather
than leaving decisions to the guidelines
of a known style.
Richer also finds inspiration from
communicating with others in the
industry. In the past, events like Pizza
Expo were the only venues for exchanging ideas. Now pizza makers collaborate
over Instagram and Facebook. These
portals into each other's processes have
even transformed home pizza makers into professionals that have taken
the lead in pushing the industry to new
frontiers. Paul Giannone (Paulie Gee's),
Norma Knepp (Norma's Pizza), Will Fain
(Handsome Pizza), Scott Rivera (Scottie's Pizza Parlor), Serhan Ayhan (Boston
Pizza) and Nicole Russell (Last Dragon
Pizza) all learned the craft by researching
online. Now they're gaining success and
leading the way for others to follow in
their paths. Their ability to push boundaries might be easier because of their lack of
experience, not in spite of it.
Nicole Russell taught herself the basics
but made her greatest improvements only
after tapping into the knowledge of other
industry leaders.
"I've had to figure out a lot of things on
my own, but now I'm spending more time
with experts learning about techniques,
grains, cheeses, seasoning and baking
methods. I've even been able to develop
relationships with distributors to access
higher quality ingredients," she says.
What started as virtual communication
transformed into real-world collaboration,
as Russell discovered that established
pizza makers were not only willing, but
5 4 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9

also excited about working together. She's
a fixture at pop-up pizza events produced
by Nino Coniglio (Caputo Cup champion and Chopped winner). Years ago, it
would have been unheard of for a pizzeria
to welcome an outsider into their kitchen,
but now it's seen as an opportunity for
both parties to improve. The concept of
secret recipes doesn't exist in the minds of
modern pizza makers.
FOR THOSE WHO GREW UP IN THE
BUSINESS, THE DECISION TO STRAY FROM
THE NORM is a bit more difficult. Frank
Tuttolomondo faced that very quandary
at his family's pizzeria on New York City's
Upper West Side. "It's a generational
thing," he says of the changing pizza
landscape. "(My parents' generation)
opened pizzerias to make money and feed
their families. Now we can do it to make
the food we want to make." Frank tried
changing the recipe at his family's pizzeria
(Mama's) but customers revolted, so he
left to open his own shop (Mama's Too)
one block away. Rather than be driven by
what he knows will sell, Frank can follow
his instincts to make the pizza he wants to
make. Based on his recent New York Times
review and the resulting lines out the door,
it appears to be working.
On the technical side, new wave pizza
makers are alike in their common obsession with dough. Peter Reinhart

attributes this to the rise of the artisan baking industry. Before writing
books like American Pie: My Search
for the Perfect Pizza and Perfect Pan
Pizza, Reinhart wrote ( James Beard
award winning) books about bread
and taught bread baking at Johnson
and Wales University.
"Bread bakers are making the
same intuitive leap I did because
pizza is bread, so better bread means
better pizza," he says of a clear pattern in the pizza industry.
Reinhart points out that the most
dramatic evidence of the amalgamation of the bread industry into the
pizza world was this year's inclusion
of the International Artisan Bakery
Expo in the floor plan of the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.
He also notes that several leaders of
America's current wave of pizza makers
started in the bread world. Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Mozza), Brian Spangler
(Apizza Scholls), Audrey Kelly (Audrey
Jane's Pizza Garage), Ken Forkish (Ken's
Artisan Pizza), and Anthony Mangieri
(Una Pizza Napoletana) all found their
way into the business after first working
with bread. Those who didn't come from
a bread baking background found their
way to the same conclusion. Anthony
Falco had no experience with bread or
pizza before taking the lead on the pizza
program at Roberta's in Brooklyn. Now
he consults for pizzerias across the planet,
with his central policy being the encouragement of fermentation without use of
commercial yeast.
If there's one characteristic common
among all new wave American pizza
makers, it's that they're concerned with
self-improvement. Whether sourcing
better cheese, experimenting with new
fermentation schedules or testing their
pizza in an unfamiliar oven, the country's
most exciting pizza makers are not trying
to make the best. They're just trying to
beat their last pie. And they're taking
their colleagues along for the ride as they
do it. n
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of Scott's
Pizza Tours in New York City and
SliceOutHunger.org.

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

Pizza Today - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - September 2019

Pizza Today - September 2019
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
@ Pizza Today
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Payment Options
Cheese Blends
Flatbread Pizza
Cauliflower Crust
Raising Wages
Pizza & Pasta Northeast Preview
The New Wave of American Pizza
Pizza Today on the Road: New York City Tour
Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2019 - CT1
Pizza Today - September 2019 - CT2
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today - September 2019
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover2
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Commentary
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 4
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 5
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 6
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 7
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Contributors
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 9
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 11
Pizza Today - September 2019 - @ Pizza Today
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 13
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Conversation
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 15
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 17
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 19
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 21
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 22
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 23
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Destinations
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 25
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Payment Options
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 27
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 28
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 29
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 30
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 31
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cheese Blends
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 33
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 34
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 35
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Flatbread Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 37
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 38
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 39
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cauliflower Crust
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 41
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 42
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 43
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Raising Wages
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 45
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 46
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 47
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast Preview
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 49
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 50
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 51
Pizza Today - September 2019 - The New Wave of American Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 53
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 54
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 55
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today on the Road: New York City Tour
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 57
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 58
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 59
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 60
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 61
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 62
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 63
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 64
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 65
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 66
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 67
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 69
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 70
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 71
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 73
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 74
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 75
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 76
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 77
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 78
Pizza Today - September 2019 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 80
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 81
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 82
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 83
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 84
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 85
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 86
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 87
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 88
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover3
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover4
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