Guest Bloggers
A Third Place
Joseph Pergolizzi


I've been thinking a lot lately about something called Third Places because, in these challenging times, it's so hard to make real connections with real people. Our homes are being built closer together while our family schedules have caused us to live further apart. In our quest to become more efficient at work we now have even more work to do yet less time to do it in effectively. It seems to me that there is an incredible personal and communal imbalance taking its toll on our primal need to connect with others outside of home and work. That's why I think there's a vital need for people to invest more time in meeting one another in a “Third Place.”

So what is a Third Place?

The Third Place is a term used to describe a social environment that promotes the growth of community. It’s typically a free place to gather and socialize and often involves food, music, entertainment and conversation. If home is the First Place and the Second Place is the office, then the Third Place is a venue to form meaningful encounters and connections beyond our family life and our careers. In the past, examples of this type of “place” were town squares, bowling alleys,

 
Passing the Baton
Peter Reinhart

 

Hi Everyone,

This week we offer you the second in a weekly series of essays by the Pizza Quest Contributors (last week I got the ball rolling with an essay on food carts, but now I'm passing the baton to our esteemed group of contributors). This week, we'll be hearing from world champion pizzaiolo, Tony Gemignani, of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. We have some great footage of Tony (and a few snippets of him on our Pizza and Obsession webisode), so you will get to know him in more depth as the weeks go by. But this is a rare opportunity to see his thoughts in writing, even though I know he prefers to express himself though his pizzas. Just click on the Guest Columns button. For more on Tony, and a link to his website, visit our Contributors section.  I hope this will stimulate some serious discussion, so feel free to hit the Comments button and keep the conversation going.

 

 
Respect the Craft
Tony Gemignani

Respect The Craft

Respect the CraftSo many things about pizza run through my mind each day, but lately, I’ve been thinking about pizza as a craft.  I laugh when I see people, writers, critics, or bloggers comparing pizzas from different pizzerias when I believe that they should be celebrating pizza in it’s entirety. In the restaurant business we call it the uneducated palate. Understanding all the details of different styles is so very important. From the oven, to the flour, to the cheese and the tomato’s, each style varies. The transformation of these ingredients into the pizzas we bring to your plate is something all serious pizzaiolos are proud of and cherish.  If you were to compare Chris Bianco to Anthony Mangieri, or Brian Spangler to Ken Forkish, or Ed Ladou to me-- it doesn’t make sense because each of us make pizzas for us and for our customers.  The difference in the styles cannot really be compared, only celebrated. I can appreciate a deep dish from Malnati’s, or a slice from Joe’s, or an artisan pizza from Franny’s because they are all great in their own way. When people understand and celebrate the style a light goes off and we become receptive. This receptivity allows us to adapt and enjoy without becoming judgmental. At the level of craft it’s all good but respecting the craft is far from common these highly opinionated days.

I understand that we all have our favorites but the vision of each pizzaiolo, regardless of the style,

 
What I’m Thinking About These Days
Peter Reinhart

This is the first in what promises to be an exciting feature on PizzaQuest.com, a series of short personal essays and thought pieces, by many of the people featured in our video webisodes, as well as from other thought leaders in the world of artisanship, culinary and other. These essays are not promotions of the various businesses of the writers but, rather, a peek inside the passion and vision that drives these talented people, what’s burning inside of them, as well as what may be burning inside of you. We’re calling this section Guest Columns but I call it, “What I’m Thinking About These Days.” These essays are just the starting point for ongoing discussion—we want your comments and we’d love for you to engage each other in serious, thoughtful conversation. It’s all part of the quest….

So, to get the ball rolling, in advance of future essays from our special group of contributors, I’ll kick off. Here’s what I’m thinking about these days: food carts!

 

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