Peter's Blog
Peter's Blog, May 17th, 2011
Peter Reinhart

Hi Everyone,

Below, you will find the second part of Chef Jensen Lorenzen's reflections and blog report following his trip to Italy and the Terra Madra gathering last fall (Part One is located in Peter's Blog posted May 10th, located below). I think his ethic and commitment to authenticity and flavor is a wonderful example of what Pizza Quest --emphasis on "Quest" -- is all about. It also reflects what I see as a national awakening to the values of respecting the ingredients, and for appreciation and stewardship of the land. These are among the values that reflect our own mission here at Pizza Quest, as we say at the top of the page, "A journey of self discovery." Jenson's words are a wonderful example of self discovery as it happens.  In a few weeks we'll be showing you some webisodes filmed at The Cass House Inn, where Jenson and his wife Grace have created a sweet and delicious getaway along California's Central Coast, where they manifest their ongoing self discovery every day for their guests. Check out their blog for more of these thoughtful postings, as well as beautiful photos:

Before we read about Italy, though, a quick report on my recent visit to Boulder, where we filmed more footage with Chef Kelly Whitaker and his creative team as they prepared to stage a beer and food pairing at Pizzeria Basta. We not only got some great instructional footage regarding the elements that go into proper pairing of food and beer (or wine), but also filmed a round table discussion with brewmeister extraordinaire, Patrick Rue, of the famous The Bruery, in Southern California, whose beer was being paired with Kelly's food. Lots of interesting things happened that will show up on future PQ webisodes, so I won't say too much now but, when all the details are ironed out and we've had a chance to review and edit the footage we'll post the webisodes for you to enjoy. For now all I can say is that some great pizzas are going to come out of this gathering with Kelly and Patrick, and you will ultimately be the beneficiaries. More on this later....

Now, here's Part Two of Jensen Lorenzen's reflections, inspired by his trip to Italy:

...We too, can be conduits of our land. We should take pride in our local products. My Caviar is

Peter's Blog: May 10, 2011
Peter Reinhart

Hi Everyone,

I'm headed on the road for an exciting new Pizza Quest adventure. I can't say where yet, but I do promise to report on it as soon as I get back. In the meantime, I want to share with you a blog posting from our friend Chef Jensen Lorenzen of The Cass House Inn in Cayucos, California. This was originally posted on his Cass House Inn blog site:

We'll be featuring some "delicious" webisodes from The Cass House Inn in a few weeks, but I thought the journal entry that Jensen put up on his own blog about the recent trip he and his wife Grace took to Italy for the annual Slow Food Terra Madre Festival, offers us a brilliant summary of all that Pizza Quest is about too, as we seek to celebrate not just pizza but artisans and artisanship of all types. So, with his permission, I'm going to publish this week and next, Jensen's post in 2 parts. Please visit The Cass House blog posting to view more extraordinary photos of his trip and other great blog entries.

So, here is Part One--enjoy!

Our Culinary Adventures in Italy, and Our Return Home

Before we went to Italy we decided it should be our goal to return with authentic recipes that we could recreate in our "Italian Dinner Series" at the restaurant.  During the first night of service I realized something interesting.  Between myself, our sous chef, garde manger, and chef di partie, we have behind us more than 25 years of experience with Italian food cookery. This was an amusing thought as we struggled to twist tajarin just right for one of our pasta offerings that night.  For what ever reason, we had all

Peter's Blog, May 3, 2011
Peter Reinhart

I have to go to a meeting in a few minutes but before I do I wanted to get this info to you regarding how to order sprouted wheat flour directly from Lindley Mills. I spoke with Joe Lindley yesterday and he said, "Just have them call us here at (336) 376-6190 and we'll work out a way to send it to them."

The mill is located in Graham, NC, near Chapel Hill, so shipping will probably be costly for cross country orders but at least you can get it while waiting for supplies to grow enough so you can buy it off the shelf (I think that may take a while -- only a few people even know about it at this point, and they are mainly the folks who read this blog). Joe said the cost of the flour will vary from week to week depending on how wheat prices fluctuate. They can send out 2 pound bags and maybe even larger ones when you talk to them. For more details on the sprouted wheat flour, read my report on the Asheville Brea Festival a few weeks back (scroll down the home page or simply go to the Peter's Blog page).

I'll be back later today with my report on the Charlotte Gluten Free Expo....

Hey, I'm back with Part Two:


On Saturday, April 30th, I attended the Second Annual Charlotte Gluten-Free Expo. In addition to presenting a cooking demonstration featuring a recipe from the upcoming gluten-free book I'm working on, I also had a chance to sit in on some fascinating educational sessions and, best of all, to taste lots and lots of new products. Last year about 400 people came to the festival (another 100 were turned away due to a lack of space), which was held on our campus at Johnson & Wales University. This year, the organizers moved the event to a local conference hotel and, sure enough, about 1,200 people showed up. Folks, we're talking about a serious growth industry here.

Peter's Blog, April 26--Top 50 Pizza Blogs
Peter Reinhart

I knew pizza was a hot subject but we recently received a note from the folks at the California Culinary Schools website telling us about their top 50 pizza blogs. We're happy to have made that list, considering we've only been up and running for three months and probably were just getting started when they started working on it. But I want to congratulate all the blogs and websites who got listed. As I looked it over I discovered quite a few that I never knew existed, so this list can now serve as a supplement to our own "Sites We Like" section. Many of the blogs on the list focus on the personal pizza quest of the various hosts, which confirms our hunch here at that the notion of quest is a powerful drive in so many of us, and we're glad to know there so many of "us" out there.

A special congrats to Albert Grande at one of my favorite sites,, who was one of the first to translate his pizza passion into a website and blog that is now beloved by so many. So here's a shout out to you, Albert, as well as to all the others who made the top 50 list (you'll find us down in the "P" section), and to how many ways you each express your love for pizza and for the quest. One thing this list made me wonder is, if there is a top 50, just how many more pizza blogs and websites are there out there? Is this top 50 just the tip of the pizza freak iceberg?

You can find the full list at: and I hope you'll visit as many as you can. I have a feeling we're going to need a bigger bus.....

Asheville Bread Festival, Part Two
Peter Reinhart

In my last post I wrote about the sprouted wheat flour brought to the festival by Joe Lindley. Pictured here is the breakfast focaccia I made with that flour, along with a whole lot of golden raisins and dried cranberries, glazed with a citrus fondant flavored with orange essence (I put on the glaze after this photo was shot). It was, in a word, delicious!  I'll post the recipe next week, after I contact Joe Lindley to find out how you can get some of this amazing flour.  I can't promise he'll be able to mail it to you (he hinted at the festival that it might be possible) but I'll find out and let you know.

However, the festival featured a lot more than the unveiling of this flour.

Report from Asheville, Part One
Peter Reinhart

On Saturday, April 2nd, I attended the seventh annual Asheville Bread Festival. I've been attending since the very beginning, haven't missed a one, and each year it gets better and better and more people show up from all over the country. The format has been that the first few hours are held at Green Life Grocery (now owned by Whole Foods), where local bakers display and sell their breads to the public (by local, I mean from as far away as Chapel Hill to the east and Knoxville, Tennessee to the west--about a 150 mile radius). Mark Witt, who many of you know as the host of the website and also the webmaster for the recipe testing site for my upcoming book, even came from Cleveland and set up a booth selling baking tools such as linen couches, instructional videos, and plastic dough scrapers. At 12 noon, the focus shifted to various off-site demos and presentations all around Asheville, including the new flour mill project that I blogged about here a few weeks ago, and a number of classes by world famous bakers Didier Rosada and Lionel Vatinet and others, as well as a demo by me and Joe Lindley, owner of Lindley Mills. The classes went on till about 4 PM and were all filled to the max; we had about 150 attendees at ours, which was a new record against any of my previous classes at the festival. I'll be posting a photo gallery later this week, as soon as I have a chance to upload them from my camera (I'm very inept at those kind of simple tech things) and will have more commentary next week in this space, but I'd like to focus this week on the topic of my presentation because we introduced a new kind of flour that has me very excited about the future of whole grain baking: sprouted wheat flour.

I made two doughs in advance of the festival, on Thursday actually, and brought them with me on Saturday to Asheville, which is two hours northwest of Charlotte. Just prior to the demo we baked




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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

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American Pie Artisan Breads Every Day Bread Baker's Apprentice Brother Juniper's Bread Book Crust and Crumb Whole Grain Breads

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