Webisodes
Mozzarella in The Gastro, Webisode #4
Peter Reinhart

This week we conclude our visit to Pizzeria Delfina with a fresh mozzarella lesson from head pizzaiolo Anthony Strong. If you look closely, you'll see Chef Craig Stoll in the background talking with our producers, Brad English and Jeff Michael (Jeff's the tall one with hair, Brad you'll recognize from his photo on our home page). We had so much fun with Craig and Anthony during our visit with them, culminating in this wonderful, warm bath of milky water pulling and creating silky fresh mozzarella balls out of raw cheese curds. I really wanted to just dive into the bowl and bathe in it--you know, a milk bath like in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But take a look at those pizza shots too--everything comes together to create one seriously beautiful and delicious pizza!

We won't be leaving The Gastro completely, as we still have our visit to share with you at the wonderful Tartine Bakery, next door to Pizzeria Delfina, in the coming weeks. But I want to thank both Craig and Anthony for their generosity and fabulous food during our visit with them. The Gastro is a foodie destination site because of them and the energy they've brought to their small block in San Francisco's Mission District.  I heard a rumor that Anthony is now heading up the kitchen in yet another new restaurant in the Craig Stoll empire, around the corner from the pizzeria. As soon as I get more details I'll share them with you. Till then, enjoy this video and try to get Pizzeria Delfina the first chance you get.

 

 
Ice Cream in the Gastro, Webisode #3
Peter Reinhart

 

In this segment, Pizzeria Delfina's head pizzaiolo, Anthony Strong, takes me on a short walking tour of the one block section of San Francisco's Mission District known as The Gastro. We explore the Bi-Rite Market where we eat gourmet chocolate and devour the lightest, flakiest pork rinds (chicharones) I've ever had And then we go across the street to visit with owner Ann Walker at the Bi-Rite Creamery for some truly amazing ice cream, including their famous salted caramel. This flavor is now becoming somewhat standard in fancy ice cream parlors and on restaurant menus, but it all started here, in The Gastro. My two favorite shots in this websiode are of Anthony and me walking up 18th St. (The Gastro is on 18th St., between Guerrero and Valencia Streets), munching on pork rinds with me saying, "If I lived here I'd be eating these everyday and I'd be dead"; and the other is of me, in our Pizza Quest van (we're still working on getting the "Bus") finishing off a pint of salted caramel ice cream moaning that "...it's not fair," by which I meant that it's not fair that I can't eat it everyday for the same reason as the pork rinds--I'd be dead. Yeah, this is the kind of stuff you could die for.

We still have another section of the Gastro to share with you from the Guerrero St. end of the block--one of my all time favorite bakery cafes, Tartine, where we will see one of the greatest loaves of bread in the world (IMHO), and then have a pizza made on that same dough in a home oven. In our next Delfina segment we will be visiting with Anthony Strong again, along with Delfina owner and Executive Chef Craig Stoll, for a lesson in hand pulling mozzarella cheese. But all that is still to come. For now, enjoy The Gastro....

 
Pizzeria Delfina: A Cappucino and Obsession Webisode #2
Peter Reinhart

Craig Stoll (he's the one with the beard) doesn't look like an obsessed mad man, while his head pizzaiolo, Anthony Strong, well, yeah, he does. But they both are obsessed and mad, each in his own way, which is kind of cool because we get to see two sides of the "fire in your belly" drive that can and should take over one's life, giving it a sense of daily purpose. They make a great team and, in this segment, we get a glimpse of their vision and the love they each feel for feeding people and giving them joy and, simply, bringing them to the table around great food in an unpretentious atmosphere. I love Craig's line, "There's beauty in functionality" as he describes the layout of the restaurant. Lot's of thoughtful lines like these, if you listen closely.

We'll continue this exploration with Craig and Anthony in subsequent segments (and see some of their great pizzas and other goodies!), but for now, enjoy our discussion around some energizing cups of cappucino in the relaxed dining room of Pizzeria Delfina.

 

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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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