We have now arrived at the final segment of the Pizzeria Mozza webisode series, gathered around a table filled with beautiful pizzas, with Nancy Silverton, and food writers Russ Parsons and Kristine Kidd. I love this segment because we were able to talk about food memories that rocked our world, as well as changing Russ's mind about the efficacy of Hawaiian pizza --or at least Nancy's Hawaiian pizza--as you will see. And of course, we have the wonderful closing
moment, which you first saw on the Pizza ad Obsession video, where I announce to everyone that we're looking for people who want to get on the "bus" with us in our quest and they all said, "We're on the bus!" That moment epitomizes what Pizza Quest is all about, our mutual yearning and passion, so I'm glad we could share it with you.
Nancy and her team at Pizzeria Mozza could not have been more generous with their time and sharing of their vision. This first stop in our quest for perfect, memorable pizza, really set the bar high for all subsequent stops, and definitely helps us establish for you, our fellow pizza-questers, the benchmarks for this journey. From the dough, thoughtfully formulated and produced at La Brea Bakery, to all the creative toppings and oven decisions shown by Matt Molina and Nancy, what we especially learned at Pizzeria Mozza is that simple food can be deeply complex in its ideation. It can also be lots of fun, as it should be. They may take their pizza seriously at Mozza but they don't take themselves too seriously--most of the people we know who eat there love going, not just for the food but because it's welcoming. As we've noted in many postings throughout this site, pizza is just the hook, the excuse, the lens into something deeper and more meaningful and, most importantly, joyful.
Next week we begin our trek up the coast, beginning in San Francisco at Pizzeria Delfina located in the self-named "Gastro District," and later we'll travel to Cuyucos in the Central Coast region where we visited the sweet and wonderful Cass House Inn, Rudell's Smokehouse, and the Brown Butter Cookie Store (with a detour to the fabulous Taco Temple!), and then back to the San Francisco Bay Area and deep into the heart of tomato country with the growers of some of the finest sauce tomatoes in America -- and the world. Don't freak out all you San Marzano freaks--they're awesome too (perhaps beyond awesome -- at least the authentic ones and not the counterfeits that have slipped in) -- but Stanislaus has their act together, as some of the best pizzerias in North America already know. And, we got to shake some off the vines during harvest season!
So, thank you all for hanging in there over these past two months during our kickoff series at Pizzeria Mozza, but there's plenty more to come -- the quest is still just beginning….