December 2010
No. 22; Special Edition:
Pizza Quest!
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Happy holidays! On behalf of the Forno Bravo team, I hope you enjoy some special visits with family and friends over the coming weeks – even better if that time is spent around a wood-fired oven!

The end of the year offers time for reflection, and I am thankful for the wood-fired community that has grown around Forno Bravo since 2003. You make our work extremely fun and worthwhile. We hope to continue spreading the joy that is wood-fired cooking for years to come.

This December newsletter is a special one. For a while now, Forno Bravo has been working with award-winning cookbook author and acclaimed baker/instructor Peter Reinhart on a labor of love called “Pizza Quest: A Journey of Self-Discovery Through Pizza.” The bulk of this newsletter is dedicated to introducing you to the Pizza Quest project and our new website.

Co-produced by Forno Bravo and hosted on, Pizza explores artisanship in all forms, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza—we think you’ll be excited about what you’ll find. The Internet is the perfect media to deliver Peter’s passion for pizza and the artisan food movement.

Finally, there are some quick Forno Bravo updates on the right.

Happy holidays, happy cooking, and best wishes for a lovely 2011!

— James

Introducing Pizza Quest!

Two years in the making, we are delighted to announce the launch of Pizza—a co-production of Pizza Quest and Forno Bravo. As the name implies, the Pizza Quest project began with the idea of searching for the perfect pizza, documenting our travels along the way and featuring the people behind the pizza.

Quickly, we 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 Pizza Quest endeavors to discover, and we invite you to “jump on the proverbial bus” and join us on this, our never-ending pizza quest.

Peter Reinhart is Pizza Quest’s host and narrator. Here, he introduces Pizza Quest and explains what to expect on the site:

“Every week, we'll be posting ‘webisode’ segments to give you a taste of our search for the perfect pizza and to introduce you to some of the interesting people we've met along the way. The webisodes are also being edited for later use as a 13-part television series, currently in development.

“Not all of the webisodes will be about pizza, as we met many artisans who are only indirectly related to pizza ... and some who have nothing at all to do with pizza but who share that same obsessive intensity, a fire in their bellies, that we found among pizza freaks.

“In addition to the webisodes, we'll post instructional videos and thoughtful articles from friends and noteworthy contributors. [See below for more on these sections.] There is also a member blog section where all of us can interact and share our obsessions.

“This site is about more than pizza (but certainly it is about pizza!), but also what pizza represents about us, about the world, and how similar a quest for the perfect pizza is to a quest for quality of all kinds.

“We use the word artisanship to define that level of quality, and we plan to explore artisanship of all types, yes, through the lens of pizza, but also for its value in our personal journeys of self-discovery.”

— Peter Reinhart

Watch: Pizza Quest Intro Webisode – Pizza and Obsession

New Pizza Quest Feature: Instructionals

In the Pizza Quest instructionals section, you’ll find recipes and instructional videos. Site visitors can comment and share thoughts or questions regarding the featured recipes, as well tips and tricks of their own.

Considering the collective knowledge and wisdom of the Pizza Quest community, this should be an exciting and dynamic section. We'll keep adding new video pieces as we get them edited, so check back from time to time to see the latest.

Our hope is to inspire you to create your own amazing pizzas (and not just pizza, as we'll be showing some other great dishes, too).

The first video instructional features Joseph Pergolizzi of The Fire Within cooking up a ricotta-parmesan pizza. Mouth-watering! (We love the special ingredients he picks – literally! – right before cooking.)

Watch: Ricotta-Parmesan Pizza Instructional

Pizza Quest Feature: Guest Columns

Another exciting part of the Pizza Quest website is the guest columns section. This section will grow to include a series of short personal essays and thought pieces, written by many of the people featured in the video webisodes, as well as other thought leaders in the artisanship and culinary world.

These essays offer 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.

Officially, we’re calling this section “guest columns,” but Peter calls it the “What I’m Thinking About These Days” section.

To kick things off, the first guest column, written by none other than Mr. Reinhart, focuses on the food cart trend. We hope you’ll read his thoughts on this topic, and share some of your own!

Read: What I’m Thinking About These Days: Introduction and Food Carts