Pizza Quest Globe

Basta — A Beginning

Written By Peter Reinhart
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 Webisodes

We are beginning with this posting of a new webisode story arc featuring our friends at Basta, the wonderful wood-fired restaurant in Boulder that we’ve featured here in the past. This short opening segment re-introduces you to Kelly Whitaker, the visionary chef/owner of Basta and, in later segments we’ll meet other members of his team and then, over time, we’ll follow his trail all the way to Southern California and back again to Denver at the Great American Beer Festival where Kelly and I teamed up to make an original, unique pizza, matched in kind by Patrick Rue and his Bruery team making a one of kind beer brewed to pair with our pizza.

It all begins with a cup of espresso, as Kelly starts each day with his morning ritual and, as you will see over the next number of months, leads us into all sorts of wonderful culinary adventures. Basta (and, in later segments, the Bruery) are featured here not because they are the only great restaurants and breweries doing amazing things but because they both represent and are signifiers of a growing movement of artisans who are pushing the envelope in search of great flavors.  I often refer to pizza as “the perfect flavor delivery system” but beer makers, cheese makers, bakers and chefs working in every medium feel that way about their own products. It’s always about delivering flavor and, with that flavor, comes something else, an opening up of our minds, hearts, and souls into a larger, greater world of possibility. Pizza Quest is, as we say at the top of the page, “a journey of self-discovery through pizza” and we don’t take that promise lightly. Our video webisodes set out to explore that journey, often starting with pizza, because it is such a perfect flavor delivery system as well as the perfect metaphor, and then we follow it, like breadcrumbs (yet another metaphor — forgive me!!) wherever it leads. That’s how we end up meeting so many visionaries, people like Kelly, who many of you already know from earlier webisodes we’ve posted. But you will now get to know him in a new and deeper way as we explore, with him and his colleagues, the fire that burns in their bellies, the compelling vision that drives them to do extraordinary things.  In so doing, we hope to inspire all of our viewers to tap into their own vision, or at least to vicariously share our vision as it leads to and connects with your own. For Kelly (as for so many of us), it begins with his morning Joe-spresso — but the fun really starts when we follow the bread crumb trail from the coffee, through the pizza and beer, and then into the deeper vision that drives it all.


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Vision Statement

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.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on