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New Webisode: Anthony Mangieri, Part 5

Welcome back!

Anthony Mangieri has taken us through his process and his pizza philosophy in the previous webisodes but here we begin to get a taste of why I think of him as the “Chopin of pizza” — a minimalist, in the artistic sense, who finds depth and complexity in simplicity. He works on a very narrow pallet, not the broad styles of other pizza artists featured here, like John Arena and Tony Gemignani who make many styles of pizza, but Anthony dives deep, specifically into the classic Neapolitan/Napoletana style, yet with his own personal ethic and sense of craft. In this segment note his connection and rationale for using only coastal Sicilian olive oil on his pizzas, oregano specifically from Campagna, and only naturally leavened dough. When Anthony first burst on the scene about 20 years ago in his original Una Pizza Napoletana, the notion of using natural leaven (aka sourdough) was almost unheard of in the American pizza scene (and even in Naples, commercial yeast had become the norm), mainly because natural leaven requires an attention to detail and time and temperature that can be problematic for standard operators. Now, fast forward 20 years, naturally leavened pizza dough is emerging across the country as “the greatest new thing.”  We use a quote at our Johnson & Wales University International Symposium on Bread that sums it up: “The future of bread lies in its past.”  Anthony’s pizzas are testament to that reality. Enjoy!   (And we still have a few more webisodes with Anthony to follow during the next few months, so keep checking back.)

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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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