Pizza Quest Globe

New Webisode, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, Part 1

I’m on my way to Denver as you read this, and am planning to have dinner at Racca’s, one of the most highly praised pizzerias in town. Had I not run into Mark Dym, the owner and patron of Racca’s, in NYC at the World Pizza Summit a few months ago, I would not have discovered that I’d already eaten at Racca’s a couple of years ago, except it was then called Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza. “Yes,” he told me, ” I changed the name to Racca’s last year and we’ve really put our focus on the authentic Neapolitan style.”

Mark (oh yeah, I get it now, “Marco”) is now one of the leading voices in the growing nationwide community of wood-fired Neapolitan pizzerias (what I often refer to as Napoletana-style to distinguish it from American-style Neapolitan, which can mean almost anything). Amazingly, we had three webisodes in our vault, waiting to be shown, from the time back then, when our Pizza Quest crew discovered Marco’s and met Samantha Monterossa, Mark’s daughter, who gave us a great tour, as you will see. I didn’t get to meet Mark then, and to connect the dots, until the recent Summit and, again quite fortuitously, the segments we shot at Marco’s were due for posting beginning this week, just as I head back to Denver to film a new course on artisan bread baking for So, as you read this, I’m enjoying pizza at the newly christened Racca’s (where I promise to find out what that name actually means), and will show Mark and Samantha their webisode for the first time.

In this segment you’ll get a glimpse of the fantastic “leoparding” their VPN pizzas get from their wood-fired (not coal) oven. They do (or did) have a second oven that was coal-fired so, while I’m there I’ll find out if they’re still using coal in that one and what other changes they’ve made since our last visit. I’ll report all that back to you in the next installment in a few weeks, so keep checking back. In the meantime, enjoy Marco’s Coal-Fired, nee Racca’s pizza and, if you happen to be in Denver on Monday evening (May 9th) at 6 PM, come over to our table and say hi.

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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.

Peter’s Books

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

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