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Peter’s Blog: The Quest Never Ends

Written By Peter Reinhart
Sunday, 19 January 2020 Peter's Blog

Hi Again,

I’m headed to Texas, beginning with a pan pizza class at the Central Market Cooking School in San Antonio on Tuesday (Jan. 21), followed by the Central Market schools in Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas on the succeeding days. I think the classes are all sold out, though you can call the respective schools if you’re just hearing about it now — there could be a waiting list opening. However, this post is not about selling seats, but to follow-up on my previous post about deepening our focus on the “Quest” part of Pizza Quest.

Peter at the photo shoot for his book, “Perfect Pan Pizza”

The sub-title of our website is, “A journey of self-discovery through pizza.”  We also say (if you look at the Vision Statement in the right column on the home page), “Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the celebration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza.”  There’s more written there, so I hope you’ll take a fresh look at our Vision Statement and write to me if you’d like to contribute to this exploration (write to me at peter@pizzaquest.com).

During the past 8 years we’ve profiled a large number of serious artisans of all types, and posted their own recollections of their journeys as well as recipes, videos, and interviews. I think one of the many things these folks have in common with our Pizza Quest team is a burning desire to discover a deeper purpose in their work, whether as pizza makers, farmers, millers, barbecue, mezcal mavens, wine, cheese, teachers, business operators — you name it. In this regard, every pursuit, not just pizza or bread baking, is a potential opportunity that exists on at least four levels of meaning: the literal, the metaphorical, the philosophical/metaphysical/ethical, and finally and most deeply, at the mystical ephemeral level. Everything is, or can be, a window into a deeper reality, an icon in its original and truest sense of the word, into the mind of the Creator and Creation — into the depths of our soul. But it doesn’t just open up because we identify or put words to it; it comes from a genuine search, a quest that may take years, probably our entire lifetime, and isn’t always fun even when it’s fulfilling. It takes brutal self-reflection and honesty and, more than anything, resilience. I believe that if you are reading this and have hung in there to this point, then you probably know what I mean and resonate with it. Each of us lives a life steeped in the Quest, and I’d like to help you articulate yours in these posts if you’d like me to. Not everyone is a born writer or knows how to properly structure an essay or a memoir, but we all have something to say and I’d love to help you to say it. Write to me at Peter@pizzaquest.com and let’s start an exchange. Together we’ll figure out the best way to share your Quest on these pages and, I believe, once we start posting one or two we’ll start hearing from a lot of others.

In the meantime, say hi this week if you’re in any of the Texas cities I cited above, look for me at the Pizza Expo in March, and, most of all, write to me to get the ball rolling. And, as we often say here: may your pizzas all be perfect and your quest never end!

PS Meanwhile, enjoy this gallery of just a few of the passionate “Questors” we’ve featured or interviewed on this site.

Our favorite pizza guide, Scott Wiener, in front of a very cool photo at the Modernist Cuisine Gallery.

Jonathan Goldsmith, of Spacca Napoli, in the early stages of “pizza con pulpo.”

Alex Manzo and Massimiliano Saieva, Roman Pizza masters.

Francisco Migoya, author of the 5-volume “Modernist Bread,” and the soon to come “Modernist Pizza”

The great pizza mentors John Arena and Tony Gemignani with me at Pizza Expo

With the great Nancy Silverton at Pizzeria Mozza

At Expo with world pizza champions Siler Chapman, Tony Gemignani, and Michael Shepherd.

Will Grant, sourdough pizza master.

With Joe Beddia, of Pizzeria Beddia and author of the new book, “Pizza Camp.”

The legendary Chris Bianco.

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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 Amazon.com