Webisode Intro #1: Pizza and Obsession
Hi everyone, I’m Peter Reinhart, your Pizza Quest guide, and this is our first ever webisode. We’re going to leave this opening segment on the front page for all newcomers to the site, but please feel free to navigate over to the Webisode page if you really want to catch up on all the webisode segments.
We’ll continue posting additional webisodes that will take us to some of the stops our traveling team of pizza freaks made on our inaugural quest. With each posting I’ll provide a short written introduction to set the stage and bring you “onto the bus” with us. As new webisodes are posted we’ll retire earlier webisodes to the “webisodes” section, where you can watch them all as often as you like (as the numbers grow, some may be listed at the bottom of the page as archived, but they will all be available at all times). We encourage you to share them with your friends and even import them to your own blogs or sites. We know there are a lot of fellow pizza freaks out there and we’re happy to have them all come along on the journey, which promises to be a long, fun ride. We set out on a search for the perfect pizza but, as you will see, we discovered a lot more than we ever imagined.
This opening webisode is kind of a highlight reel of a few of our first stops, just to give you a taste of what this quest is all about. Here are some of the people you will see in this video:
- Pizzeria Mozza: You’ll see Nancy Silverton, of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles (along with Russ Parsons of the LA Times and Kristine Kidd of Bon Appetite Magazine, fellow questors who joined us at Mozza for an interesting conversation on all things pizza—we’ll have more of that conversation in a future webisode)
- Tony’s Pizzeria Napoletana: Tony Gemignani, world Margherita pizza champion who had just opened his new pizzeria in San Francisco — Tony is also the many time world champion for acrobatic dough tossing and you may have seen him on The Tonight Show or during a competition where he was pretty much unbeatable. In a future webisode he’ll give me a quick lesson on how to do some fancy tossing and will also take us on a tour of the fields near Modesto where they grow the tomatoes that he uses at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana)
- Pizzeria Delfina: James Beard Award winning chef Craig Stoll and his head pizzaiolo, Anthony Strong, who have helped reinvent their small section of San Francisco’s Mission District into what is now called, “The Gastro.” Anthony will take me on a mini-tour of the Gastro in a future webisode.
- Tartine Bakery: Eric Wolfinger who, as a baker at the award winning Tartine Bakery, right next door to Pizzeria Delfina, made one of the best loaves of bread I ever tasted (I wrote about that loaf in my book, Artisan Breads Everyday). In a future webisode he’ll take us to his apartment, just upstairs from the bakery, and make us a pizza in his own oven on that same amazing dough
- The Cass House Inn: We’ll also make a stop in the town of Cayucos, in California’s scenic Central Coast, where we bought smoked fish at Jim Ruddell’s Smokehouse and turned it into fabulous pizzas at The Cass House Inn with rising star chef Jensen Lorenzen, who has a passion and talent for creating amazing flavors from locally produced ingredients, including some from his own garden.
- The Taco Temple: Along the way we made a quick stop at the famous Taco Temple in Morro Bay where we just had to have one of their incredible sea scallop tacos. As you’ll see, it’s not always about pizza—it’s about the quest!
You never know where the quest will lead, as we quickly found out. But the common thread in all of these stops was a shared intense passion for quality; a passion that bordered on, no it totally crossed over, into obsession.
So, this first webisode segment is like a coming attraction trailer, designed to wet your appetite for what’s to come. We call it, for reasons that you will immediately understand when you watch it, Pizza and Obsession.
Welcome to the Quest!
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Pizza Quest Info
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.
...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on Amazon.com