Join the conversation! Pizza Quest is certainly about pizza, but it’s so much more! It’s an engaging celebration of artisanship in all its shapes and forms. Award winning author Peter Reinhart interviews many of the greatest pizza makers in the world, as well as growers, cheese makers, millers, and food producers of all kinds who all who have one thing in common: an unquenchable drive to experience and express the highest level of excellence in their work, and to share it with their friends, family, and customers. Peter explores the varying journeys that led them to achieve prominence in their fields, and also offers listeners demonstrations of their craft, whether making their signature pizzas, or taking us on an in-depth tasting tour of their olive oil, tomatoes, cheeses, and toppings. As Peter is fond of saying, “It’s more about the quest than the pizza, and the quest never ends.”
What's Good Dough
Three years ago, Eidref Laxa started a podcast in San Jose, California as a way to learn everything he could about pizza so that, maybe, one day he could open his own pizzeria. Over 150 episodes later, "What's Good Dough" has become a goldmine of pizza knowledge, culled from the giants in the industry who have generously shared their knowledge with Eidref, who then shares it with his listeners. In this episode of Pizza Quest, Eidref describes his journey of self-discovery with host Peter Reinhart, including some of the highlight moments of his many interviews with pizza luminaries like Tony Gemignani, John Arena, Dan Richer, Will Grant, and many others, while he continues his own never-ending quest for the perfect pizza.
A Conversation with Chris Bianco (Rerun)
In light of the new announcements of James Beard awards, we would like to congratulate Chris Bianco (Outstanding Restauranteur) and post again our conversation with Chris Bianco. Congratulations Chris: Chris is rightfully acclaimed as the poster boy of the artisan pizza movement. Not only is he an important and unfiltered thought leader in the realm of sustainability and right action, but his pizzas represent the benchmark to which all others aspire. Today we take a deep dive into the mind and heart of Chris Bianco of Pizzeria and Pane Bianco.
Marc Forgione, From Iron Chef to Peasant
Once upon a time, in New York City 1999, there was a restaurant created by Chef Frank DeCarlo, built around a wood-fired oven, called Peasant. Who knew then that this now iconic place would foreshadow a movement toward cooking with wood that has embedded itself throughout our food culture? Chef Marc Forgione, a friend of DeCarlo's and a regular at Peasant, was on his own culinary journey back then that included working for his father, the legendary Larry Forgione, at An American Place, and then on to France, apprenticing with the Michelen-starred Michel Guerard, then back in the states with Laurent Tourondel (think BLT Prime), and Patricia Yeo -- legends all. Marc then won the Next Iron Chef competition and appeared on the series, competing with mystery ingredients in the moment, in the deep-end, against talented challengers, honing his culinary improvisatory skills that he then manifested at Restaurant Marc Forgione, American Cut, and now, at Peasant, when Frank DeCarlo retired and handed his old friend the baton. You'll hear all about Marc's journey of finding and discovering his unique culinary voice in this latest episode of Pizza Quest.
Ji Hye Kim: Korean Cuisine Re-Imagined in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor is one of the great college towns in the country, but it is equally revered in the food world as the home of Zingerman's, the destination deli and bakehouse that has become a benchmark brand, the Zabar's of the mid-west, if I might be so bold. But it is also a wonderful restaurant incubator via their "Community of Businesses," as witnessed by Miss Kim, a landmark restaurant operated by Chef Ji Hye Kim, where traditional Korean dishes are reimagined using local, seasonal, mid-western ingredients. As with all success stories, there is a long, interesting back story, including Ji Hye's days growing up in Seoul learning all about kimchee and other food traditions from her mom, then the family's immigration to New Jersey, Ji's college years at the University of Michigan studying political science and economics, then a career in food service -- all before finding her way back to Zingerman's, where she operated an in-house street food cart for 4 years called San Street. And then came Miss Kim, along with national accolades and suddenly "being discovered" beyond Ann Arbor on the national stage. You'll hear all about Ji Hye Kim's inspirational journey and her culinary vision on this week's episode of Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart.
The Zen of Za
Tommy Garnick is known and loved throughout the pizza world as the Grand Champion of the 2019 California Milk Board Pizza Competition and as the former owner of Brava Pizza in Denver and as an instructor at The Fire Within Wood-Fired University. More recently, however, Tommy has relocated to Tucson, Arizona, where he and his partners are building a multi-purpose artisan culinary and crafts center, including a showcase for some of the most beautiful kiln-fired tiles from all over the country. This is a major work in progress for Tommy, and, in this episode, he takes us on a tour of what he's creating out there on the edge of the desert and talks about the compelling vision that drives him forward. And, of course, we talk about his prize-winning pizza too -- how could we not?
Interview with Alan Cahn, the Transformation-Meister
Alan Cahn is one of my oldest and dearest friends -- a brother from another mother, as the saying goes. He is also a transformation-meister, who has dedicated his life to helping others achieve their highest aspirations and self-discovery. We started out in food together, as part of a restaurant collective in Boston 51 years ago, and each followed our personal quests as the road unfolded for us, yet never lost contact as we shared our latest discoveries with each other. You'll hear all about that, as well as Alan's sage guidance for those wanting to raise their own game to the highest levels of excellence, in this new episode of Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart.