Pizza Quest

40 Episodes
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By: Heritage Radio Network

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 t...

A Conversation with Chris Bianco (Rerun)
#6
Last Sunday at 9:10 PM

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.

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Marc Forgione, From Iron Chef to Peasant
#5
06/13/2022

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...


Ji Hye Kim: Korean Cuisine Re-Imagined in Ann Arbor
#4
06/05/2022

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...


The Zen of Za
#3
05/29/2022

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...


Interview with Alan Cahn, the Transformation-Meister
#2
05/22/2022

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...


More than a Pizza Quest
#1
05/15/2022

We often say that Pizza Quest is more about the quest than it is about the pizza, so in this episode we do just that, as we expand the map of our journey and our celebration of artisanship wherever we find it. Today we welcome fellow Heritage Radio Network host, Lou Bank, of the Agave Road Trip podcast. You'll learn all about how Lou's non-profit organization, s.a.c.r.e.d., supports and celebrates the unknown farmers and distillers of rare, small batch agave spirit beverages in rural Mexico, helping them build village libraries and water systems while...


Peter and the Pizza Expo
#14
04/17/2022

For over 30 years, Expo has been the largest gathering of pizza professionals, enthusiasts, and all-around pizza freaks in the world and has been featured on many television shows and is an indispensable event for independent operators to secure contracts, ingredients, equipment, and (importantly) new ideas. I think of it as a “gathering of the tribe.” Every day during the Expo, over 10,000 people gather in the Las Vegas Convention Center to make deals, swap war stories, and eat great pizza (and now also other baked goods, as The Artisan Bakery Expo has been attached as part of the event). Peter (“Pete”...


Geno from Jersey
#13
04/10/2022

Every day, new pizzerias open everywhere to varying degrees of success. But what is it that causes some of them to immediately burst from the gate and generate excitement and buzz? Geno DiPaolo and his daughter Gena, somehow found that "secret sauce" to make it happen in Charlotte, North Carolina at their Geno D's Pizza. Geno is known by his fans as "Geno from Jersey," and that is definitely part, but not all of the magic. Listen in as Geno and Gena fill us in on what makes New Jersey pizza so special to the many Carolinians who are...


It's About the Quest
#12
04/03/2022

We've invited one of our regular contributors and Pizza Yodi, Brian Spangler (owner of Apizza Scholls in Portland, Oregon), to flip the script and interview this week's guest -- me! I'm here to announce the release of our long-awaited book, "Pizza Quest, My Never-Ending Search for the Perfect Pizza," and to answer Brian's questions about the book. Brian, by the way, is one of 30 contributors to the book, which grew out of the first two seasons of Pizza Quest, and brings the reader over 35 recipes that pay tribute to the many pizza luminaries who appeared on episodes of our...


Dan Richer's Meatball Parm
#11
03/27/2022

One of our producers saw a photo on Instagram of this Meatball Parmesan Sandwich from Razza, Dan Richer’s amazing pizzeria in Jersey City, NJ. Brad was so inspired by the photo that he immediately contacted Dan and asked him if he’d show us how to make it here on Pizza Talk. And, now, here it is (thank you Dan and Brad)! One of the things that really differentiates this sandwich from your average meatball sub is the roll, made from Razza’s own naturally leavened pizza dough. As you will see and hear during this demo, the roll a...


Andris Lagsden and the Pizza Steel
#10
03/20/2022

The Baking Steel has been a game changer in the pizza world and beyond ever since it arrived. It was “invented” by Andris Lagsdin and, in just a few short years, has gone from little known obscurity — a private in-the-know kind of club — to now arriving at a status, just before fully tipping over, known as, “I just heard about this thing and I think I really want one.” In this episode, hear from the inventor himself about how he did it, and watch him make a perfect pizza on the Steel in his home oven. If it is true that “N...


Pizza Quest Man on The Street
#9
03/13/2022

Scott Wiener is, arguably, the most beloved "influencer" in the pizza world. He is a true pizza maven, and knows more about pizza than anyone that any of us know. He turned a college hobby into the hugely successful Scott's Pizza Tours in New York City, and has introduced thousands of visitors to the best pizzerias in the city, while also co-hosting, with pizzaiolo extraordinaire Mark Iacono, his own television series, Really Dough?. Scott also serves as one of the emcees at Pizza Expo, writes monthly articles for all the pizza magazines, and owns the world's largest collection of...


The Stromboli
#8
03/06/2022

Stromboli master and world champion pizzaiolo, Lee Hunzinger, joins Peter and regular contributor and Pizza Yodi, Brian Spangler, for an illuminating session on the crafting of the perfect stromboli. Brian believes that Lee makes the absolute best stromboli he ever had, and requested to be part of this conversation to, like all of us, drink at the well of greatness. You'll hear all about it on this week's episode of Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart.

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King of Fire
#7
02/27/2022

Today’s guest is the embodiment of the old adage: Think globally, but act locally. By that, I mean that Siler Chapman is a world pizza champion, a protege of Tony Gemignani, and is known well beyond the borders of this city, my city, our city, Charlotte, NC, where we both live. As you will learn in this fun conversation, I have been a fan of Siler’s since I moved here 19 years ago, when he was was already a local 20 year old wonder-kid, and have watched him grow and navigate through the joys and challenges of his pizza (and...


International Man of Pizza
#6
02/21/2022

Here at Pizza Talk, we love that Anthony Falco, like Babe Ruth, called his own shot and hit it out of the park. A few years ago, after an illustrious career at Roberta’s and other pizza palaces, he declared himself an “International Pizza Consultant,” and guess what? The consulting opportunities began rolling in. Of course, he could actually walk the talk, so this was no empty boast, and Anthony has been helping improve the quality of pizza across the planet ever since. We will hear all about his journey and also talk about one of his naturally-leavened pizza doughs...


Sourdough is Taking Over the World
#5
02/13/2022

There are a lot of reasons for this, and it goes way beyond flavor. One of the international driving forces of this tidal wave of interest is Vanessa Kimbell, who is the founder, author, and host of TheSourdoughClub.com and Sourdough.co.uk (and three Sourdough School cookbooks). Based in the UK, north of London, Vanessa has a huge following and is an important global influencer and teacher, especially regarding the health and wellness aspects of sourdough fermentation. Her doctoral work is bringing hard evidence to the intuitive sense we all feel that sourdough -- that is, natural wild...


The Pizza Goon Lives!
#4
02/06/2022

John Gutekanst, owner of Avalanche Pizza in Athens, Ohio, whose blog, The Pizza Goon, is only one of his alter egos, is, to my mind, one of the true Rennaissance men of the pizza and culinary community. In this lively conversation and demo, John takes us into his creative process, shares some recipes and culinary history, and gives us a glimpse of his generous spirit and determination to make the world a better place. Where does he get his boundless energy and desire to serve?

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Laura Meyer, The Protege Comes Into Her Own
#3
01/30/2022

Laura Meyer has worked with Tony Genignani for many years and is both a protégé and a prodigy. In this fascinating conversation, Laura talks about her personal journey and the process of finding her own award-winning “voice,” while also helping Tony build one of the most important pizza brands and training programs in the world. Laura is also one of a growing number of women stars in the pizza community (and we’ll be meeting with others in the coming episodes). But, suffice it to say, in a world historically dominated by men, Laura can hold her own as a sta...


Audrey Sherman Kelly, and the Story of Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage in Boulder, Colorado.
#2
01/23/2022

Audrey Sherman Kelly is one of the fastest rising stars in the pizza firmament. She not only makes competition-winning pizzas, but also is a regular contributor to Pizza Today Magazine, and the creator of a grandma pizza, The Patty, that pays tribute to her son’s grandma (yes, Audrey’s mom) with a distinctive sesame seed crust. How does she do it? Audrey tells all in this episode of Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart.

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Nicole Russell’s Last Dragon Pizza; a Classic American Success Story
#1
01/16/2022

When Hurricane Sandy devastated the coastal areas of Queens and Brooklyn, there were many economic victims. But Nicole Russell, who had already lost her job, decided not to be a victim and, instead, started making original pizzas baked in her home oven, and sold them out the back door, like her signature Kiss Mi' Converse Jerk-Chicken Pizza. Thus, Last Dragon Pizza was born. Before long, Nicole had earned a big following and got invited to join a delegation of pizza luminaries to compete in Italy on the world stage in an international competition. There’s a lot more to th...


Dan Richer, “The Best Pizza in New York is Now Made in New Jersey”
#12
12/20/2021

Well before Ed Levine and Pete Wells, in the New York Times, declared Razza in Jersey City as “the best pizza in New York,” Razza’s owner, Dan Richer, appeared on Pizza Quest to discuss how it all happened. Is it the naturally leavened sourdough crust, or the best locally sourced ingredients, or something about the technique, imagination, and passion that drives Dan’s vision? You’ll find out as you join us for Peter’s conversation with Dan Richer on this episode of Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart.

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Philip Korshak — the New Poster Boy of Bagels
#11
12/12/2021

When Philip Korshak last appeared on Pizza Quest he was the general manager of pizza operations at Home Slice Pizza in Austin Texas. Fast forward five years and Phil, after an interim stopover in Minneapolis, is now in the Italian Market section of South Philadelphia, out of the pizza game altogether, and the proprietor of the recently unveiled Korshak’s Bagels, the hottest opening in food crazy Philadelphia in years. At the time of this interview, Phil was still haggling with inspectors and contractors amidst the pandemic drama, and hadn’t yet opened to the public, but when he did...


Pizza Quest has always been about more than pizza
#10
12/06/2021

We like to say that we celebrate artisanship wherever we find it, because artisans are our real community of kindred spirits, of which pizza is but one spoke (albeit, a very large spoke!). But another big spoke is, of course, the bread baking community and, in that branch of our family there is one name that towers above them all, Poilane! Many of you already know that 18 years ago the most famous bread baker in the world, Lionel Poilane, was tragically killed, along with his wife and their dog, in a helicopter crash on the coast of France. At...


A Treat for Martha's Vineyard
#9
11/21/2021

Today on Pizza Talk, we welcome Nina Mae Levin, the founder of Stoney Hill Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard. Our discovery of Nina was due to two previous interviews that we did last year, with Ed Levine and Glenn Roberts, who both live on the Vineyard and who, essentially, told us we had to meet this talented rising star and hear about her life-changing corn and shiitake pizza that had blown both of their minds. So I tracked Nina down just as she and her team were about to wind up their summer season and go into planning for th...


Will Grant and the Emerging Sourdough Pizza Crust Movement
#8
11/14/2021

Will Grant burst on the culinary scene about five years ago when he started winning competitions with pizzas made on his 100% sourdough crust. Will’s starter was cultivated at his pizzeria, That's A Some Pizza, on Bainbridge Island, Washington and is a family multi-generational legacy. Will is one of several pizza influencers, such as Anthony Mangieri, Dan Richer, Anthony Falco, and others whom we've featured here on Pizza Quest, all who are converting others to the use of naturally leavened pizza dough. But Will's been doing it for a longer time than many of the others, even though he's ju...


Luiz Perez and His One-of-a-Kind Peels on Wheels
#7
11/07/2021

Welcome back for another fascinating segment of Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart. This time around we tracked down one of the most unique operations in the country, not because it is a mobile pizzeria, but because of how the owner, Luis Perez, makes it happen using 4 single unit RoccBox ovens mounted into a 3-wheeled Piaggio Ape van in Rochester, NY. It basically looks like a rocket ship -- you’ve got to love it!!

Luis will tell us the whole story and how this crazy operation works. Innovation and creativity -- this story feels like the American Dr...


Modernist Pizza with Nathan Myhrvold
#6
10/31/2021

After the international success of Modernist Cuisine, followed a few years later by the equally impressive Modernist Bread, author/publisher Nathan Myhrvold and his talented team of food geniuses are back with the eye-popping, four-volume boxed set, Modernist Pizza. It has everything you could possibly want to know about pizza and more, accompanied by the always spectacular in-your-face photography for which the Modernist books are known. In this lively conversation, Nathan tells us all about his early days as an assistant to Stephen Hawking, his role as chief technology officer at Microsoft, his work as technical advisor to Steven...


Living the Dream with the Pizza Pilgrims, James and Thom Elliot
#5
10/24/2021

Two Brits walk into a pizzeria… and the rest is history. Brother James and Thom Elliot decided to buy a three-wheeled Piaggio-Ape scooter and travel the world on a quest for the best pizza they could find. They not only wrote a book about their journey but opened three Pizza Pilgrims restaurants in London, where they put everything they learned into practice. Thom Elliot is the spokesman in this episode (though James drops by briefly) and he tells us all about their wild and crazy adventure.

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If...


The Cheese Dude: A Master-Class from Mark Todd, “The Dude”
#4
10/17/2021

Mark Todd lives hidden in the woods along the Russian River in western Sonoma County, where he ferments everything he can get his hands on. But, more importantly, he is also a consultant to many cheese companies and marketing boards because, quite simply, when it comes to cheese, he is The Dude. In this episode he tells us how he became The Dude, and also gives us a master class in the category of cheese called Pasta Filata, which includes mozzarella, This will be the first of an ongoing series of episodes with Mark, in his mission to turn...


A New Era for Olive Oil, with David Garci-Aguirre and Lisa Pollack of Corto Olive Oil
#3
10/10/2021

The best olive oil no longer comes from old trees in romantic olive groves. There is a new art and science emerging, and it promises to revolutionize the olive oil industry across the world. Master miller David (pronounced Daveed) Garci-Aguirre and educator Lisa Pollack, explain how Corto, and other olive oil producers around the world, are applying new knowledge to the most ancient of crafts to create the best olive oil you ever had.

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The Champions of Detroit-Style Pizza: Shawn Randazzo and Jeff Smokevich
#2
10/03/2021

We begin Season Two with a very special bittersweet tribute episode to Shawn Randazzo. Shawn, founder of the Detroit-Style Pizza Company, passed away last year at the far too young age of 44. Together with Jeff Smokevich of Brown Dog and Blue Pan Pizza in Colorado, these two Detroit-born natives were the next generation guys most responsible for inspiring the now ubiquitous Detroit-Style pizza renaissance, following 60 years as Detroit’s little secret. In this extended episode, they tell us all about their parallel journeys and present two demo’s, commenting on each other’s techniques as they show us the differ...


Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Sarah Minnick and the “Best Pizza in America”
#1
09/28/2021

Most pizza operators know that “Best Of” lists are a lot of hype and very subjective (but no one ever turns down being listed, right?). When we interviewed Sarah Minnick, of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty in Portland, Oregon, it was months before the author’s of Modernist Pizza cited Lovely’s as the best pizza in America, but it already seemed like special was going on there. In this episode, Sarah makes us a pizza, explains the Portland food ethic (shades of Portlandia?) and tells us about that crazy name — not too crazy, really, when we learned that her business is...


The Queen of the Zombie Apocalypse
#14
08/15/2021

Professor Athena Aktipis's mission at Arizona State University is to prepare us all for the "zombie apocalypse," which is more than a metaphor to her, and involves lots of dough making and fermentation. This episode will blow your mind!

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The Greatest Guy You Never Knew
#13
08/08/2021

One of the pizza world's best-kept secrets, Leo Spizzirri is a dynamic force of nature. Even though he doesn't have a pizzeria of his own, Leo has trained hundreds of professional and amateur pizza makers, raising their games to greatness. Meet the "greatest guy you never knew."

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The Pizza Yodis Return with Adam Kuban to Make Bar Pizza
#12
08/01/2021

Whether you call it Parlor Pizza, Tavern Pizza, or Bar Pizza, the Yodis are on fire with it and are joined by the guy driving the return to these American pizza classics. They each have their own take on how to make it and share their tips and tricks. Right here.

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It's Never Too Late
#11
07/25/2021

When Paul Giannone decided that he no longer loved his long corporate life, he decided to follow his bliss and start a pizzeria. Fast forward 10 years and Paulie Gee is now the "Legendary Paulie Gee," and is mentoring the next generation of pizza legends. He shares his vision in this illuminating conversation with Peter.

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The Fermento Guru
#10
07/18/2021

Ever since his best-selling, James Beard Award-winning book, The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Katz has been the go-to guy when it comes to all things fermentation. Here, he joins us from his home in the Tennessee mountains to share his passion, as well as some very practical how-to tips for fermenting, well, practically anything.

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When a Great Tomato Meets a Great Crust
#9
07/11/2021

Most listeners now know who Chris Bianco is but fewer know of Rob DiNapoli, who runs one of the finest tomato products companies out of California's Central Valley. In this episode, they share the story of how they met and conceived the Bianco DiNapoli line of organic tomatoes, and what it takes to grow, pack, and bring a premium product like this to market -- and what happens when you can't keep up with the demand.

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Creative Juggernaut
#8
06/27/2021

How does one follow a success story like LaBrea Bread and Pizzeria Mozza? If you are Nancy Silverton, who generates successful new ideas at the speed of light, you keep opening new restaurant concepts and continually test the limits of deliciousness. Join Peter and Nancy for a glimpse into the fertile mind of a creative genius.

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Mike Kurtz, The Hot Honey King
#7
06/20/2021

Another Paulie Gee success spinoff, Mike Kurtz was making pizzas for Paulie in Greenpoint when he showed off the hot honey he'd been developing at home and, before you could blink, Paulie started using it on some of the pizzas, and Mike ramped up production. Now, a few years later, Mike's Hot Honey is everywhere. Hear the whole success story straight from Mike.

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