In Pizza, I realized I have thirty years in and thirty more to do, but it wasn’t till the last seven years that I have dedicated myself completely to thestudy of this great craft. It started on a trip to a few tomato farms in Modesto, California and Commune di San Marzano, Italy. Seeing first first hand the quality and dedication farmers and family owned canneries have in bringing a superior quality tomato to the pizza maker was astonishing. My mission for a complete education on pizza continued with some good fortune that was bestowed on me when I was invited to particitpate on a Food Network program about pizza. During the trip we visited cow pastures in Caserta, Italy. This is where I found artisan cheese makers who shared the same passion for their industry as I do for mine. It made me want to learn more about other ingredients that I was using. During my travels I met a very tall Italian guy from Venice named Ricardo Aggugiaro.
He and his wonderful family invited me to Padova, Italy to visit their flour plant (5 Stagioni). To my surprise, I learned that the wheat in Italy was inferior to ours, and even ours isn’t the best. The best comes from the Praire Province of Manitoba Canada, Ricardo and many American companies buy a lot of their wheat to blend with their own domestically grown product. I learned that great flour comes not only from superior wheat, but blending and the refining of the wheat kernel is just as important. My quest took me to several regions of Italy, South America and California. I began studying with and under the most respected pizza makers in the world, mastering theory and practical technique in every facet of pizza making.
Over the years I have made pizza on three continents, and worked in the most famous pizzerias in the entire world. After many long and truly amazing experiences, I co-founded the International School of Pizza in 2008, with my good friend and mentor Tony Gemignani. The school is backed by the oldest, most respected pizza school in the world Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli (Caorle, Italy) Chef’s from around the world come for certifications in different styles of pizza making.