This Friday, August 1, if you order a medium pizza from Spak Brothers pizza you’ll receive a limited edition pizza box with a screen print by one of four Common Wealth Press artists: Mark Bogacki, Everyday Balloons, Dan Rugh, and Keith Caves.
Pizza boxes are unique and the perfect canvas to paint on. Your art reaches nearly everyone, and it provides some joy to the pizza enthusiasts who has something nice to look at in their passenger seat as they drive home to live out their pizza fantasy.
Pittsburgh has been blowing up on the pizza map lately. With Pizza Cono opening earlier this year and the Return to Pizza Dojo taking place just last weekend—there’s no shortage of pizza news and innovation in Pittsburgh.
I talked with Dan Rugh a bit about this art exhibition. Why pizza boxes? Why now? What is it about pizza that brings worlds together?
PWWM: Why put art on pizza boxes?
The Return to Pizza Dojo (Why they didn’t spell it dough-jo is beyond me) is this Friday, July 25. I wrote about the feud between Pizza Boat and Bread and Salt last week, but I wanted to get to know the entrants a bit better.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. These are pizzaiolos that are willing to do nearly anything to win this competition. Empires have been won and lost on pizza competition, and this is no exception so you know tensions are high.
Both Pizza Boat and Bread and Salt’s response to “tell me about your role in the Return to Pizza Dojo” reads like fan fiction from an episode of WWE’s Monday Night Raw but instead of wrestling they’re making pizza.
Too good to edit, here’s what they had to say about the competition.
The “mysterious” Bread and Salt on pizza, pizza dojo, and life lessons
Who I am and my background are of little importance. There is no Pizza but the Pizza. The Pizza is of importance. I serve the Pizza. I pray five times a day with my face turned towards Naples. I only wish to express and share the true nature of the Pizza. Everything else is falsehood and frivolity. I need no strategy. The boys on the Pizza Boat mean well, but do not know the true depth and power of the Pizza. Their boat will sink. Friday, all will bear witness.
Really blows open the whole Return to Pizza Dojo.
Here’s Jeff from Pizza Boat on Bread and Salt and childish antics
Bread and Salt is Rick Easton, a transplant from Virginia and a guy who can bake sometimes, if someone provides him the means. And we can just assume that Joey Hilty is part of his camp at this point too. Joe’s a Livermore henchman who originally came up with the Pizza Dojo concept and pitched it to Rick, Matt, and I as a collaborative project to bring the oft-feuding pizzaiolo community together in order to push each other further creatively. But as the night of the initial Dojo drew closer, Rick and Joe veered off course unfortunately, resorting to the childish antics you’ve been seeing online.I feel like Matt and I are pretty easy going, and we can take as much trash talk as we dish out, but Rick’s been taking things increasingly further, recruiting help online—essentially Twitter trolls to come up with his retorts. He said he’s even paying for designers to photoshop images for him in order to try and humiliate us that way too. Not sure where he got the money for this… from what I understand he’s been living off of Livermore’s scraps and whatever he can manage to get off of us for free—which we’re about ready to cut him off from.Not to say that we’re frightened. We’re just annoyed, and it’s kind of sad. I mean this is an adult. At first we kind of looked up to him. But to threaten to poison our starter, sneak salt into our tomatoes, and urinate in our sanitizer bucket, is a little beneath where we thought his constitution lays. I think something must have cracked in his head— from the loneliness, malnutrition, the fact that his bakery STILL isn’t open, who knows. I’m sure his life is stressful, and thank god these nights have been cool so it’s actually probably comfortable for him to sleep out on the street.Our plan is to take the high road during the Dojo, of course. We’ll plan a couple pizzas that we’ve been testing and hope people will enjoy and respect, hope to gain some respect from Rick and Joey (if they have any at all to give), and have a good time slinging some pizzas, because that’s what’s fun for us, and exhibiting that along with the discipline involved is what Pizza Dojo should be about.
Will there be blood at this event? Steel chairs? A cage to fight in afterwards? I’m sure at least two of those are a certain.
The Return to Pizza Dojo takes place Friday July 25, at 6pm in the Bar Marco lot in the Strip District. If you enjoy pizza in the slightest you need to be there to witness Pittsburgh Pizza History.