We’re back for another wonderful look at the finest pizza moments to grease up the city of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh can be unassuming. It’s a city drowning in the soil of history. Slowly but surely we’re seeing germination of innovation. From the soil wonderful inventive plants are popping up to make the landscape varied and wonderful. What a great ecosystem.
Anyways, it turns out that this is an awesome environment for pizza. Did you know I type that sentence 60 times a week? Wild. Well, let’s get to it. Moments 6, 5 and 4 are just ahead!
6 - The Steel City Pizza Fest Happened
DJ Zombo put together Pittsburgh’s first Pizza Festival because...well why not. It was a wonderful event held in Lawrenceville’s Arsenal Park where Bloomfield, Garfield and Lawrenceville’s finest pizzerias came together to sell pizzas.
But, it wasn’t just a couple of booths with pizzas. Oh no. There was the Pizza Pinup contest where anyone could enter and be voted Ms. PizzaBurgh. Spak Brothers held a pizza eating contest every hour. Anyone could enter and race against the clock to eat a large pizza the fastest.
It was as disgusting as it was beautiful.
Graziano’s ended up taking home the people’s choice award, edging out Angelo’s by a single vote! How exciting. I hope to see Pizza Festival make a return next year.
5: Pizza Dojo 3: Driftwood Oven vs Pizza Boat
There’s nothing better than a good pizza rivalry. Pizza Boat knows how to ham it up for the crowd and play the pizza heel. I’ve had many folks ask me if Pizza Boat actually hates other pizza makers and the answer is obviously yes.
Just look at Jeff’s vicious attacks on Driftwood Oven in this video from the competition:
I’m just glad everyone made it out alive.
I hope Pizza Dojo never goes away. It’s an amazing way to introduce pizza innovations and bring a community together around great pizza. As I wrote in my summary of the event:
Pizza Dojo isn't about a single night in Pittsburgh, it's about trying something new in the Pittsburgh pizza scene. Pushing one another to innovate and make better pizza.
Instead of existing side-by-side for years on a street in Squirrel Hill and pretending that the world on the other side of the counter hasn't changed, the pizza makers that enter the Pizza Dojo emerge with a new perspective. A new definition of pizza. Confidence to try something new and push the pizza envelope to the edge of the table.
4: Tony Gemignani visits Pittsburgh
You may not know Tony Gemignani, but he’s responsible for spreading the pizza gospel across the country. He’s written The Pizza Bible, an amazing book that covers every nook and cranny of pizza fundamentals. He’s put on clinics and has been crowned the World Pizza Champion.
And, this year he paid a visit to Pittsburgh to sign copies of his book and show off his pizza theory.
He’s a guy that loves making pizza. His motto is “Respect the Craft.” And that’s a mentality that I see more and more pizza makers in Pittsburgh adopting. They put ingredients on pizza with a purpose. Nothing is haphazard and everything has a reason.
Meeting Tony was awesome, but the turnout for the event was even more impressive. Caliente was filled to the brim with pizza enthusiasts waiting to talk with Tony and exchange pizza tips.
So that's Pizza Moments 6-4! You can read moments 9-7 here.