Serious Eats interview with Ed Levine
I arrived on Grand street at 11am and immediately turned on to Centre and headed for the commercial zone. I’m always piloting to avoid restaurants, cialis storefronts or other hazard areas with a 26 foot truck spewing smoke out of its chimney. We draw a crowd to say the least. People ask us at 11am “When can I buy pizza??” After our initial setup, ed we waited for the Serious Eats team. They rolled down the sidewalk 12 people strong. Meet and greet 12 people, medicine and remember their names…I can do it. I have dozens of names in my head of all our regular customers.
I meet J Kenji, Seriouseats.com Creative Officer, with his camera in hand. I could see he was anxious to get started. “Do you make Pizza?” “Yes!” I replied and we began. He darted around the truck swiftly, art directing and gathering up the shots: dough streching, adding sauce, etc. “STOP, pause with your hand move again”(CLICK) “show me the oil bottle again.”(CLICK, CLICK)
We served our 4 pizzas: Marinara, Margherita, Bianca and Filetti. We began with the Margherita.
I could tell the pizza was on, without a taste. Its a moment when everything collides perfectly. The heat of the oven is the start, then the dough and yeast cooperation. I watched the staff kill two pies. Then another 10 more. They oooed and ahhhed. Delicious rolled off their tongues. They were gracious. They asked questions, hung around, discussed ideas and took pizza back to the office for a few missing. It was a downtown impromptu pizza party.
I watched Ed pull off a piece of the cornicione.”You have some serious structure in the dough here!” He ate and analyzed. “Delicious!” He threw around names of masters, Anthony Mangieri, Chris Bianco… i pizzaioli… guys that are unique and passionate. We all have our way, and are serious about the method.
The onlookers swarmed. Unknown people stopped and grabbed slices with smiles. The Italian tourist set showed up. “La pizza e buona?” I began my best effort Italian. “Si, e molta buona! Uno momento e mi fara una pizza per lei. Di dove sei?” I asked them, they replied “Parma” and immediate visions of hanging Prosciutto hams came to mind.
FOCUS! Ed Levine and the Serious Eats team are here…fight them off! A couple from a film production company “We want to hire you!” I turned to Ed, “Maybe behind a desk is not the way to find business.” We agreed and laughed.