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Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter's
Pizza News
February
2007

Part 2
 

Get some therapy, Pizza Therapy!

(Volume VIII No. 2b) (ISSN: 1533-3795)

"Pizza on Earth, Good Will to All!"

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Contents

1. Pizza On Earth: The Jay Vogler Interview

2. Calling All Pizzaiolo-The Big Green Pizza Truck Wants You!

3. Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana with Gary Bimonte  in a movie...

4. A Pasta Tale...

 

1. Pizza On Earth: The Jay Vogler Interview

In the last issue of Pizza News (Feb. 07), I mentioned how I had discovered. Pizza on Earth in Vermont. Jay Vogler, pizzaiolo, of  pizzaonearth.com, located in Charlotte, Vermont, gave Pizza News an exclusive interview.

Albert: Hey Jay thanks for agreeing to do this interview. As you may know, "Pizza on Earth" is the motto of pizzatherapy.com.  The first question I want to ask you is: how did you come up with the name?

Jay: Before we were a business, we made a Christmas card with a pizza on it and I shaped the cheese to look like the continents  and we put pizza on earth on it...some of our friends said ..what a good name for your pizza biz and we sat on it for a year till we were up and running and the rest is pizza history.

Albert: That's a great story. Please tell me a little about yourself. Where are you
from? Where did  you grow up?

Jay: I grew up in New Jersey but always summered in Vermont as we have a family connection here from way way back...I have a degree in Art / painting. but first went to college for agriculture and switched later...We move here in 1991 and started a vegetable farm...we also did sheep, chickens, turkeys etc...we were younger. We did wholesale organic vegetables to area restaurants and stores in our area.

Before we moved here, I worked for the Metropolitan Museum in New York City for 8 years as an art installer.. During that time I took all my vacations and went to France...Mainly to eat.. Near the end of that time, I went to France and studied at a 3 star restaurant on the Riviera and returned home to start a career in the restaurant business.

 

After a few jobs in the City and then some catering gigs, I went back to the Metropolitan Museum again...There I met my future wife and we talked about leaving the city. I worked again in a restaurant in New Jersey and then as normal, we never saw much of each other, so I quit and decided to be a house husband of sorts.

We got a gardening bug and I worked on an organic farm in New Jersey  and then began to sell produce back to the restaurants I had worked at. So we decided to move and start a farm. Eventually we left New Jersey  and moved to Vermont with no jobs and a plan to have a farm. My wife is a clothing designer and was able to find work with what became Champion Athletic Wear. I did the farm for 12 years till I was nearly burned out...Then one day we were thinking about building a clay oven in our back yard and we saw an ad for a "brick pizza oven" for sale, in the paper.

I called and it was an old Earthstone oven from a defunct restaurant. I bought the parts and we cut a hole in a tool shed and built it in...It was only for our own amusement at the time, but our friends loved the pizza. At the time we were changing the farm toward a CSA, where families come during the week to pick up produce, and we realized we had a captive audience.

Blessed be to Vermont, that we could get a home catering license, and so we got a license and opened pizza on earth. The first year we sold about 10 pizzas a day. We were only open the two days a week that the CSA was open. After about a year, the local press got wind of the pizza and did an article on us and then things started to explode...We went from 10 pizzas to about 100.

We got lots of local press over the next few years as well as a small spot in Gourmet Magazine and a little feature in the Boston Globe. We had to add on to our "pizza hut" twice to accommodate the people... We don't have a restaurant license, so there is no indoor seating. We do have a few picnic tables for the summer now. Summer is our busiest time of year...well it is Vermont. We average about 120 pizzas a night for the three hours we are open. And as you can see on the site, we do lots' of other things too. My wife has only joined me this past year as pastry chef as her job left the state. We have one person helping with the oven and just me and my wife...hope that gives you an idea about us....In growing up in New Jersey I had only not so good pizza in general. but eventually loved to cook them. and never thought that would be my culinary culmination after spending so much time to be a great French chef...but I love it..
 

Albert: I will assume from looking at your website, pizza on earth,  you serve an artisan pizza, correct? Can you tell me how artisan pizza differs from other pizzas?

Jay:  Yes, we do have I guess what you'd call an artisan pizza but with a slant toward the gourmet pizza.. Our main competition on in our style, would be American Flatbread, (Albert's side bar: "American Flatbread is a Vermont pizza restaurant, located in Waitsfield, Vermont") so we kind of have to do the crazy toppings with the best crust I can do....

We always hand rolled the crust till I got such bad tendonitis, so now we use a sheeter...But we're always working on our dough to give it the hand worked quality. As far as the difference with artisan pizza, I can't give you a straight answer now that I've listened to Legends of Pizza...I'd probably be repeating what I heard or what I believe in. But it's definitely a hand made and personal product...we're all about local here...
 

Albert: Growing up we all have had memorable pizza that we loved.
What is your memorable pizza? Did this inspire you to get  into the
pizza business?

Jay:  I never have had a memorable pizza yet.. the biggest names I 've been to were John's in New York City, but I can't remember it much,,,,it was take out...and Fig's in Boston...didn't like the crust much. Other than that mostly ordinary pizza or my own. I hope to get to some better ones soon.. We are already talking about trip to New Haven this summer...

Albert: We can't wait to hear what you discover after checking out Wooster Street, in New Haven, and finding Pepe's, Sally's and Modern. Please keep us posted, Jay.

To Be Continued...

For more about Jay, Read his:
 Blog from Jay Vogler's Wood Oven Bakery


We'll finish our interview with Jay Vogler of
pizza on earth, in the next issue of
 Pizza News...

 

Jay's Pizza on Earth Oven, Charlotte Vermont
Joy Vogler's pizza on earth oven, in Charlotte, Vermont
 

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From now until 4/1/07, if you purchase a copy of
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Questions? email me: albert@pizzatherapy.com
 

 


2. Calling All Pizzaiolo-
The Big Green Pizza Truck Wants You!

In the April 06- issue of Pizza News, there was an exclusive interview about The Big Green Pizza Truck:

 I kept hearing stories, about the big green pizza truck, a mobile pizzeria, with a full on, wood fired pizza oven, in the back. I knew I had to track down the truck and owner . I finally found Douglas Coffin, through a post he made in a pizza forum. He not only agreed to do the interview but he was very forthcoming about the Pizza Business and his pizza truck.

You can read the interview (it spans over three issues) here: The Big Green Pizza Truck.

I recently received an email for Doug with the following request:

"Dear Albert, we are looking for additional pizza makers full or part time. We now have two trucks and a full summer schedule so if you know anyone who is interested in a neat job in the pizza world, tell them to contact me."

My response, thanks Doug, I will check with the readers of Pizza News.

Imagine the possibilities, though, of making pizza out of the back of a truck that has a wood fired oven on it...wouldn't that be a great time?

Hang on there Doug. let me check my own calendar for the summer...

If you are interested, please contact me and I will forward your email request to Doug.

 

You can reach me at:

albert@pizzatherapy.com

 

Albert Grande's Pepperoni Pizza, from The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book

 

3. Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana with Gary Bimonte in a movie...

Michael Stern, of Roadfood  takes Serious Eats to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut, for the best white clam pizza anywhere.

This is an incredible video. You will get to see a Pepe's Clam Pizza being constructed as well as some chat with Gary Bimonte. You will discover, how Frank Pepe began to sell his pizza!

Michael says if he had one last meal to eat...it would be at Pepe's!

(Video may take a few moments to load...)

Pepe's Video with Michael Stern and Gary Bimonte

You can discover more about Pepe's and Gary Bimonte in Legends of Pizza, Volume 1.

 

4. A Pasta Tale...

(From a recent post by me at The Pizza and Pasta Forum)

My buddy Jay sent me this: From the New York Times...

This story chronicles a writer's search to Italy to find the origins of her family's spaghetti sauce.

The title says it all:


A Grandchild of Italy Cracks the Spaghetti Code

A great read.

I loved this story. It brought back memories of me watching
both of my Italian grandmothers
(Grandma Grande and Grandma Palmieri) make sauce.

"How much of this (fill in the ingredient here) do I put in I asked them again and again."

They both said "A little bit of this and a little bit of that. You'll know it when it tastes right."

I never did get their sauce down right. But I still try...

I would greatly appreciate any of your comments about this story.

You can see the link here: A Pasta Tale.

Join the forum and comment, here:

The Pizza and Pasta Forum
(Opens in new window)

_________________

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In the meantime, please check out the amazing pizza and pasta forum at:

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"You will learn how to make great pizza!"
Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter
 "The Pizza Therapy Pizza Book"
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That's all the "Pizza News!", for now...

"Pizza on Earth,
Good Will to All"

Sincerely,
Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter

Email: webmaster@pizzatherapy.com


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