Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bianco takes a break

James Beard Award-winning pizzaiolo, Chris Bianco, of Arizona's famed Pizzeria Bianco recently announced that he would be taking a break from oven work at at his pizzeria due to some issues with asthma. Ed Levine and Adam Kuban from Serious Eats have been following the story on Slice.

He says in his statement at Slice, "One way or another I will figure out a way to stay engaged in the intense conversation I've been having with people who have come to Pizzeria Bianco all these years. How that happens remains to be seen. Trust me, I'm working on it. Because my heart and soul are still in every pie served at Pizzeria Bianco."

Chef Bianco has made it very clear that he is not retiring. During Chef Bianco's hiatus his brother, Marco, will be on dough duty. Horacio Hernandez, Bianco's assistant, will man the modest and rustic looking brick oven. Marco and Horacio have been involved in Pizzeria Bianco for a while now, so this wont be a huge change although Chris will surely be missed. There is a reported three hour wait for a table at Pizzeria Bianco and they don't take reservations.

I gotta say, I feel for Chef Bianco. ASTHMA SUCKS! I have asthma also, and I've also had problems with smoky ovens in my pizza making experience. I'm not even close to level of floury dust and smoke from wood fired ovens as Bianco (or any other professional pizzaiolo) is. I love making pizza and I would hate for a doc to tell me to stay out of the kitchen.

Sheesh. I'm having nightmares for Chef Bianco of my elementary school D.A.R.E. officer with that smoke-blackened lung in a jar saying "This is what happens when you make pizza" Oof! Or ridiculous images of him in his chef coat with a respirator on.

My unsolicited advice to Chef Bianco is apple cider vinegar. When I was having really bad problems with my asthma I saw this wacky infomercial about holistic remedies. I looked up holistic remedies for asthma and I found rave reviews for apple cider vinegar. multiple websites and hippies on forums recommended taking a shot of the tangy stuff every day, or mixing it into a cup of juice or water or a little honey. I got a bottle and... bottoms up. I took a shot. To be honest it wasn't unlike taking a shot of rail whiskey. Warm and burning down my throat.

The apple cider vinegar helped me a lot. It almost instantly relieved my asthma symptoms and it also relieved my acid reflux (which also triggers asthma and is an unfortunate side effect of eating pizza). Chef Bianco, grab a bottle and take a swig.  Maybe it will even inspire a new pie with apple cider vinegar on top. Maybe not.

Bianco is a pizza rock star and I want his pizza! I offer my warmest and most sincere wishes for a speedy recovery and success getting his asthma under control. Chef Bianco, be well and make pizza!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pizza Shirts

Holler to my pal Seth who pointed out this pizzalicious deal at The Cotton Factory store.  Buy all seven shirts in the pizza pack for just $11 each or you can buy them à la carte for about $19.00 each.

Ooooooh seven pizza shirts. That is one for every day of the week!  YES!

Update:  Holler to my friend  Josh who pointed out this pizza loving tee from FBM Bike Co.

Jammin' out and gettin' spicy!

Here are a few digressions from my usually pizzalicious posts.

A video of my mom making some delicious tomato jam from tomatoes from a garden we share with some friends in Varina, VA. This jam is amazing on toast or a bagel with cream cheese. yum yum!

I also made jalapeno hot sauce with some peppers we grew in the same garden.  It has been a big hit with my friends so far. It was pretty easy to make. BE CAREFUL! It makes your whole house smell spicy. I have asthma and I had to step away from the pot on more than one occasion. So wear a mask and turn on your vents.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pizza Napoletana ala Isabela Rossellini

Isabela makes charming faux Pizza Napoletana: tomatoes, cheese and anchovies -
but where do baby anchovies come from?
Find out in Green Porno 3 - Bon Appetite: Anchovies

Bonus for pizzalicious lauren - the calamari 10-arm hug

yours for underwater luvin,
cricket blackwitch

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stephen Colbert is Pizzalicious!

Stephen Colbert tore into Domino's Pizza's new ad campaign and named them "Alpha Dog of the Week" on  last night's episode of the Colbert Report.  I have to admit when I read about the change in the Domino's recipe I thought... that will be interesting.  It isn't very often that a national chain will make such a HUGE to do about changing their core recipe. As a consumer of both pizza and popular culture and marketing I think i actually LOL's and said WTF? when I saw their ad declaring their old recipe to have a "cardboard crust"

Anyways. Here is Colbert ribbing the national pizza chain like only an aware, snarky, fake conservative can.

The Colbert Report
Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week - Domino's Pizza

Colbert Report Full Episodes
Political Humor

Of course this isn't the only pizzalicious moment from the Colbert Report. Take a look as I count down the top ten most pizzalicious moments on the Colbert Report.

The cast of Glee is Pizzalicious

The cast of Glee awkwardly accepted their People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy. They looked less than stoked to accept the award. I know! Their thrill of winning was dampened  by the fact that they already knew they won. Of course they did. They a squad of handsome waiters waiting back stage with hundreds of slices. Or maybe they were bummed to be part of such a shameless and obvious product placement scheme. I still love pizza so... what can I say?  Check the video.

The pizza was from DiGiorno, who is one of the main sponsors of the show.I wonder how many pies they gave away? How many slices. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jiro Bevis is Pizzalicious

UK Based illustrator Jiro Bevis has done tons of work. Personal, editorial, commercial, you name it. His drawings have appeared in ads for Umbro and PSP, and illustrated pieces in Vice, Dazed and Confused and Neon Magazine among others.  He has also done album/tour art work for notable acts like The Black Lips.

Mostly I love his work because he is so pizzalicious! Click to enlarge.
  Top left: "Peazza"

"Stay In" 

"Pizza Time"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making Mozzarella and Pizzalicious resolutions

I got a cheese making kit for Christmas. The kit is for making Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses. I busted it open yesterday and went out to Whole Foods for a gallon of fancy organic milk to get started. Supposedly fresh mozzarella is on of the easiest cheeses to make. Unfortunately my maiden voyage into mozzarella cheese making was not successful at all. Err... I think I over heated it... and used the wrong water... and added the rennet at the wrong time. D'oh.

I was just so excited and I rushed the process a little. So I have spent some time today reading cheese making blogs, reading recipes and watching YouTube tutorials.I am determined to be a mozzarella making master by the end March.

What better place to journal my cheese making adventures than here on Pizzalicious. After all the main reason I was gifted with this cheese making kit was so I could make yummy fresh mozzarella to top homemade pizzas! 

Photos: Latte and Mozzarella toys from Tokidoki's Moofia Collection

A Pizzalicious Resolution
A while back my sister Maya, found and posted this amazing BLT Flowchart on Facebook. My goal is to make a pizza flowchart by the end of the Summer. This is my pizzalicious resolution. I want to make a pizza and document where every ingredient came from! So if you know any wheat millers, yeast culture growers, dairy or pork farmers et. al. let me know. I'm going to grow the tomatoes, and herbs, make the cheese, the dough and maybe even make the pepperoni. Whew I've got a lot of planning and work to do. I need to stay focused and inspired.

I think this video will help with the inspiration for cheese making. This video is from Copat1987 who filmed his Nonno (grandfather) making mozzarella on Easter in 2009.