Friday, July 24, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The country is undergoing a pizza revolution which was created in New York by the original pizza kings such as Tortono’s Pizza in Coney Island Brooklyn where when the owner Jerry died in 1994 the New York papers proclaimed “The King of Pizza is dead”. A huge acknowledgment for the man whose family helped put another New York mainstay-Lombardi’s Pizza on the map. Lombardi’s was the first licensed pizza place in America dating back to the 1905 on Mulberry street New York. Patsy’s up in Harlem which came on the scene early in the 1930’s and is another famous New York brick oven pizzeria and like Lombardi’s and Tortono’s also featured handmade, hand tossed, fresh mozzarella and fresh homemade sauce cooked in a coal burning brick oven like the ones many bakeries have been using for thousands of years to bake bread.
Then in the early 90’s a couple of young upstarts from Brooklyn who had been fans of New York’s finest pizza places decided to open the first wood burning brick oven pizza place on the forgotten borough of Staten Island then Brooklyn New York but along with the standard Margarita pizza that the other famous pizza places were doing, they took it up a notch and created a line of unique and truly “gourmet” pizzas such as the original Vodka Pie and the Mushroom Madness made with the relatively, unknown at the time, porcini mushroom. They called their place Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza and soon became pizza celebrities featured in all the local media and then international media after winning the World’s Best Pizza contest at Pizza Expo. Now not to be New York biased it would be rude to leave out the left hand coast and the incredible success of California Pizza Kitchen who took the brick oven idea and put the California twist on it with such great pizzas like the BBQ Chicken, Tai and Jamaican Jerk Chicken then built the concept to international status. With the advent of cooking shows and the fantastic popularity of gourmet foods, social media, 24 hour a day television and the increase of public awareness regarding fresh food, the organic craze, celebrity chefs and a demand for new and exciting dining experiences, the stage was set for the current Fast Casual Pizza Trend. The Fast Casual Pizza trend is the right thing at the right time and fills a need for a premium gourmet food item that is both fast and easy to transport without diminishing the flavor and eating experience. Today's consumers, mostly millennials, are looking for a better product in a trendy environment that fits their budget. So the pizza race begins.
Chipotle, the fast casual giant, is currently developing its pizza chain model called Pizza Local and has many industry experts eagerly standing by to see how it evolves with its revolving brick oven for speed and consistency for its fresh made dough. Some other up and coming names to watch out for that are also using the revolvingbrick ovens are Revolve, Spin Neapolitan, Pie Craft and The Pies the Limit. The other big player behind the scene in this game is the Pizza School of New York which has been setting industry standards by training students in an actual restaurant on the latest revolving brick ovens for a real time hands on experience thereby creating many successful operators and local pizza sensations when the students enter the fray with new found skills. This is an exciting time for the pizza world and the consumers are the biggest winners with ever increasing choices and locations to get great pizza.