Author Topic: Peter Taylor's new restaurant  (Read 4026 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 09:31:30 PM »
Quite sobering. I guess you're right, Van Gogh didn't paint a starry night for every customer.

And I'm not going to cut off my ear and give it to a prostitute because the voices are telling me that Chau bakes a better pizza than I do...  :-D
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.


Offline BTB

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2012, 10:01:55 AM »
Peter Taylor's new restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg, FL is one of the most beautiful restaurant locations in the country.  The warm, sunny "outdoor" experience is phonomenal and I have no doubt that when some little bugs are worked out of his system that it will become renowned and fantastically successful in a very short time. 

It is such a great location and has such fantastic potential that the North Tampa location cannot possibly match that, and only a "fool" would have passed up the opportunity for this highly successful business at this incredibly great, new location.  Not only is Peter a great pizzamaker, but also a "smart" business person.  You need both to stay ahead of the crowd . . . or else you'll have NO great pizzas to leave behind for anyone.

I suggest to those with the "starry night" and Van Gogh visions to . . . . cork the bottle ! ! !

                                                                        --BTB                   :-D

Offline rpmfla

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2012, 10:08:49 AM »
Bottom line is that the pizzas are not as good as when Peter was here at the Tampa location full time. I'm still going to Wood Fired Pizza for lunch about every week, and will be there tomorrow, so it isn't like it is bad pizza...just not as great as it was. The service there is also horrible, and always has been the weakest element, but the quality of the pizza used to overcome our frustration with the service. Now it is leveling out more and I am not going as often.

There are so many little factors that can add up to a great pizza or an average pizza. Just in the use of a natural starter alone, there are numerous factors which can greatly effect the dough...starter type, amount, maturity, temperature, etc.
If someone other than Peter is handling the starter and is getting lazy about it the finished product can be affected greatly.

I think once you have the dough and other ingredients as they should be, the actual oven work can be learned fairly quickly.

A little story about my first visit to Wood Fired Pizza...

My friend at work, Chucker McGee, is a ceramicist. He has built several kilns to fire his pottery. He is also a pizza fanatic (almost as much as I am) and he actually built a rudimentary wood burning pizza oven out behind the Fine Arts building here on campus, sort of hidden amongst the much larger ceramics kilns. It isn't a great oven for pizza making but it gets the job done. So he actually had some experience with cooking pizza in a wood fired oven.

He told me about a new pizza place he wanted to try, so he and I (along with a few other friends) went to Wood Fired Pizza & Wine Bar for our Friday lunch.

During lunch, I noticed that the big, white-haired guy at the oven seemed to be wincing in pain and frequently stopping and wrapping his hand in a towel with ice. After we were done eating our fantastic pizzas, on the way out the guy was sitting there in pain so I stopped and asked if he was ok. He said he had burned himself on some steam while prepping something in the back and now getting his burned hand near the opening of the oven was very painful.

We all introduced ourselves and said how great the pizzas were, then everyone but Chucker and I moved out to their respective vehicles. Chucker and I, being pizza fanatics, stayed and talked a while with Peter. He mentioned that he knew they were going to be swamped that night (being a Friday night) and he didn't know how he'd be able to do it with the amount of pain he was in every time he got near the oven with that hand. So I did the most logical thing...

I volunteered Chucker as an experienced wood fired oven pizza assistant that evening.

Well, to make a longer story shorter, Chucker did work for Peter that night, and the following Monday I got the story of how it went. He said Peter had him doing everything, from working the oven, to making the cheese...every aspect of the process...and worked him extremely hard. He absolutely loved the experience! Peter was very grateful and gave Chucker a lifetime employee discount (I even get a small discount for the initial suggestion).

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2012, 10:14:57 AM »
Nice post and great story rpmfla.   I absolutely agree with your post about pizza making in general, especially with a starter.  If someone doesn't really know how to maintain or use it properly, it change the pizza drastically.

Btw, whose oven is that and what happened?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 10:17:27 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2012, 11:36:07 AM »
I suggest to those with the "starry night" and Van Gogh visions to . . . . cork the bottle ! ! !

Not going to happen.

One of my favorite cartoons - maybe because it reminds me of me and my wife:
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline BTB

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2012, 03:52:29 PM »
I hear what you are saying but if Peter is as much of an artist as they paint him out to be, then there wouldn't be a 2nd location period.
I just don't agree.  I have a good deal of respect for JT's thoughts and opinions here, and I still do, but find his remarks here a little confusing.  Many great pizza and great food places have grown to a second or third location (or more) and become so widely successful and in demand across the country?  And I'm rooting for Peter and his great new Wood Fired restaurant.             --BTB

Edit - Regret the way I earlier expressed my remarks here
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 09:58:51 AM by BTB »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2012, 04:30:14 PM »
So you've lost all respect for me based on one comment that you don't agree with?  Wow! what about all the other stuff I've said that you do agree with?  Doesn't count??? So I'm suppose to be perfect and we can agree on everything and the world is perfect right?  

Why is it a dumb statement and why is it BS?  ??? You've either misunderstood my statement or misread it.  Let me elaborate.  I was simply making the statement that IF pizzamakers are on the same level as Van Gogh or MichaelAngelo, or true artists, they wouldn't be able to divide their time between multiple restaurants.  A "true" artist IMO is someone who is in front of one oven creating art for the world.  You can't do that at 2 restaurants.  I'm not saying Peter isn't talented or doesn't make awesome pizza.  Yes pizza is art and the pizza maker can be an artist or an artisan, but I wouldn't put any of them, myself, or you on the same level as Mozart, Beethoven, Picasso, etc.   Do you agree?

And if you don't agree, all you have to say is that you don't agree.  No need to say that it's dumb, or BS.  It's just my opinion.  

Let's hear what others have to say?   Does anyone here hold any famous pizzaiolo in the same regard or level as a Mozart or Picasso?  It's just pizza folks, get over it.

Chau
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 05:10:55 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline rpmfla

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2012, 04:57:25 PM »
Let's hear what others have to say?   Does anyone here hold any famous pizzaiolo in the same regard or level as a Mozart or Picasso?  It's just pizza folks, get over it.

Chau

Yes, that was quite an over reaction by BTB. Perhaps he is already having a bad day.

As far as holding Picasso or Mozart in high regard...I've read they made substandard pizzas.

cornicione54

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2012, 05:01:50 PM »
Being a talented pizzaiolo does not always translate to being an effective teacher. On the flip side, it's unreasonable to expect employees to hold the same level of passion and investment in the pizza that one might have spent many years perfecting.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2012, 05:07:05 PM »
Yes, that was quite an over reaction by BTB. Perhaps he is already having a bad day.

As far as holding Picasso or Mozart in high regard...I've read they made substandard pizzas.

Lol, hilarious!  

I think he must have misread my statement.  Let's be clear, I am not taking anything away from Peter.  I know how hard it is to make good pizza, and I don't always get it right.  Not to mention how much more it takes to run a successful business/restaurant.    I'm not even saying pizza makers can't be artisans and have 2-3 thriving businesses, not saying that.   I'm just saying I don't hold them in the same regard as the great artists of all time.    Sorry I am unable to articulate my thoughts very well here.  



I suggest to those with the "starry night" and Van Gogh visions to . . . . cork the bottle ! ! !

                                                                        --BTB                   :-D

I think we are on the same page here, no disagreement.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 05:44:58 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline jeff v

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2012, 05:13:55 PM »
So you've lost all respect for me based on one comment that you don't agree with?  Wow! what about all the other stuff I've said that you do agree with?  Doesn't count??? So I'm suppose to be perfect and we can agree on everything and the world is perfect right?  

Why is it a dumb statement and why is it BS?  ??? You've either misunderstood my statement or misread it.  Let me elaborate.  I was simply making the statement that IF pizzamakers are on the same level as Van Gogh or MichaelAngelo, or true artists, they wouldn't be able to divide their time between multiple restaurants.  A "true" artist IMO is someone who is in front of one oven creating art for the world.  You can't do that at 2 restaurants.  I'm not saying Peter isn't talented or doesn't make awesome pizza.  Yes pizza is art and the pizza maker can be an artist or an artisan, but I wouldn't put any of them, myself, or you on the same level is Mozart, Beethoven, Picasso, etc.   Do you agree?

And if you don't agree, all you have to say is that you don't agree.  No need to say that it's dumb, or BS.  It's just my opinion.  

Let's hear what others have to say?   Does anyone here hold any famous pizzaiolo in the same regard or level as a Mozart or Picasso?  It's just pizza folks, get over it.

Chau

FWIW, this is how I took your statement originally, and agree with.

PFT, gained lots of respect here for sharing every step in making his pizza, oven, etc and sweating every detail on the process. Does that mean every pizza in the restaurants will have that attention to detail by him? Again my opinion is no. There were clues early on to this. Him not making every pizza himself, making statements that 75% of the customers would be happy w less than obsessive pizza etc.

Does all that mean that his pizza can't be great? No. Does that mean his places won't succeed? Not necessarily. It means that he is choosing a different way or business model than to make every pizza himself and spend all his time at one place. Maybe he wants to make a duplicatable system that can be scaled. Papa John used to make all his pizzas. Maybe they were better then too. :) jk

OTOH, there are others who prefer to make every pizza themselves and be in one place. Different strokes.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2012, 05:34:39 PM »
Let's hear what others have to say?

I'll respect you in the morning, really, I promise....um...I mean... I still respect you.  ;D  Where is my bottle?

Seriously folks, respect around here should be based on knowledge, experience, and the way you treat other people - not on expressing an opinion.

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2012, 05:38:22 PM »
I suggest to those with the "starry night" and Van Gogh visions to . . . . cork the bottle ! ! !

I think we are on the same page here, no disagreement.

 ???

I disagree, and I'm going to go get a drink right now to be sure.   ;)

I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2012, 06:15:36 PM »
I think this entire debate is the one I have internally whenever I think about how fun it would be to try and start my own pizza shop someday. I would want to make my pizzas and put my touch on it all, but I also want to be able to spend time with my family, take vacations, and pursue other business interests.

I think it's near impossible to spend everyday in front of the same oven and be very financially successful, have hobbies, or a solid family life. Maybe you do like UPN and have very select hours and just close the business from time to time?

I don't think either one is right or wrong, I guess it's just balancing priorities.

Offline SinoChef

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2012, 06:32:33 AM »
My turn to disagree with Chau...... :-D

Quote
And the bit about Peter only trusting himself with the oven.  I don't even know if this is true or not, but if it is, it made me laugh.  Anyone can learn how to work an oven, it's just a skill and it can be learned fairly quickly if one is doing it on a daily basis. 

 Anyone?  :-\  (Sorry, to many years in commercial kitchens)

Quote
And when it comes to pizza and other things, there's always the possibility of the student becoming better than the master.  That's why most hold their secrets so tightly.  It's not because they are the only ones who can do it or they only trust themselves.  It's truely b/c they fear that others can do it better.

No, I just fear they will muck it up and cost me money and time.

I finally was able to steal my pastry/bread guy away from his current job. And get him back with me. I trained him 3 years ago on my breads/desserts.

When I make my own breads, I get, "wow, this is really excellent bread".

When he makes my bread, with my recipes, and my techniques,  I get "............................omg..............", then more silence as people are to busy eating to speak.

It is quite silly. But I am more then happy he can make my breads, and make them better then I can. Like 1% better then I can, but that's enough.

Quote
I hear what you are saying but if Peter is as much of an artist as they paint him out to be, then there wouldn't be a 2nd location period

So maybe that is what your meaning was.

You can be talented as a musician if you give it enough study and practice.

And some people fall out of bed in the morning with the ability to play Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee, with a rubber band, some duct tape, and a pencil.

The difference between gifted, and talented.

I have some baking skills, but my bread guy is a gifted baker.

And I did not teach him that......

 :)

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2012, 08:49:54 AM »
SinoChef - those are some excellent points you brought up and I can't say I disagree with you, so I guess I am saying I disagree with me as well.  :-D

Anyone?    (Sorry, to many years in commercial kitchens)

Okay, not anyone and certainly not everyone.  There are some ppl that just won't get it b/c they have no interest in learning that particular trade.  You we'll have to just look with our eyes and train someone who shows interest and promise after a short time on the peel.  But if I am correct, Peter wasn't born with a pizza peel in hand, it's just a learned process that is part of being a pizza maker.  I overexaggerated by saying everyone just to say that the guy working the oven doesn't have to be Peter.  If it's that way, it's because he chooses it.  Nothing wrong with that either.  I'm not sure I would be so trusting if I am to open my first restaurant either... :-\

No, I just fear they will muck it up and cost me money and time.

I finally was able to steal my pastry/bread guy away from his current job. And get him back with me. I trained him 3 years ago on my breads/desserts.

When I make my own breads, I get, "wow, this is really excellent bread".

When he makes my bread, with my recipes, and my techniques,  I get "............................omg..............", then more silence as people are to busy eating to speak.

It is quite silly. But I am more then happy he can make my breads, and make them better then I can. Like 1% better then I can, but that's enough.


I agree and this says a lot about you as a person.  You are a big enough person to recognize when someone else can do something better and to elevate that person in such a position even if it's not you getting all the credit.  I'm sure there are others who choose to keep the spotlight on themselves.  

I ate pizzas at a VPN establishment made by and cooked by the student with several years of experience versus one made by his teacher the pizzaiolo, and I could tell the difference.  The teacher's was better.  Same dough, almost the same opening method, but the teacher baked it a bit hotter and quicker and it was better.  

So you are right, you can train someone to make breads or work a wfo, but some will naturally do it better.  

You can be talented as a musician if you give it enough study and practice.

And some people fall out of bed in the morning with the ability to play Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee, with a rubber band, some duct tape, and a pencil.

The difference between gifted, and talented.

I have some baking skills, but my bread guy is a gifted baker.

And I did not teach him that......


Really good point and example.   My parents really wanted one of us kids to be involved in music, and my siblings and myself all tried, but we were never gifted.   As a kid, I played violin for 9 years, took piano lessons, and fooled around with the guitar for a bit.  All passably and never with any real gift no matter how much I practiced.  

One time during college, my brother introduced me to his roommate who was playing a very complicated Beethoven piece on his keyboard.  I was really impress and asked him how long he had been playing.  A year and a half is all, and it was self taught.  This guy had taught himself how to play piano, taught himself how to read music, keep rhythm, it was incredible.   He was gifted.  

So the question is, are people like Peter gifted or are they talented.  I say talented, but that's just me.  Gifted might be reserved for someone who just seems born to do something like paint or play music.  We see examples of this at a very early age, when kids gravitate towards a certain talent or skill. Now if you have a child prodigy pizza maker, then I would say he's the exception.  
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 10:30:24 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline SinoChef

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2012, 09:01:21 AM »
Quote
I agree and this says a lot about you as a person.  You are a big enough person to recognize when someone else can do something better

 :-D No, more like lazy. Baking bread is very therapeutic for me. But when it has to be done, and my day is already full, it just an irritation.

And I wasn't really disagreeing with you, it just looked like you were getting creamed here, so I decided to pile on!

Offline rpmfla

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2012, 09:54:27 AM »
Ok, I'm not a moderator or administrator of this forum, but I would hate to see what began as a discussion about Peter Taylor's new restaurant get way off on a philosophical tangent (though I have enjoyed reading what has been written).

When I made my comments about the quality of his Tampa pizza being less since he went over to get his new place started I want to stress that it is still very good pizza...just not the amazing experience it was. For about the first year he did everything except serving, and had some of his family assisting in prep and in serving.

He is obviously a very intelligent, driven, intense man, and I know he agonized about whether to open a second place. The location of his new place should make it much more successful than the one in Tampa, which is in a strip mall back off the road with poor signage. Basically, his Tampa place became successful because of the great food overcoming the poor location.







Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2012, 10:33:37 AM »
You are right Rmpfla, sorry I got off topic there.  I wish Peter all the best.  If I am ever in the area, I will definitely make time to visit Peter and try his pizza.

Offline SinoChef

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2012, 03:18:26 AM »
Quote
Ok, I'm not a moderator or administrator of this forum, but I would hate to see what began as a discussion about Peter Taylor's new restaurant get way off on a philosophical tangent

Par for the course here  :-D