Author Topic: "Old" New User Here  (Read 3306 times)

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Offline scarboni

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"Old" New User Here
« on: May 05, 2012, 10:16:15 PM »
How's it going? My name is Nick Satchell (aka Scarboni) and I am a professional Pizza Maker from Brooklyn, NY. I have been making pies for almost 13 years and have worked with several top pizzaiolo's in NY. Currently I am living in San Diego and working at a place called Bronx Pizza. I have been regularly following the Slice blog for some years and am excited to finally be a part of the Pizza Making community. If anyone has any questions in respect to Pizza making, whether it's technique or in respect to the business, you are welcome to message me. Thank you!


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 12:21:56 AM »
What is your favorite oven?
What is your favorite style?
What is your favorite flour?

Please put up a link or a picture of your work.  Thanks, you sound like a great pizza maker.  13 Years?  Wow, that makes me think of a perfect pizza. :chef: :pizza:
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Online scott123

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 12:34:59 AM »
Nick, welcome to the forum.  Bronx Pizza has been mentioned in this forum a few times- it's fantastic to have someone that can give us the inside scoop.

So... do you know anything about Luigi (from Luigi's fame) and his history at Bronx?

Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 09:58:42 PM »
Jet_deck: I don't necessarily have a favorite oven, however I did enjoy working the Acunto oven at Olio and the Wood Oven (converted from Coal) at Best Pizza. A part of the joy in making pizza for me is trying to make the best pie I can for "That oven".

In terms of eating pizza...I just love a classic NY Slice (Originals Pizza on Ave. U & 29th in Brooklyn being one of my favorites). Neapolitan Pizza is fun as hell to make but I always find myself going back to my roots. (Crisp chewy slice with a balanced helping of Whole Milk Mozzarella & a Sweet Sauce).

As far as flour, I really like working with the Sir Galahad from King Arthur. I'lll try to get some pictures up soon of some of my pies; as often as I mess around and try out different techniques, there is never really a camera around to capture the "magic" and/or "failure". =P

scott_123 Liugi started at Bronx long before I was here but from the old videos I've seen of Bronx, I can say that he is a pretty solid Pizzaiolo. That being said, if Matt hadn't been so generous in steering media towards his store (Guy Fieri show being one of them), I don't think Luigi's would have the "fame" that it has today. Liugi runs a similar program that Bronx does; albeit with some slight variations and choices in toppings. I may be a bit biased in my opinion, but I think Bronx has a better pie than Luigis (particularly the crust).
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 02:38:58 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 09:11:22 AM »
YOU WORKED AT BEST?!?!?!?!?!?!  :o We're not worthy!  :-D (and Olio ain't shabby either)

Can you share any details of their process? Flour? Kneading time? Hydration? Fermentation time? They do at least an overnight dough, correct? If Frank is secretive about this stuff, then I understand, but any insight would be fantastic. I'm not personally striving for a Best clone (it's a little too thin/crispy for me), but I'm sure that some of our members have it in the back of their minds.

I'm sure that Giulio, with his background as a VPN teacher, is most likely an open book when it comes to his process.  Do you have any details about his dough management at Olio? VPN's guidelines for bulk ferments were discussed recently here and I'm curious as to how long Giulio bulks for.

I haven't been to Originals, but it sounds like I need to go.  How would you compare Originals to Bronx Pizza? I saw the Luigi/Fieri segment and have seen photos of some of the better looking NY style places in San Fran (Avellino's etc.) and LA (King of New York, Joes), but I've always been curious how these places compare to a real NY slice.

Bronx is cold fermenting just like Luigi's, right? I'm sorry about all these questions,  but, believe it or not, I am holding back  ;D Let's face it, you can't work at Best, Olio and Bronx and not expect to be mobbed when you join a pizza forum.

So, let me get this straight, Matt opens Bronx Pizza, Luigi works for him, learns the craft, then, at some point, Luigi takes an almost carbon copy of Matt's process and opens a new place?  And Matt was fine with that? And Luigi goes on National TV and tells Fieri he learned in Milan? Milan?!


Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 01:18:48 PM »
Considering how Frank and I don't actually get along (difference of opinions and work ethic), it would probably be f'ed up if I'm the one who reveals too much; however I can say that Best uses a mix of Caputo and Galahad based on the fact that they used to keep their flour out in the open at the restaurant.

As far as with Giulio, of all the people I've made dough with, he had some interesting techniques that he applied. I would want to read what has already been written about the VPN process before I comment on that. I can only imagine that what VPN teaches is just a starting point for what guys like Giulio and Roberto do for their own places.

Originals is different than both Bronx and Luigi's. The dough at Bronx & Luigi's is actually closer to a Neapolitan dough in it's simplicity. Whereas Originals is closer to a typical NY place (sugar, oil or some kind of conditioner in the dough). Having said that, I actually really enjoy the Bronx slice as something different to Originals. I know that when Matt was first putting Bronx together, he had it in his mind to bring the slice he grew up with back home (his favorite place being one called Dino's that was in upstate NY). I recall eating a similiar slice as a kid in places like Georgetown and Bensonhurst, but have yet to find a NY pizzeria today that makes anything close to Bronx (i.e. those places don't seem to exist anymore).

Both Bronx & Luigi's cold ferment the dough (as almost every pizzeria outside of a few select places in NY do). When you are making 60 to 70 dough balls per batch, it just makes it easier to time the dough appropriately.

I wouldn't say Luigi learned the craft from Matt, however I'm sure after seeing the success that style had in San Diego; it impacted the way he would make pizza in his own shop. A lot of the slice joints that opened up here have tried to mimic what Matt does. Many of which were started by Pizzaiolo's that actually worked for Matt. Matt opened Bronx in 1997. At the time he opened up, there was only one "reputable" slice place that was opened, and they made their pizza "in the back" and out of the customer view.

Online scott123

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 02:24:37 PM »
Frank doesn't strike me as one of the friendliest of guys.  He's no Paulie Gee, that's for sure  ;D That seriousness probably plays a part in the quality of his product, which is good for customers, but I'm not sure I'd want to work for him. Caputo and Galahad, huh?  I never would have guessed that.

Wait a minute, Caputo and Galahad are what Roberta's uses. Is this a Roberta's influence?  I know Roberta's are part owners, but I kind of saw Frank as a separate entity.

Luigi's uses sugar, by the way, although I can see where you're coming from regarding the slight departure from typical NY style.  For me, non-coal NY style really should have some oil.

NJ is the same way when it comes to pizza today and pizza 20-30 years ago.  The idea of a Metro NY area golden age is something that I've talked about quite a few times on this forum. It's actually one of things that brought me to Best- Frank mentioning it in his Slice interview.  Defining exact dates for these glory days is a bit tricky for me, because I became aware of it as it was already happening (1980), and the pizza here didn't turn to crap overnight, but my guess would be somewhere around 75-95.  There are one or two places that have maintained quality throughout (L&B seems pretty rock solid, as is Pizza Town), but it seems like countless places have fully embraced mediocrity.

So Bronx is old school NY pizza?  What's their bake time?

We had a group dinner at Forcella a while back, but it was a noisy Friday night, so we didn't get a chance to talk to Giulio much.  Based up talks I've had with Roberto, though, and other Neapolitan pizzeria owners, I'm 99.9% certain that Giulio is of the typical Neapolitan teacher/owner mindset and thus has no secrets.  The next trip I make to Forcella, I'm going to make sure to schedule it during a non busy time so I'll get a chance to talk to him, because, out of all the NY Neapolitan places, he's got the best dough, in my opinion.

Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 02:49:14 PM »
I know you guys were trying to figure out what the two black bowls were; I was actually under the impression that the first one was a little flour for the yeast but I guess I was wrong. I know for sure we don't use any sugar over here.

Although I give Frank credit for knowing what he wants in a pie; I would give the credit of execution to Ahkil and Gavi, who helped him jumpstart Best.

When I'm working the oven (which right now is a Marsal MB60), I tend to start between 525 and 550 and turn it up as the oven gets filled to offset some of the lose of heat (which is a little hotter than some of the guys). That gives me about a 6min. bake time. We are using 65-67% hydration so the pie actually performs better when the oven is a little hotter. I can't say for a fact, but I'm pretty sure that while the oven reads 525, it is actually 550 to 575. The key for me in cooking a good pie in a gas oven is to make sure you retain "hot air" inside the oven when the pie goes in, so keeping the oven door closed is essential. I'm at the point where I can pretty much visualize how the pie cooks in my head and know almost exactly when to turn it without even looking into the oven.

One thing I've comtemplated in my mind in respect to the golden age of pizza is the "industrialization" of food and the access to quality products that pizzerias had or don't have now. Considering the jump of pizzerias from the 60's to the 90's, something had to happen to produce all that extra product and I wouldn't be surprised if the mass production ultimately had an effect on the products themselves. Furthermore, I also believe that it's possible that modifications have been done to the food itself to hide the real cost of inflation/devaluation of the dollar.

I've only met Roberto once, but I've seen many of the videos he made through Slice and on youtube and know that he doesn't go into the same detail that I've seen Giulio do. I don't want to say that there is a level of "mysticisim" about it, I just don't want to put something out there that hasn't been said already.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 02:11:40 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 03:05:42 PM »
One thing I can say with certainty is that the way you guys go at it about dough and percentages here is far beyond I've seen most Pizza Makers do professionally. I think most places that open up have a preconceived idea of what they are going to do from experience and "conversations" with other Pizzaiolo (Best using the same flour as Roberta's being a good example) and then once they settle on something they like; they stick to it.

Having worked on the "inside", I can say that in most places, the dough is consistently more f'ed up than it isn't...but people don't really notice it.

Offline norma427

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 05:06:47 PM »
scarboni,

Great to see you on the forum.  You are a valuable asset.  ;D I really enjoyed your postings about different pizzerias.  

I was one of those people that was on the Luigiís thread trying to reverse engineer his pie.

I have also been to most of the pizzerias in NY you are posting about.  

Norma
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 07:36:31 AM by norma427 »
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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 06:08:44 PM »
One thing I've comtemplated in my mind in respect to the golden age of pizza is the "industrialization" of food and the access to quality products that pizzerias had or don't have now. Considering the jump of pizzerias from the 60's to the 90's, something had to happen to produce all that extra product and I wouldn't be surprised if the mass production ultimately had an effect on the products themselves. Furthermore, I also believe that it's possible that modifications have been done to the food itself to hide the real cost of inflation/devaluation of the dollar.

I've only met Roberto once, but I've seen many of the videos he made through Slice and on youtube and know that he doesn't go into the same detail that I've seen Giulio do. I don't want to say that there is a level of "mysticisim" about it, I just don't want to put something out there that hasn't been said already.

Perhaps publicly Roberto might reveal a bit less, but at our dinner, there was nothing he wouldn't tell us relating to his process.

I think a few elements conspired to ruin NY area pizza. Mass production/frozen pizza probably played a part, but I think the chains played a larger role.  I think if you look at pizza quality and chain growth, the two are inversely proportional.  As chains got more popular, moms & pops saw the money the chains were making and started chain-ifying their pizzas (longer bakes, conveyors, sheeters, etc.). Another huge factor was oven manufacturers.  Instead of selling flame breathing behemoths that lasted 50 years, they started cutting corners and made weaker and shorter lived products. Even if a mom & pop owner wanted a fast bake, they couldn't get it with the typical oven being sold. Today, on the gas side, you can get fast bakes out of of two ovens, the MB and the Y-600, but only with the brick ceiling option and a thermostat tweak, something the members here know, but your average new pizzeria owner probably wouldn't.

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 06:20:19 PM »
One thing I can say with certainty is that the way you guys go at it about dough and percentages here is far beyond I've seen most Pizza Makers do professionally. I think most places that open up have a preconceived idea of what they are going to do from experience and "conversations" with other Pizzaiolo (Best using the same flour as Roberta's being a good example) and then once they settle on something they like; they stick to it.

Having worked on the "inside", I can say that in most places, the dough is consistently more f'ed up than it isn't...but people don't really notice it.

Yes, there is a massive disconnect between the geekiness you find here and your average Giuseppe Q. Pizzaguy.  There's an even bigger disconnect between this forum and foodies/food forums. There are a few knowledgeable pizzeria owners, though and, while they don't spend all their waking hours here, they do grace our presence every so often. Jeff Varasano is a good example.  Brian Spangler has also been an invaluable contributor to the forum. Peter Taylor. More and more, we're seeing pros join the site, and, on the flip side, this site is graduating a record number of amateurs-turned-pros. I kind of doubt Chris Bianco will ever turn up, but, speaking of geeks, I think he qualifies. As far as I'm concerned, if you've got a test kitchen, you're a geek.

Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 07:35:42 PM »
Norma - Yea, I am quite familiar with the work you've done on this site. You guys are the real pros in my opinion! Guys like Luigi and myself just got lucky in being able to rub elbows with some of the more renown and established Pizzaiolos in the business. It's easier to just mimic something else instead of spending the time to see just how this ingredients really react and interact.

Scott - It's funny that you talk about how mom and pop stores changed to compete with the chains; the first pizzeria I ever worked at called Connies on Nostrand and Ave. Z tried to do just that and it inevitably ended with Sal selling the business (just in the nick of time if you ask me! =p)


Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 09:54:22 PM »
It's time to get the party started! I'll do my best to record the entire process, from making the dough, hand stretching and baking...Maybe even try to get some video as well.

Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 11:30:32 PM »
A couple of additions, in case I want to get a little more fancy. It occured to me that outside of a few brands I've used in the pizzerias over the years, I know absolutely nothing about Olive Oil!

I intend to start the dough sometime tomorrow and will do an early bake on Sunday.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2012, 11:50:46 PM »
I sincerely appreciate your visit here.  I can't wait to see the results.  Thanks in advance ...
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Offline Bobino414

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2012, 11:59:02 PM »

Scarboni

Welcome to forum.  I'm looking forward to your workflow posts.
I haven't been to Connies in years but did enjoy the pies.
Have you tried Del Mar's on Sheepshead Bay Road?  IMO Nicky and Frank made a good pie.

Bob

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2012, 07:40:10 AM »
I sincerely appreciate your visit here.  I can't wait to see the results.  Thanks in advance ...

Scarboni

Welcome to forum.  I'm looking forward to your workflow posts.

Bob

 8) +2

Norma

 
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Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2012, 12:45:20 PM »
Hopefully this will be one of the times it comes out successful! Usually I end up getting one thing great but mess up on the other (i.e. dough has great texture and flavor but didn't put the right amount of salt in the tomato =p).

Connies was good back in the day but started "changing with the times" and ended up making crappy pizzas. They are still open but it's a new owner now. If you go to have a slice, you will see exactly what I'm talking about.

Del Mar is pretty good, though to my understanding that business was sold as well. It's owned by the same guys that own Pizza Time(?) in Midwood (Ave. M I believe). My grandfather used to have a little luncheonette next door named Patsy Poor Boy's in the 70's....before the bank was there.

Offline scarboni

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Re: "Old" New User Here
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2012, 09:42:30 PM »
So I started a little batch of dough tonight after finally trying Pizzeria Bruno. I was thinking about doing it tomorrow but after eating two Neapolitan Pizzas, it was hard NOT to want to do it tonight! =p

The recipe is as follows (my apologies for not including percentages):

702g King Arthur Bread Flour
401g "00" Caputo (Red Bag)
706g Water
64g 365 Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
25g Salt
2g Fresh Yeast (standard pizzeria issue =p)

I started off by adding the Bread Flour, Yeast and Water together. I incorporated the flour slowly, while continually mixing with my other hand. Once it all came together, I let it rest for 15 minutes while I measured out the other ingredients (I also had a couple of Donuts in between =p). I always add the salt to the 2nd group of flour; in this case, it being the "00".

After letting it rest, I poured the rest of the flour/salt on the table and added the flour/water mix to the top of it. I then poured the Oil on top of that and started mixing it together with my hands.

I hand kneaded for a good 5-7 mins; adding a little flour towards the end after everything incorporated together. I would say on top of the above recipe I might have added another 30gs of flour, though I should probably be a little more technical next time.

From here, I put it in a container, covered the top of the container with a damp towel and wrapped that with plastic wrap. I am going to leave it outside at room temp. overnight (13 hours or so). At that point, I will probably ball it and let it rest for another 24hrs. in the cooler.


 

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