Author Topic: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!  (Read 10582 times)

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scott123

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #120 on: August 09, 2012, 03:22:35 PM »
Ryan, one could argue that the vast majority of people aren't as obsessed about pizza as we are, and Slice caters to this demographic, but I think the bigger reason is that the online public responds far more favorably to food photography than it does to reading about food.  Pizzamaking has plenty of food porn, but it's not front and center like Slice. It's like going to a dentist office and having a Tale of Two Cities and a copy of Time Magazine on the table.  Which are people more likely to read?

In order to get the most out of this site, you have no choice but to read- a lot. And that quantity of reading is only going to be appealing to a very small section of the public. Because of the highly visual nature of Slice, they will always top pizzamaking in Alexa ratings.  But for those that really want to learn, though, I would hope that they would come here.

My relatively new found faith in Kenji stems from four factors:

1. http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20120530-pizza-kettle-test-three-works-19.jpg

He baked this up, in his KettlePizza Insert, two months ago. Neither Alton Brown, Heston Blumenthal, Chris Young, or Peter Reinhart could EVER make a pie like this.  For anyone on this forum, this pizza would have been a life changing experience. We would go to tremendous lengths to understand what elements created this pizza and put in countless hours making sure that we could repeat it at will. I think we would also, if we were teaching other people how to make pizza, we'd teach them how to make this pie (or, if someone were looking for something especially simple, we'd at least nudge them in this direction).  Just because Kenji has caught a glimpse of the light but still hasn't completely converted to our religion, it still doesn't mean that the seed hasn't been planted. You cannot make a pizza of that caliber and forever remain gung ho about teaching people to make 13 minute pizzas. At some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, he's got to fully process that experience and begin encouraging his disciples to strive for something more.

That pizza might not have been immediately life altering for Kenji, but it was life altering for me.  Prior to that, I thought Kenji was destined to become another Alton Brown. The second I saw that pie, though, I had hope.

2. As much as NY pizza has suffered over the years, Kenji, being in this area, still has access to some great places.  He can hop on a bus and come out to Pizza Town or take a subway out to New Park.  There's also, as we know, a lot of solid Neapolitan places that can further shape his perspective. He's probably been to hundreds of pizzerias, and he still considers the empty pizzeria on the ground floor of the Serious Eats offices to be representative of NY style, but I think a trip to New Park could cure that.

3. While I think Kenji's adoring public gets in the way of his learning, he comes in contact with some tremendously brilliant people.  He could learn a tremendous amount from Adam Kuban and the other contributors to Slice.

4. In non pizza areas, Kenji is effin brilliant.  I was just reading this article earlier today:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/07/the-food-lab-how-to-make-a-chick-fil-a-sandwich-at-home.html

From the balanced, non fear mongering perspective on MSG to the incredible sleuthing he does to reverse engineer the recipe, I was in awe- and I'm rarely ever in awe. If he can take a fraction of this intelligence and apply it to pizza, we will have one of the most important contributors to pizza of this century.


Numbers count.  Slice gets way too many page visits to overlook it's importance. Between his Alexa ranking, his scientific mind, his ability to make a stellar pizza, the people near him and his potential exposure to great pizza, Kenji has too much going for him to continue on this course of mediocrity. I can't guarantee that he will rise to his full potential, but, out of the people in the industry that could do great things, he instills the greatest hope.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 03:34:32 PM by scott123 »


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #121 on: August 09, 2012, 03:27:32 PM »
Ryan, I'm not sure I understand the point you're trying to make?
If you like the way pizzamaking.com runs and benefit from the information shared/discussed here then surely that's all that matters? Why is it important to be "THE" pizza web site?  As Craig rightly points out the two sites you mention (this one and serious eats) serve two different purposes - the clue being in the name! ;)

It's OK because I understand why you don't understand the point I may have been trying to make. It's not important to me for this to become THE pizza web site, but it does seem important to some other people, which is a vibe I picked up from some posts in this thread. To me it already is the best, but if enough people would like it to become bigger or whatever, I suppose I'm on board to try to help them. I just think people would need to be very cautious, because you know what they say about getting what you want.

I know from my own project(s) that size and recognition are not necessarily important. Once upon a time I hoped to attract the attention of people who might help me create a documentary or TV show because I know documentation of my experiences would blow people's minds, and because I know my travels have led to a really compelling story that only I can tell. Nobody does what I've done, and nobody meets the people I meet in the way that I've met them.

However, I no longer crave the recognition that I used to crave because I now realize that if "Hollywood" did come knocking on my door, they'd try to force me to turn my amazing creation into some stupid reality show that would be maybe one percent as interesting as what I've always envisioned. And I wouldn't do it, even if I stood to make millions of dollars, because no amount of money or fame is worth the misery I'd experience by selling myself out. Besides, I already know I wouldn't be a good character in a reality show.

And I guess my point is this: If pizzamaking.com becomes big enough, there will likely be a lot of unwanted consequences that would turn pizzamaking.com into something very different, thus driving away most of the best contributors. Instead of being "Aimless: The Adventures of Some Dude who Really Does Live Like a Bum and Tons of Other Cool Stuff," it would become yet another stupid interactive reality show that everyone watches, then adds their $0.02, but it would have no point to anyone with a brain.

If pizzamaking.com became big enough, there would be endless threads of "How do I make pizza?" and the same stupid crap that inspired this thread.

Am I making sense?

enter8

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #122 on: August 09, 2012, 03:31:29 PM »
It's OK because I understand why you don't understand the point I may have been trying to make. It's not important to me for this to become THE pizza web site, but it does seem important to some other people, which is a vibe I picked up from some posts in this thread. To me it already is the best, but if enough people would like it to become bigger or whatever, I suppose I'm on board to try to help them. I just think people would need to be very cautious, because you know what they say about getting what you want.

I know from my own project(s) that size and recognition are not necessarily important. Once upon a time I hoped to attract the attention of people who might help me create a documentary or TV show because I know documentation of my experiences would blow people's minds, and because I know my travels have led to a really compelling story that only I can tell. Nobody does what I've done, and nobody meets the people I meet in the way that I've met them.

However, I no longer crave the recognition that I used to crave because I now realize that if "Hollywood" did come knocking on my door, they'd try to force me to turn my amazing creation into some stupid reality show that would be maybe one percent as interesting as what I've always envisioned. And I wouldn't do it, even if I stood to make millions of dollars, because no amount of money or fame is worth the misery I'd experience by selling myself out. Besides, I already know I wouldn't be a good character in a reality show.

And I guess my point is this: If pizzamaking.com becomes big enough, there will likely be a lot of unwanted consequences that would turn pizzamaking.com into something very different, thus driving away most of the best contributors. Instead of being "Aimless: The Adventures of Some Dude who Really Does Live Like a Bum and Tons of Other Cool Stuff," it would become yet another stupid interactive reality show that everyone watches, then adds their $0.02, but it would have no point to anyone with a brain.

If pizzamaking.com became big enough, there would be endless threads of "How do I make pizza?" and the same stupid crap that inspired this thread.

Am I making sense?
Ah cool. Understood.  Thanks for having the patience to explain! :)

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #123 on: August 09, 2012, 03:45:25 PM »


1. http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20120530-pizza-kettle-test-three-works-19.jpg

He baked this up, in his KettlePizza Insert, two months ago. Neither Alton Brown, Heston Blumenthal, Chris Young, or Peter Reinhart could EVER make a pie like this.  For anyone on this forum, this pizza would have been a life changing experience.

 ???
Pizza is not bread.

scott123

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #124 on: August 09, 2012, 03:50:33 PM »
???


Sorry, the previous seriouseats conversation that Ryan was referencing was completely NY style centric. Since this was a continuation of that discussion, I was keeping with that theme. For anyone on this forum seeking to master NY style pizza this pizza would have been a life changing experience.

enter8

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #125 on: August 09, 2012, 03:58:41 PM »
Sorry, the previous seriouseats conversation that Ryan was referencing was completely NY style centric. Since this was a continuation of that discussion, I was keeping with that theme. For anyone on this forum seeking to master NY style pizza this pizza would have been a life changing experience.

I'm a bit confused. On the subject of visual reference points - are you saying that the pizza pictured in that link is what you consider to be a life-changing NY style pizza?  It seems rather different from the sort of pizza I think of being sold as NY street slices.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #126 on: August 09, 2012, 04:13:06 PM »
Yeah, uhh, I don't think that pizza looks good at all. Can I have some of what you've been smoking? :D

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #127 on: August 09, 2012, 04:20:40 PM »
Sorry, the previous seriouseats conversation that Ryan was referencing was completely NY style centric. Since this was a continuation of that discussion, I was keeping with that theme. For anyone on this forum seeking to master NY style pizza this pizza would have been a life changing experience.

I don't disagree it is a nice pie - especially given the "oven." But is it really what you would a consider life changing NY-style pie? I'm not seeing it. The NY section of the forum is filled with pictures of pies that look as good or better than that one, IMHO.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #128 on: August 09, 2012, 04:22:18 PM »
Craig, you posted at 4:20.

enter8

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #129 on: August 09, 2012, 04:23:03 PM »


scott123

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #130 on: August 09, 2012, 04:31:10 PM »
Ryan, it's not the best NY style pizza ever produced, but, as far as what Kenji's produced in the past, trust me, it's life changing:

Neapolitan attempts:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20100909-pizzology-neapolitan-pizza-primary.jpg
http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20120308-indoor-skillet-pizza-17.jpg

New York attempts:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/10/the-pizza-lab-how-to-make-great-new-york-style-pizza.html

This may look a bit more traditionally NY, but the crumb is bone dry.  The KettlePizza crumb is an entirely different animal (and no, I don't need a photo to know what it looks like).

And here's a photo of pizza from Modernist Cuisine (Chris Young):

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/137365-can-you-make-authentic-neapolitan-pizzas-at-home/page__st__30__p__1792128#entry1792128

As you can see, these are all incredibly amateurish looking pies. The KettlePizza pie is in another class.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #131 on: August 09, 2012, 04:32:54 PM »
Craig, you posted at 4:20.

I guess I'm dense. I don't get it?
Pizza is not bread.

enter8

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #132 on: August 09, 2012, 04:36:15 PM »


And here's a photo of pizza from Modernist Cuisine (Chris Young):

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/137365-can-you-make-authentic-neapolitan-pizzas-at-home/page__st__30__p__1792128#entry1792128

As you can see, these are all incredibly amateurish looking pies. The KettlePizza pie is in another class.
That picture you posted on the egullet thread:
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=11638

That crust looks amazing (although agreed not entirely NY style) - was that one of yours?

scott123

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #133 on: August 09, 2012, 04:41:07 PM »
I don't disagree it is a nice pie - especially given the "oven." But is it really what you would a consider life changing NY-style pie? I'm not seeing it. The NY section of the forum is filled with pictures of pies that look as good or better than that one, IMHO.

Craig, like I said, it's far from perfect.  The thickness factor is off, the bake time is a little on the short side, but compared to the majority of NY style pies on this forum, this is definitely a life changing pizza. It's not drop dead gorgeous, but it has eating properties that many NY style attempts fail to achieve.  With the right thickness factor, this could be close to a Chau NY WFO pie, which, imo, is one of the best NY styles in the forum.

This is a life changing 3ish minute NY style pie, but you can have 4 and 5ish minute pies that are equally as life changing that are still NY but also quite a bit different.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #134 on: August 09, 2012, 04:42:41 PM »
I guess I'm dense. I don't get it?

Just google 4:20. I swear I just saw recent pictures of you, and you don't look very old. Only child?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #135 on: August 09, 2012, 04:48:14 PM »
Just google 4:20. I swear I just saw recent pictures of you, and you don't look very old. Only child?

No, I have a little brother. I love a good drink or three, but pot has never interested me in the slightest.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #136 on: August 09, 2012, 04:50:36 PM »
Just google 4:20. I swear I just saw recent pictures of you, and you don't look very old. Only child?
I think some of you fella's been smoking something life changing.... :chef:
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scott123

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #137 on: August 09, 2012, 04:52:00 PM »
That crust looks amazing (although agreed not entirely NY style) - was that one of yours?

That's a Mark (Communist) slice from the steel plate thread.  While I did call it 'coal' at the time, after seeing what Lombardi's and Totonno's are putting out lately, it has more in common with a classic Pizza Town or New Park NY style slice than modern coal.  The amount of charring is historically coal-ish, so it's not pure NY, but it's not pure coal either.

enter8

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #138 on: August 09, 2012, 04:52:11 PM »
Craig, like I said, it's far from perfect.  The thickness factor is off, the bake time is a little on the short side, but compared to the majority of NY style pies on this forum, this is definitely a life changing pizza. It's not drop dead gorgeous, but it has eating properties that many NY style attempts fail to achieve.  With the right thickness factor, this could be close to a Chau NY WFO pie, which, imo, is one of the best NY styles in the forum.

This is a life changing 3ish minute NY style pie, but you can have 4 and 5ish minute pies that are equally as life changing that are still NY but also quite a bit different.
OK now I'm really confused. Scott can you please explain what style of pizza it is that you are making?  It seems we are increasingly cross referencing a multitude of different pizzas none of which seem to address the original NY style that inspired you in the first place? Could you show us an example of something you've baked so we can all get a common reference point?

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A Word to the Wise for Newbies!
« Reply #139 on: August 09, 2012, 05:00:53 PM »
...but pot has never interested me in the slightest.

Well, there ya go. I haven't smoked much myself, either, but I picked up on the term somehow. For a long time I knew it had something to do with pot, but I really didn't know what it meant until years later.