After reading this forum and seeing the comments stated it is clear some things need to be put into prospective. Iíve known Tony for a decade and the reason he has so many friends in the business is because heís earned each one via dedication to only being as good as the people around him. That is why he teaches so vigorously. So letís break this down.
Scott123 had a posted a disagreement with a post from someone who physically attended Tonyís Vegas tutorial and noted his recipe differences. Fine no biggie. We could talk more about that but the real start of this conflict came from this statement.
ď:shaking my head:
It's time for him to get his own Food Network show. That way he cover himself with badges and do the self-congratulation thing from now until the cows come home. He's got the IQ for it. He and Fieri can be best buds.Ē
Tony responded with an attack on your original argument and followed it up with a true defense of what he does and stands for as a professional in the community. He retorted that if this was in person Scott wouldnít be so rude. (I guarantee Tony would say everything he said online in person, i.e. the reason he didnít hide behind a fake name and wrote his full name at the bottom.) Tony Followed it up with how derogatory comments for the sake of making them are pushing real pizzeria owners from this site. I can attest to that being a fact.
I want nothing to do with seek to hate.
That was the last from Tony and then there are several posts that use argumentative fallacy of defending an action indirectly without addressing anything head on and deviating to side issues. Such as this.
ďTony, you can ShamWow it up in Vegas, win tens of awards from your friends, and pat yourself on the back all you want, and, if that makes you feel good, all power to you, but none of that is going to help you understand NY culture, my culture. It's not your fault that you're not from NY As long as you disrespect my area's history by spreading misinformation, I'm going to respond in a highly critical manner.
I don't know everything there is to know about NY style pizza nor do I represent it, but I am one of about 20 million NYers, past and present, that, collectively, own the rights to it. California doesn't have the right to redefine this area's cultural treasure.Ē
Let me start by saying that on behalf of New Yorkers Past and Present, Weíre good, We donít need or want you to defend us, we and our pizza are doing just fine.
So letís stop dealing in the sandbox and deal with facts. Iíve known Tony long enough to know the misconceptions people have of him.
Misconception #1 Tony doesnít know NY
Tony Knows NY style, California Style, and every style. Tonyís Pizzeria Napoletana is the only place in the world (not California, Not just America, but The WORLD) where you can have an authentic Coal fired NY Style pizza, Wood fired Caputo Margherita, Detroit style pizza made in real Detroit pans, St. Louis Style Ė Not my favorite style but it is a style and Tonyís is true to the style Ė and Chicago style. Plus countless other styles. He has a massive cellar so he can house all the different pallets of flour he uses, and as I recall he has 5 different styles of ovens also. Almost no one has 3 flours, Tony is rolling on last time I checked 8. He knows all these styles by befriending the best in each field and seeking to know the ins and outs of that style with his R&D.
Misconception #2 Tony is a Celebrity Chef.
Tony is a celeb because heís on TV, and that is as far as the celebrity status goes. Tony goes into his stores and doesnít stop. Heíll make every Margherita at His little Italy store in North Beach, go to Sacramento and watch Pizza Rock till they close. Entertain guests and answer questions all the way till 2 in the morning, be up and at the store by 7am to help with prep and be back at Capoís before they open in back in San Fran. Heíll make pizza all day and then use his day off to fly to LA because some TV show wants a food consult on a food show. If it gets pizza and love of it on the forefront heís there. He like myself doesnít take a vacation, as a pizza owner the time we are out of town is to compete and that is typically it.
Misconception #3 Expo is just about money
The notion the EXPO for Scot123 is a ďCraw in your side.Ē The feeling that Expo is for commercialism and not about the mom and pops that are the heart of the industry is the notion of a false martyr purist. Pizza Expo is where the mom and pops come to view over 50 seminars on everything from dough handling to how to deal with staff and manage a mom and pop. Itís a place people can find out about products that can make their pizzerias easier to operate and a place where companies that are pushing to make great products can finally get some attention. Small start-ups only get somewhere if people at expo notice them.
Most importantly Expo is a place where pizzaioloís have competitions to show off their pizza but more importantly push themselves and their craft to new heights by competing and knowing the best most innovative people in the industry. From the Italians who fly over each year to the young 25 year old couple who are just trying get their footing, Expo helps thousands each year.
If you want to talk commercialism, Tony has turned down more money than he has ever taken. Pizza Hut offered him in the high 6 figure sums to be on their team for ads and marketing. He said no when a lot of others would have said yes. And this was before his SF store, back when money wasnít flowing.
Misconception #4 Tony is a pizza tosser and should stick to that
Yes Tony did create the majority of the acrobatic pizzaiolo moves that are still used by young 20 year olds in competitions today. Truth be told he hasnít done a throwing competition in about a decade. In that time he has opened multiple stores and competed primarily in baking, and hasnít done that for a few years so he could focus on helping other independents and his school.
He didnít win his titles from friends who pat him on the back, he won the Caputo cup in Italy from Italian Judges who hate to give an award to any foreigner, let alone an American, but the pizza he made couldnít be denied. He is a master pizzaiolo for a reason.
Letís also address Scott and people who think like he does.
Scott wrote ďI don't tell you how to surf, farm, make movies, or anything else that California is famous for. Don't tell us what is and isn't in our pizza.Ē
In response, Tony has never surfed. San Francisco water is a Bay, not conducive for surfing.
On the topic of making movies, this jab about California reminded me of the Godfather. Francis Ford Coppallaís Classic that Iím sure Iíve seen over 100 times. Iíd be willing to bet most of the people on this forum have seen it several times as well. Scott wrote his credentials as having eaten at over 800 pizzerias. Thatís all well and good. But Iíve seen the Godfather and many thousands of movies, that doesnít equip me to direct a movie. I can say if I think it is good or not, but I certainly canít begin to needle what a director goes through to get their art to screen.
In the scene where Sonny beats Carlo in the street he phantom punches horribly and thanks to dvd its easy to see. Should be at the 1:10 mark.
Just because I can point out an imperfection doesnít make me a director or moreover an expert. If I really want to say, ďAww Coppala doesnít know crap about directing, did you see that scene with Sonny?Ē
A person who says that isnít smart. They are weak. They seek the failure of others and bringing down others who are held in high regard to justify their place in life. Rather than live and let live, they crap on what is held in High regard. In this case, that is Tony Gemignani.
Scott123 took a difference of opinion on salt and EVOO and turned it into multiple vitriolic rants against a man who has given more to this industry than anyone in the history of pizza.
The closing thought I would have to anyone who reads this is, what have you done in this life. Tony employs about 500 people currently, has helped thousands, including me, get our stores off the ground with hours of free advice that has yielded me and my 200 employees thousands for ourselves and our families. You can be in love with the mom and pop who run a single store, but we do more good for more of our own mom and more pops via dedication to craft, culture and above all else people with what we know, making pizza.
If you donít run a pizza place than this isnít something youíre going to understand.
If you havenít been at your pizzeria for 48 hours straight without going home, if you havenít woke up wheezing from bakers lung, if you havenít had to not know if youíd loose your house for the craft you love, than you might love pizza but youíre not a pizza maker.
To whoever reads this, a pizza makers life is filled with struggle, coming on this site to improve our craft makes it worthwhile. Arguing people who donít remotely understand the industry and the life we lead is an argument that is fruitless and a time waste. A waste I canít afford
I wrote this because one my guys was furious that anyone would speak ill of Tony. I wrote this to put things in prospective. But really my response to anyone who thinks ill of Tony is, obviously you donít know him.
I am not seeking to troll further on this post. Iím a one and done individual. You can seek to argue this or that and keep the cycle going, but that would only reinforce my point on the subject.
This forum should be for improving pizza, and only that, anything more is just pointless.