Author Topic: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.  (Read 7654 times)

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Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2013, 07:12:33 PM »
2.5% salt in a N.Y. dough? Hmm, sounds like it's worth a try! Might be pretty darn good!  ::) oops, I mean  ;), I mean :-X I mean :-* >:D :-D

I know you're joking, Steve, but I consider you an expert in these matters.  If someone was looking to make an authentic NY style pizza, and they asked you your advice on coming up with a formulation, would you really tell them to use 2.5% salt?


Offline Ev

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2013, 07:46:57 PM »
No, I must admit, I'm almost exclusively a 1.75% kind of guy. Occasionally though, I've been known to go as far as 1.8! :-D
But really, what's the harm in trying 2.5? Good or bad, you're likely to learn something.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 07:49:19 PM by Ev »

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2013, 08:16:46 PM »
Steve, with your love of Neapolitan and your extensive experience eating NY style pizza, I would think you'd be an excellent candidate for being able to clearly differentiate between a 1.5%-2% salt crust and a more Neapolitan-ish 2.5% salt crust.  I know you haven't spent a huge amount of time in NY, but you've had plenty of NY slices (other than your own and Norma's).  Phillie's got a few NY places as well, right?.  Out of all the NY style places you've been, did any of the crusts taste like they were 2.5% salt?

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2013, 10:59:22 PM »
Scott,  fwiw I know we disagree on 1 subject,  but we will leave that alone for now.  I do just want to pop in here after reading this thread and say that I do not think you were disrespectful to Tony but honest.  I agree with you on all points.  I have eaten Tonys pizza,  chatted with Tony and while good it was not as good as I had hoped.  Maybe I am jaded,  and my "amazing" pizza experiences are few and far between.  I posted my thoughts recently in another thread and I stand by them.  That thread is here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,23630.msg239960.html#msg239960

 I applaud your efforts to keep the definition of NY pizza on track and your no holds barred approach.  Unfortunately the general public will accept awards as the be all end all of food quality,  meaning if they say its the best,  it must be the best,  then they go and tell everyone they had the best and where to get it.  Then everyone has had the best,  and they all know it.  But they all missed the point.  Even Tony says his pizza is amazing,  maybe he has not had the best either.  And I am not saying that the pizza isn't really good.  Here is the problem,  since he is so busy traveling and opening up celebrity pizza places,  helping and training everyone in the country he is not making much of the pizza or overseeing the operation(s)  I am afraid for him that he wants to be the dunkin donuts of pizza.  I know easy for me to to say from here behind my computer.  Too bad he wasn't just content with trying to be the best in a location or two like Chris Bianco and some others.  Just my 3 cents -marc

Offline Ev

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2013, 07:52:29 AM »
Steve, with your love of Neapolitan and your extensive experience eating NY style pizza, I would think you'd be an excellent candidate for being able to clearly differentiate between a 1.5%-2% salt crust and a more Neapolitan-ish 2.5% salt crust.  I know you haven't spent a huge amount of time in NY, but you've had plenty of NY slices (other than your own and Norma's).  Phillie's got a few NY places as well, right?.  Out of all the NY style places you've been, did any of the crusts taste like they were 2.5% salt?

No, I guess not, but then again I've had pizza that I've thought could use a little more salt only to find out that there was already 2%. I think it's all about balance. Like in NP, there's typically less salt in the sauce and fresh mozz and so there's more in the dough.

Offline Steve

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2013, 09:47:27 AM »
Robyn, I have never had a post removed for content on this forum.  Ever.  You can ask Peter.

Maybe you should ask me instead because you're stretching the truth (no pun intended).
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Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2013, 09:48:03 AM »
It's another day and the dust has settled a bit. Within the context of a good night's sleep and a calmer frame of mind, I wanted to take a moment and provide a little more insight as to the motivations behind my actions on this forum.

From day one in this community, my agenda has been crystal clear: Protect my region's cultural treasure as it traverses the nation/globe while helping people replicate it on their own.  Not a single post of almost 5000 has wavered from that goal. At my core, it's who I am. I can't separate out my protective inclinations from my desire to help. If you get me, you get both of my aspects- protector and teacher.  There is no Scott 'lite.' I'd like to think that I'm a teacher far more than a protector, and, if you look at my posts, it seems that 99% them are from an educational rather than a critical perspective, but if my culture is being attacked, I'm stepping up.

Earlier, Robyn said that I enjoy being controversial.  This couldn't be any further from the truth. I HATE this misanthropic role. HATE it.  It's misery being this critical. If I'm going to protect my culture, though, this is the role that I occasionally have to play.

Sometimes, I'm just angry, and that anger makes it onto the page.  The commercialism of the expo makes my blood boil and I needed to vent- knowing full well that nothing that I say will ever make the expo less commercial. That kind of venting serves little purpose. When it comes to challenging misinformation, though, I forcefully criticize in an attempt to push buttons, and it is through pushing buttons that my message tends to travel the furthest.  There's a two prong nature to controversy.  First, as Peter pointed out, criticism sticks with people more than praise.  It's a sad aspect of human nature, but the squeaky wheel tends to get the oil. If a famous person is spreading bad info, within the chorus of deafening praise that's constantly being showered upon them, the only way that I'm going to get their attention is if I rock the boat. Secondly, controversy helps the correction stick in the minds of those that might buy into the fallacy.  Any beginner reading this thread is going to think twice about using 2.5% salt in a NY formula.  Had I put forward the correction in a less critical manner, the cultural misrepresentation would have taken far greater root.

When famous people open their mouths, people listen. Celebrities like Tony wield a vast amount of power. The damage they can do when they're incorrect can be devastating. To this day, thanks to Jeff Varasano, people still believe that Patsy's uses a starter and that sourdough might play a role in NY pizza.  When misinformation has the potential to influence thousands of impressionable minds, I have to counter that colossal force with an equally powerful force of my own.  And the strongest tool in my toolbox, the only instrument that has any hope in countering these fallacies, is controversy.

Believe it or not, I have serious mancrushes on just about all the famous people that I criticize. Nothing would make me happier than to sit down, have a slice and chat with Tony.  He seems like a really great guy (when he's not making veiled threats ;) ). As long as he's preaching inaccuracies, I have to be the villain. But it doesn't make me happy. When I come across someone struggling with some aspect of their pizza and I can say 'try this or try that' and they have success following my suggestion, that's where my joy comes from. Playing a role in PolishPizza's almost overnight transition from beginner to ace was one of the happiest moments of my last 5 years. I LOVE teaching. But alienating people that I, for the most part, look up to- those have been the unhappiest moments of my last 5 years.

On the plus side, for those of you who have issues with controversy, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  There's only so many people that have the power to influence thousands. The list of famous people that I have an axe to grind with is dwindling. I've made my peace with Reinhart. I'll still continue to trashtalk American Pie, but as far as calling Peter, himself, names, that's done.  I'm not that happy about what might make it into Kenji's book, but, at this point, I can't see what I can do about it. Kenji is fully aware of my issue with the manner in which he defines NY style pizza, he's a brilliant guy and we have mutual friends. I'm hopeful that some aspect of this equation will allow truth to eventually trickle through. Who's left? Varasano?  Other than his recent laughable tirade against bromate (which may or may not have been a joke), I'm fine with Jeff.

On the famous people front, other than Tony, there's really no one left to criticize.  Now, there's always going to be someone with another 2stone knockoff trying to make a quick buck. When potentially specious claims are made and people's hard earned money is on the line, my protective nature really kicks in, so, if you want this place to be Disneyland, as long as I'm here, that's not going to happen. But, on the celebrity side, things should simmer down.

As far as Tony goes, if he's going to come after me like he did, I'm going to defend myself and respond in a similar fashion.  If he wants to converse in a calm civil manner, I'm more than happy to initiate a dialog. As discussed, the expo is a tremendous stick in my craw, but I can criticize the expo independently from Tony. At the end of the day, I don't really care about the clothes Tony is wearing :) My commercialism concerns are a drop in the bucket compared to Tony's inaccurate depiction of NY style pizza. If he's willing to discuss my concerns, even if we end up agreeing to disagree, it will go a long way in ameliorating the situation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know that there are one or two members who will despise me no matter what I say, but, I'm hoping that, for a would be detractor that might be on the fence, this insight might help you understand where I'm coming from a bit better.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 10:12:12 AM by scott123 »

Offline scott123

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2013, 09:51:14 AM »
Maybe you should ask me instead because you're stretching the truth (no pun intended).

Sorry, Steve, I forgot about that post that you deleted. In all fairness, it had nothing to with Tony or any other celebrity. It was regarding claims regarding a new product, which, as I said, I will always rail against if I feel like the purveyors aren't being 100% truthful.

Offline Ev

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2013, 11:19:59 AM »
Thanks for the clarification of your views, Scott. As I've said before, both publicly and privately, I appreciate your knowledge and passion about pizza. Sometimes I take offense at the name calling and what appears to be intentionally hurt feelings, tantrums, meltdowns, and whatever. I get it. It's a heavy weight you have to bear. At least you have the nerve to stand up for your convictions. It's just a shame that it means there will be hard feelings along the way. FWIW, I tend to take everything I read here with a grain of salt. Just not 2.5% :-D

Online JD

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2013, 11:21:12 AM »

To this day, thanks to Jeff Varasano, people still believe that Patsy's uses a starter and that sourdough might play a role in NY pizza. 


I tend to sit back and watch when these situations happen, but the above quote hit home for me. When I did my first Google search on how to replicate NY pizza outside of NY, Varasano's website was the first link I clicked. Within a short time I received my Ischia starter and began my NY pizza quest.... or should I say struggle.

It wasn't until I found pm.com that I realized Ischia is better suited for Neo, and ADY + cold rise is all you need to make a decent NY pie at home. Although I'm happy to have the Ischia starter, I would have accomplished my goals far faster if I came to pm.com first.

Personal attacks are unwarranted, but so is misinformation. I appreciate those who take the time to share their knowledge to help others meet their goals.
Josh


Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2013, 11:55:13 AM »
Scott,

You have my support and respect.

My opinion on name calling, hurt feelings and the like is that as long as expletives, racial slurs, or other generally unacceptable terms are not being used then posters should feel free to vent; express strong feelings; whatever. You don't like what you're reading, change the channel. Same as with radio or TV.

You are very well-spoken (at least in print :)) and are clearly passionate about this subject. Being a partially reformed curmudgeon myself, I can personally understand why you wrote in the style you did, and I don't have a f%#&ing problem with it! :-D

I do hope that you get your lunch with Tony G.

I'd bet that you'd probably end up like a couple of 3rd graders who are punching the ***t out of eachother at recess one day and then are best friends 50 years later.

John K

Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2013, 02:41:21 PM »
Scott123, you are the Godfather of New York Pizza, the Father of the Steel Plate, and if some one with faulty info messes with you, a real son of a ....!  Thank you for bringing me to the promised land of New York Pizza.  My ovens are cranked, the dough is rising, and Friday night pizza making awaits!  Your advice is invaluable, your generosity amazing.  I understand you.  Many on this forum need you!  Keep up your passion!   There are several big hitters on this forum.  You bat clean-up for me.   "The security of Society lies in custom and unconscious instinct, and the basis of the stability of Society, as a healthy organism, is the complete absence of any intelligence amongst its members." Rock our world - keep your intelligence coming!

Offline communist

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2013, 04:40:46 PM »
Tom, I too, am eager to see the "exact" recipe of the Godfather!  I bet it would knock my socks off.  But the Godfather has taught me that the journey is just as important as the destination, and I have, with his guidance, developed a recipe that works wonders for me and my family and friends.  I am glad to share it with you or anyone.  It has been posted on this forum and I would be glad to post it again.  I cannot guarantee everyone would like it.  Tom, that is just not going to happen.  We have talked about that extensively on this forum.  There is no one exact pizza sauce recipe for everyone.  The Godfather would never send you on a fool's errand.  But he will give you the guiding principles of how to develop your own sauce.  Socrates states wisdom begins in wonder.  Best of luck on your journey Tom!

Offline caymus

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2013, 05:27:17 PM »
I assume you are not writing this to prolong a grudge



I realize there is no exact sauce recipe for everyone. However, i am asking to ses His (Scott123) sauce recipe. PLEASE POST IT. Thank you

PS
Please post the links to the sauce and to his dough recipe on this or another forum
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 05:39:45 PM by caymus »

Offline TomN

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2013, 05:46:45 PM »
Removed Comment
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 01:11:40 AM by TomN »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2013, 05:51:57 PM »
Queen - I Want It All
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2013, 06:45:30 PM »
Here's his dough:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20732.60.html

As for sauce I see he already gave you his process which is better the a quantitative recipe due to the variance in tomatoes. 
-Jeff

Offline FrancisthePizzaiolo

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2013, 01:57:17 PM »
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.

Sonny


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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 11:33:52 PM by FrancisthePizzaiolo »

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2013, 02:19:02 PM »
So you joined today just to say and act exactly how you are telling others how not to act... makes a lot of sense.

Offline jeff v

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Re: Pizza Expo 2013: Going to Pizza School with Tony G.
« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2013, 02:40:16 PM »
So you joined today just to say and act exactly how you are telling others how not to act... makes a lot of sense.

Really?

It seems to me they joined to make some cogent counterpoints to personal attacks and misconceptions. Also to attest that these things keep people from enjoying this site fully or participating altogether.

How many people need say these things before others realize it matters?