Okay, this should
be my last post on these two topics Thermodynamics
In the past, I have been pretty skeptical of gas Ferraras. I wasn't really seeing what I felt was a world class pie coming out of any of them, and, until I did, I wasn't going to give them my blessing. While I'm still skeptical that existing gas models can match WFOs at their best, I have seen enough gas oven pies (due, in large part to the fire codes at the expo), that I can comfortably say that I'm okay with the concept of a gas ferrara. I'm still a tiny bit leery of the number of BTUs these ovens are presently putting out and if it's sufficient enough to do world class pies day in and day out, but, if there is an issue, bigger or multiple burners will put that to rest (there probably isn't, but, still, I've got to see it). I have heard from NP purists who say that these ovens produce a pizza that's 'missing something,' and I have my own niggling questions about the impact of the water derived from gas combustion, but, I still have a lot of hope for these ovens.
Thermodynamically speaking, there's no aspect of a blackstone that deviates from a gas Ferrara. Not a one. In the manner in which the heat is directed, the BS is a miniature replica of the Ferrara.
If a gas Ferrara can do a Craig style pie, then a BS can as well. It's just a matter of fine tuning. Up until now, we're using the BS to paint with very broad strokes. There's a lot of nitty gritty waiting to be explored. We haven't scraped the surface as to what it's capable of achieving.Nudging
I've been accused of being an armchair quarterback in the past, and, this is probably my most heinous transgression. I've never posted a photo of my pizzas here, I've never made Neapolitan dough myself, nor have I ever used a blackstone, but here I am telling Chau (and others) to strive to achieve the seemingly impossible with this unproven device, and if you can't or won't, faintly implying wussiness. I'm being such a jerk, such a horrible quarterback, I'm making Tim Tebow look good
In all fairness, though, Chau, you've kind of set a precedent for doing great things. Go ahead and toot your own horn, because you should. You don't have a huge number of NP pies under you belt, but there's nothing novice about you. I'm specifically pushing your buttons, specifically insufferably goading you, because I see it in you. Up until recent months, you haven't, from what I've seen, been all that obsessive about NP, but it seems like you're catching the bug. You seem pretty amped, and, after the Summit, rightly so. I'm just trying to get you to take this fire (both literally and figuratively
) and reach for something higher- something that I know that you're capable of.
Emulation/cloning can get the occasional bad rap. I think there are a couple members who perceive it as being unoriginal. I don't see it that way, at all. I see it as an essential tool for honing skills and expanding pizza making muscles. Every great painter, at some point, has mimicked another- and that mimicry has frequently helped them to further their own voice, their own originality.
There's a lot to be said for forging your own path, but there's also rewards in following the paths of others- and there is no law that say we can't do both. I make what are probably pretty pure 'Scott' pies, but I also throw in the Suvio's (local pizzeria) circa 1982 pie and a Joe's 1992 pizza. I can copy and I can be original- even during the same baking session.
On this forum, cloning has pushed the learning envelope tremendous lengths. I know people have and will continue to disparage Papa Johns, but Peter's cloning adventures have, to a large extent, built this house. Those travails have laid the foundation for everything that we're currently achieving.
Rather than focusing on the fact that no-one has ever cloned Craig's work and drawing discouragement from it, I think the bigger question is "why the heck hasn't
anyone cloned a Craig pie?" If members are going to spend countless hours attempting to clone commercial products where a tremendous amount of guesswork and trial and error is entailed, why shouldn't they try to clone a world class pie where every possible piece of information has been graciously and meticulously provided for them? As much as many of us would like to believe that Craig has superhuman powers, or that an Acunto (or a Ferrara) can make pizzas that no other oven can produce, his skills, over time, can be acquired and the thermodynamic equivalent of an Acunto obtained.
Just to be clear, I'm not telling anyone to 'be' Craig- I'm not pushing anyone into putting a BS in their garage, building a beautiful prep table and getting a chocolate lab and calling it 'coffee,'
I just think that with all the hours this forum has put into cloning, a truly motivated member or two could, working with Craig, emulate his art.
This forum has many virtuoso pizza makers, and in your last post, you name a few, but what, imo, differentiates Craig from the rest is the extent of his consistency and originality. At this point, I can open up My Pie Monday, see the featured pie and know immediately and without any question that it's Craig's. There's not a lot of pizza makers that make pies that are that recognizable. His pies are so incredibly unique, consistent and recognizable, that, as far as I'm concerned, he deserves his own sub style of pizza: Craig style- pure NP, but signature Craig.
Craig is one of the best teachers on the forum. His talents in that area shouldn't just be utilized to make great NP, but to make his
great NP pizza. With this much unfettered access to Craig, if there's any sub style of pizza that could be cloned, that should be cloned, it's Craig's. The pieces of the puzzle all exist: a style worth emulating, a teacher fully capable of teaching it, and equipment capable of producing it. Someone just has to put the pieces together. It won't be easy, and the person that achieves it won't be a beginner, but, it can, and will be done.
18 months. January 5th, 2015