Author Topic: Avpn training advice and questions.  (Read 1572 times)

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Offline fagilia

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Avpn training advice and questions.
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:13:34 PM »
I searched the forum but did not find alot about avpn training i naples. Iam going back there this fall so i might do the week of training but i have questions.
1. Is it worth it. I mean its pretty expensive. I dont care about diplomas only knowledge.
2. How are the teachers. Are they open and easy to get to know and ask questions to?
3. Will they reveal everything?
4. Is ciro really one of the frequent teachers?
5. Do they teach how to make fior di latte from scratch. Or at least advice how to?
in general is it good or not? My current level of knowledge is probably around medium amateur and i have a wfo.

i should also i add that iam not working as a pizzaiolo just yet.
Thank you..
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 04:15:13 PM by fagilia »


Offline Rick M

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 08:57:38 PM »
When are you going?  I am signed up for the September 22nd class.

Rick
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 09:27:01 PM by Rick M »
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 09:11:47 PM »
500 bucks a day....what a total waste of one`s vacation time. Jeeez........ ::)
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Offline vandev

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 09:21:28 PM »
500 bucks a day....what a total waste of one`s vacation time. Jeeez........ ::)

LOL...You could spend it with Craig..probably learn more than your brain could handle and I'll bet he would throw in some 18 yr old scotch at no charge.... for much less than that......and would only take a weekend.... ;D  I would pay just to hang out and buy Craig drinks.... :-D

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 09:29:41 PM »
True dat.  :chef:
You could find all kinds of pizza joints over there that would gladly let you hang out and show you stuff for like maybe a hundred euros, tops!

Hell, for avpn kind of money you could take C with you and jus rent a nice lil villa that has a WFO...deal is done!  8)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 09:33:03 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline fagilia

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 01:16:50 AM »
Ok the general opinion seem to be that its not that good.
Then how can it be that bad ? After all the course is in naples with well known teatchers.
Maby anyone with experience from the training in naples could pitch in.

yes bob i have forced myself in to pizzerias i  naples before but i dont enjoy the feeling of being in the way for too long.

If i was in the us i would defenitely like to visit and learn from other memvers like craig and omid. But iam stuck in sweden.

i will probably go in october when its more cold weather and less tourists.

Offline sub

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 02:47:23 AM »
Hi fagilia,

Read this great article:

So You Wanna be a Pizzaiolo: Pizza Trainining & Getting Certified - Reality Check!

ps

Ciro Salvo has a new website cirosalvo.it consulenza e formazione

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 10:49:56 AM »
Ok the general opinion seem to be that its not that good.
Then how can it be that bad ? After all the course is in naples with well known teatchers.
Maby anyone with experience from the training in naples could pitch in.

yes bob i have forced myself in to pizzerias i  naples before but i dont enjoy the feeling of being in the way for too long.

If i was in the us i would defenitely like to visit and learn from other memvers like craig and omid. But iam stuck in sweden.

i will probably go in october when its more cold weather and less tourists.
I didn`t realize you were in Sweden...at least that saves you the airfare from the US.  Still, I would think there must be a place or 2 in Naples that could give good training without breaking the bank or making you feel you are in the way. Is it the `certification` that you are really after?
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Offline fagilia

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 03:18:57 PM »
Ahh nice thanks sub you seem to be a library of info.
No i did read about some certification but i dont even understand what it was for. no avpn police has stopped me from making pizza napoletana. Not yet in any case.  ;)

I do get the feeling you might be paying for this diploma more than anything else. Or are you?
But maby somebody has done what bob talks about. Is there?


scott123

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 03:44:34 PM »
Fagilia, you have a big advantage over other aspiring pizza makers in that you have a good oven. If I'm not mistaken, you're still working out floor conductivity issues, right? Once you've resolved that, you should have the perfect tool for the job, and it will just be a matter of making pizza over and over and over again until you have it perfect.

If your Italian was flawless and you could confirm that Ciro was teaching private lessons, and that he wasn't delegate any of the teaching to subordinates, then I think Ciro would be a good option, depending on the price.  But the likelihood of him being available for that kind of instruction is very low.

Stockholm should have a Neapolitan pizzeria.  I would develop your skills as far as they'll go at home and then see if you can apprentice there.  It doesn't have to be the best pizza in the world, but I would look for a Neapolitan oven.  You can help them raise their game, like Omid did at Bruno. But you really have to walk in their door with a vast amount of knowledge and skills.  Knowledge that you acquire here and skills you develop making pizzas by the truck load.

If you're absolutely dead set on training, I'd ask some of the more advanced American members if they'll train you remotely via webcam. That's how I train people across the globe in NY style.  It's not complicated at all.  Both parties just need a laptop, a webcam and a decent internet connection in their oven area. If the right member is willing to help, you can get up to speed very quickly with minimal expenditure.

Offline fagilia

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 03:56:51 PM »
Alright scott thanks alot.
well conductivity is solved and iam the only one making neapolitan pizzas in sweden. Please inform me off otherwise.
I have used up probably 250kg of caputo flour this summer for testbaking. That is just crazy.
Maby ill just use the trip for vacation after all.
what i was really looking for with training is the so called secrets. The more in depht knowledge that i did not read about here already.
thank you for all answeres.

Offline sub

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 04:15:11 PM »
Ahh nice thanks sub you seem to be a library of info.

You're welcome !

what i was really looking for with training is the so called secrets. The more in depht knowledge that i did not read about here already.

You can read the old posts of Marco and Ciro from pizza.it

I've learn a lot from them and it's free !  :P

scott123

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 04:25:07 PM »
250 KG of flour and you still classify yourself as a 'medium amateur?' That's a LOT of pizza to make without really feeling like you've completely mastered it. I know we have a few members who aren't too fond of paid training, but, if you're struggling with fundamentals, paid training can cover a lot of ground very quickly.  I'm telling you, skype is incredibly easy to set up and use, and, with the teacher watching the student, they can correct a lot of bad habits.

what i was really looking for with training is the so called secrets. The more in depht knowledge that i did not read about here already.

Honestly, I don't think you're going to find a lot of 'secrets' that aren't found somewhere in this forum.  They may not be easy to dig up, but they should be here.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 05:07:57 PM »
There are no secrets, there is only doing.

Offline thezaman

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 07:07:35 PM »
 there is a lot of interpretation in how to make this simple pie. roberto.,Ciro, Enzo, Craig, and Omid, all use the basic formula but every pie has its own signature. if you learn from any of them you will have a bench mark to create your own interpretation. i have taken the vpn and avpn class to see if they did things different which would result in a pie that was hand down better than what i did. yes there were differences that made my pizza better. no, there was not  a holy crap do i have a long way to go moment. this is a pizza that you can always improve on and that is what makes simple, complicated. sorry of this makes no sense.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2014, 07:47:06 PM »
Adding to Larry's comments, rather than spending money on training, I would suggest spending money visiting a dozen or more of the top places in Italy and the US and even beyond. To craft your own interpretation of Neapolitan pizza, you need to know what great tastes like and you need to know how great differs. Different pizzaiolos highlight different elements, and you need to know what elements sing to your heart. You won't know unless you've experienced it.  You will learn much more from experiencing greatness that by simply standing in it's midst while it rambles on.

I really don't like the idea of taking a class to learn Neapolitan pizza.  I subscribe to the idea of arrangiarsi which I've seen best described as: “Arrangiarsi or the ability to ‘arrange oneself’ is all about overcoming obstacles. Italians love to jump fences, and they do it with an agile grace that people from Anglo-cultures can almost never pull off. Flies more easily the radar than its English equivalent ‘to manage things’. ‘Manage’ implies the sceptre of command or at least the scrap of a plan. Artisans by tradition and temperament, Italians do not invest much confidence in management. ‘Arrangement’ is much more manual and works for craftsmen, not for kings. Craftsmen know how to make things look beautiful, and they have transformative powers. They cannot turn stones to bread but they can make them into statues and at least feed the soul. We may not be able to eat this dusty marble, but we’ll squeeze nourishment out of it somehow. This is Italy’s best-loved game. There is no bigger accomplishment than making something out of nothing.” http://www.theflorentine.net/articles/article-view.asp?issuetocId=1472

To me, this speaks to both the peasant history and artisan nature of Neapolitan pizza - the very essence of which is transforming simple ingredients into a thing of beauty that feeds the stomach as well as the soul.  It also defines my personal path to Neapolitan pizza. “Con l'arte di arrangiarsi si risolve tutto:” I have no formal training, but I know that with a bit of ingenuity I can figure out anything.

In my opinion, taking a class to learn Neapolitan pizza is the antitheses of what you are seeking to learn.
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Offline vandev

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2014, 07:52:32 PM »
Adding to Larry's comments, rather than spending money on training, I would suggest spending money visiting a dozen or more of the top places in Italy and the US and even beyond. To craft your own interpretation of Neapolitan pizza, you need to know what great tastes like and you need to know how great differs. Different pizzaiolos highlight different elements, and you need to know what elements sing to your heart. You won't know unless you've experienced it.  You will learn much more from experiencing greatness that by simply standing in it's midst while it rambles on.

I really don't like the idea of taking a class to learn Neapolitan pizza.  I subscribe to the idea of arrangiarsi which I've seen best described as: “Arrangiarsi or the ability to ‘arrange oneself’ is all about overcoming obstacles. Italians love to jump fences, and they do it with an agile grace that people from Anglo-cultures can almost never pull off. Flies more easily the radar than its English equivalent ‘to manage things’. ‘Manage’ implies the sceptre of command or at least the scrap of a plan. Artisans by tradition and temperament, Italians do not invest much confidence in management. ‘Arrangement’ is much more manual and works for craftsmen, not for kings. Craftsmen know how to make things look beautiful, and they have transformative powers. They cannot turn stones to bread but they can make them into statues and at least feed the soul. We may not be able to eat this dusty marble, but we’ll squeeze nourishment out of it somehow. This is Italy’s best-loved game. There is no bigger accomplishment than making something out of nothing.” http://www.theflorentine.net/articles/article-view.asp?issuetocId=1472

To me, this speaks to both the peasant history and artisan nature of Neapolitan pizza - the very essence of which is transforming simple ingredients into a thing of beauty that feeds the stomach as well as the soul.  It also defines my personal path to Neapolitan pizza. “Con l'arte di arrangiarsi si risolve tutto:” I have no formal training, but I know that with a bit of ingenuity I can figure out anything.

In my opinion, taking a class to learn Neapolitan pizza is the antitheses of what you are seeking to learn.

As Craig, in his own awesome way of doing whatever he does ...simply awesome...  what he is trying to say i think...to put it more simply...  what looks good...may not taste good and what looks bad may taste great...you have to find your own greatness and put your all into it.. like location location...build something good.. and they will come... ;D

Do you really think that first margarita served to the queen whey back then...  tastes as good as it does today done right ?    Probably not but it was a start of something good..  Go start something good.. ;D
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 07:55:27 PM by vandev »


scott123

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2014, 08:37:34 PM »
Adding to Larry's comments

Are you really adding to or are you subtracting from Larry's comments? From what I gathered from his post, I believe he's a pretty big proponent of training. He should be. Larry's the perfect example of the power of and perfect approach to paid training.  He's trained with some heavy hitters, and, rather than parrot or mimic them, he's selectively cherry picked the knowledge that resonated with him the most and made/makes a creation entirely his own (which surpasses that of his teachers).

The exact same way someone can go through the pages found here and acquire knowledge from multiple sources, that same person can acquire knowledge via paid training.  It's just one more way to add to one's knowledge base, and, with the right teacher, can be very accelerated learning.  Your posts on how you make your dough have been invaluable for beginners.  Just because you're not standing next to the person as they make the dough (or getting paid), doesn't mean that those pages aren't a form of training.  How can say that you don't believe in taking Neapolitan classes and yet teach a class yourself? :)

Eventually, as Larry has I'm sure experienced, you reach a point where your skills have developed to a point and your knowledge base has expanded enough where it's time to rely less on others and time to cultivate your own 'voice,' but, for the beginner (as Fagilia seems to self identify), paid training can be hugely beneficial- as long as it's the right person and as long as he maintains the appropriate Larry-like mindset.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 08:42:10 PM by scott123 »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2014, 01:24:15 AM »
I was adding to the idea that great Neapolitan pizza is not a unitary concept. All great Neapolitan pizza has things in common and differences. I don't disagree with what he wrote about having something to benchmark against. I just think it goes further - that the more you try, the more opportunity you have to discover new elements you can bring into your own style.

My belief, right or wrong, is that you should discover your own interpretation of Neapolitan pizza through experimentation.  As I described above, ingenuity not training is the essence of Neapolitan pizza. There is no bigger accomplishment than making something out of nothing.

You can't compare what I do to paid training. Here, I simply answer questions and share my experiences. I tell people what I think is right. I don't care if anyone agrees or if anyone doesn't want to hear it. Look at the people here most influenced by me. None of their pies look like my pies and none of them look like each others pies. Their are all beautiful in their own individual way, and this is largely because they also employed a large measure of their own ingenuity in figuring it out themselves. I think you risk losing that in paid training, and i think if you lose it, you will never get it back.
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scott123

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2014, 12:08:09 PM »
Craig, show me one example of a pizza maker that lost a single shred of individuality by doing paid training. Anyone.  When I look at Larry's pies, I don't see Roberto, do you?  When I see Roberto's pies, I don't detect any Starita-ness in them whatsoever. Giulio Adriani also trained under Starita.  Forcella and Starita a Materdei are universes apart.  Our own Andre Guidon took the VPN class with Giulio.  I dare you to find any similarities between the pizzas they produce.  Mangieri supposedly trained in Italy.  Do you see any resemblance between what he does and any Neapolitan pizzeria?  Ciro Salvo, who trained with his father, has been known to dabble in whole wheat blends.  Do you think his father played around with whole wheat? I highly doubt it.

You're perceiving this potential for cookie cutterness that simply does not exist. Everyone puts their individual stamp on what they create. If someone is passionate, ingenuity is always part of the process- and no teacher can alter that, either here or professionally.

All we are talking about here is knowledge.  No one has a monopoly on knowledge.  Someone can learn from reading your thread, just as they can learn from paying someone to train them.  It's merely a transfer of information, not a branding. With the right teacher, no one gets permanently scarred from a one week paid class, nor are they confined to any particular track by following your instructions you've laid out to the letter.

Are there bad teachers? Of course. Is learning from the volumes of free wisdom found within these walls preferable to paid alternatives? Absolutely. But does it necessarily have to be an either or scenario?  We've all seen what Ciro Salvo can do.  There's knowledge there, that, because of the language barrier, is most likely never going to make it to this forum.  If I were in the process of honing my Neapolitan skills, spoke Italian and had a few disposable dollars, I wouldn't mind acquiring some of Ciro's insight in person. But I'd also spend a load of time with your thread and Marco's posts/threads and all the other people on this forum that have shared Neapolitan knowledge.

And you can rationalize all you want, but this is a class:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20479.0

It's a free class, but it's a class. You have students.  Very successful students. The only difference between you and a paid teacher is money.  Are you implying that money dirties the equation in some way?  A good capitalist like yourself?  ;D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:13:03 PM by scott123 »

Offline thezaman

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2014, 08:44:57 PM »
 i think the whole pizza making lesson decision and why you would or would not do it is different for every one. when i started making Neapolitan pizza in my back yard with my new primevera70 it was very challenging. the high hydration dough and quick cook times resulted in a lot of frustration.that is when i first found this site.back then Craig was using his gas grill and Marco was really making this style of pizza sound very complicated. that is when i decided to take a vpn class. it was a vacation that was food related.  i went with my son and had a great time. i learned how to make the dough and cheese in quantity batches. i cooked during a few busy nights using a much larger oven than mine.
 when i left and got home i realized that the pizza tasted very similar in all aspects to mine, i was happy.i still felt that there were other pizzerias that may make a better neapolitan pizza. i headed to new york and ate at keste and loved the pizza!! i knew he was a avpn instructor and decided to go to his school. it was expensive but for 10 days of training i felt it was worth it.. i learned his methods which on a recipe basis were the same as the vpn method. the difference was dough management. from how it is stored to how to stretch it. i had no doubt that this was the method of Naples, with dough management that used no refrigeration,and controlled by yeast amount and salt levels.
 still looking for the neapolitan pizza that would be above all others i headed to Naples. i visited the caputo factory and ate lots of pizza. for me the pizza that was the best in Naples was da michaele's .the double mozzarella was amazing!! it is a non vpn  pizzeria and it was packed with flavor. according to mr caputo it was because of criscito  {old dough}used when making the dough.
 all of the other pizzerias we ate at were vpn certified. they were very similar to what i do but they have little secrets that they follow mostly their flour blends. blue and orange blue an Manitoba etc. 
 so that is my quest. if it was now that i started i would be visiting omid,craig or john conklin. probably all of them! and i still would do a professional class.
  has this been a waste of money? no, i use this background in all of my promoting my mobile oven the beautiful flame. i can say that with so many operators using the vpn document in promoting their product that i have put a lot of real time and effort in what i do. and not many can say that, for most of them its just words.
   

Offline parallei

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 10:42:32 PM »
thezaman,

Nice summary of your experiences.  I've been trying to do the NP thing for the last three years or so on my 2Stone.  I've been making some progress, but I'm not sure how much a structured class would help at this point.  A WFO certainly might help, or maybe throw me back two  years. >:(

I'd love to just hang out and watch a talented pizzaiolo while they were working and be able to just ask questions about things that are of interest to me. At this point, a structured class or course of instruction would be of no interest to me.

Paul

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2014, 12:26:27 AM »
I don't know, but $500 a day doesn't seem that crazy to me. That will be like one weeks worth of food inventory once your place is open. And a restaurant can easily cost 500k+ to open. So paying $2500 for professional training to me seems pretty useful. I mean yes you can study for years and learn it. But it just seems like an accelerated class. I mean what can't you learn from the internet on your own now? By that reasoning all higher education is quite useless.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2014, 12:28:09 AM »
You can bet that most of the class will be things you already know, or should know, but they spend the time on them is case you don't.  If you have the time and money, go for it for fun, just don't spend the kid's college money in hope that you will learn any secrets.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Avpn training advice and questions.
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2014, 12:30:11 AM »
You can only learn dough by working with it.  Reading and YouTube will not suffice.


 

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