Author Topic: New York Times article.  (Read 3637 times)

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Offline robert40

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New York Times article.
« on: July 02, 2008, 12:38:33 PM »
Interesting article today on Jeff Varasano. As far as I know he may even be a member here, but I'm usually the last to know things like that. ???
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/dining/02pizza.html?ref=dining


Offline BobinATL

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 01:04:54 PM »
He is indeed, i believe his handle is actually just varasano.  There's an article and photo gallery in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today also.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 01:32:43 PM »
His last post was Sept. 2007. He was very active when I first joined up.

Offline Essen1

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2008, 02:13:52 AM »
I'm glad Jeff is following his passion, bringing a great idea and even better pizza recipe to Atlanta. I'm sure he'll be successful.

But if he truly believes that making a pizza, or any kind of dish, at home, is the same as making it in a restaurant, he's severely mistaken.

Quote
"Isn't he nervous about the pressure of running and cooking in a restaurant?

"No," Varasano says. "Once I learn the brick oven, it won't be too different from what I do here."

I've worked in numerous restaurants during my college years, as a waiter and in the kitchens, worked in a bakery of my dad's friend to make some money for my Moped back then; but mainly did it to learn and gain some insight. I also filled in at one time, involuntarily at first, for the chef at my friend's restaurant for a weekend because he had surgery during the week.

It's a very fast paced environment. You better know your dishes and equipment to the T, because it won't be easy. There's a huge difference between creating great food at home and producing the same consistency in a commercial setting. Especially when people are paying for your product.

I really hope Jeff can pull it off, that he succeeds, has fun along the way and wish him all the luck. We need more people like him with a passion for pizza.

Mike

P.S.: Jeff, get your hands on some good wood  ;D



« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 03:28:45 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline varasano

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 08:08:32 AM »
Hey Guys,

Yeah, about that quote with me saying that baking in the restaurant is the same as baking at home...  I never said anything like that.

I always tell people if they think what they read in the paper is real, wait until some point they know a story first hand, then read about it in the paper and then look for the errors... Then assume that all stories have the same level of inaccuracy. It's so true.

Both the times and the ajc story (http://www.think2020.com/jv/2008_07_02_AJC.htm) had quite a number of inaccuracies. The ajc guy quotes me as saying I would never have another business partner after my last business partnership cause me so much grief - then he went on to describe my ex-girlfriend as my business partner 3 times. 

But I was happy to have both articles. I've got several other press engagements coming up as a result.

Even though I never said that quote, don't worry about me running the restaurant. My business plan is probably 4 times longer than my pizza website. I'm working with good people and I"ve been planning for 2 years. 

The reason I don't really post here anymore is that I get so much mail from the website that I can barely keep up with that. I'd already had mail from over 1000 people since my site exploded last year and this added another 200+.  I try to answer each one individually, so that takes up a huge amount of my time.

Anywho, I do plan on posting up an announcement here when I finally get my doors open. Just waiting on the construction guys now.

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 08:10:22 AM by varasano »

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 03:08:59 PM »
Jeff,
Thanks for taking time to comment!  The articles are very interesting and I wish you the best of luck with your pizzeria!

As for inaccuracies, I'm really wondering about this quote:

"In the steel floor of the lower oven, there is a jagged, dime-size hole, made when an errant piece of superheated topping melted through."

I've seen with my own eyes the amazing properties of supercooled water, but can a "superheated topping" actually reach the 2750o F temp needed to melt steel?

~sd
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Offline Essen1

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 04:27:44 PM »
Jeff,

Seems like there are always two sides to a coin.

I had a hard time believing that you'd be that naive to think it wouldn't be much different to make pizzas in a commercial setting vs. your home setting, especially after all the thorough research you have done in your quest of a great pizza recipe/crust style.

Like I said, I wish you much success with your new endeavor.

Mike
Mike

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Offline pcampbell

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 06:21:47 PM »
These are fun articles.  Jeff, c can't wait to make a trip down to Hotlanta to try some  of your pizza.  Myself I am still trying things differently with every pizza I make ... still not there, but not giving up!!! :chef:
Patrick

Offline varasano

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2008, 11:02:24 PM »
Here's what I said about it being the same at home as the restaurant. It's actually interesting because you can really see how changing a word here or there changes the whole meaning.  And the reporter was super nice and had no agenda. Can you imagine what it's like when they cover politicians they hate???

I throw tastings about once a month. I invite 10-25 people over and I have wine for about 30 minutes then we start rolling out pizzas. Often the people don't know each other because there's always a mix of people that have just written me off the net plus friends, suppliers to the business etc. We've got good music going and people are usually very engaged.  The reporter asked me what kind of ATMOSPHERE I was trying to create in the restaurant. I said "just like this." I want a fun atmosphere with good music, cool 20-50 somethings drinking wine, hanging out and meeting. 

That morphed into the misquote somehow implying I thought it was operationally the same as working at home.

Howevedr the hole in the oven quote is pretty accurate.  I was making a clam pie last year and a clam fell off and rolled off the stone and fell onto the metal floor. I don't think it's steel but it's metal and whatever material you'd expect to find lining a regular kitchen aid home oven. The clam immediately burst into flame.  I have foil covering the glass but someone said they saw a flash and I opened the door and the clam was on fire. So I took the peel an some tongs and got the fire out and took out the clam and everything was ok and after a lot of smoke cleared i continued. But A bit of char was left on the floor where the clam was. The next day I tried to clean the oven while it was cool and there was a tough little charred nub left that I just couldn't wipe out.

The next time I made pizza I figured that the bit of char would just turn to ash the way I've seen other bits do. I really didn't think it was a big deal. I turned the oven on clean and came back an hour later to check the temp and I open the door and the whole oven is yellow.  ??? The oven is about 300F instead of 700F.  ??? It didn't look like it popped a breaker or fuse which its done plenty of times before. I didn't know what was going on.

At some point I removed the stone and then I could see the floor more clearly and where the little nub had been, was now just a nickel sized hole in the floor. The yellow dust was burnt insulation of some kind. It was coating the entire oven like a powder that you could wipe off with a finger and make a finger mark with.  The metal peeled inward just like a soda pop top - it forms a horseshoe with one edge holding onto the floor and the other 3 sides detached and pressed into the area where the insulation was. 

So I have a double oven that is now down to a single....

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 11:07:09 PM by varasano »

Offline varasano

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2008, 11:10:44 PM »
And thanks guys for all the good wishes :-)

Jeff


Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2008, 11:36:43 PM »
The moral of the story is Clams don't belong on pizza!

Just my humble opinion.

Dangerous little bivalves.

PNW

Offline David

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 08:40:31 AM »
It's actually interesting because you can really see how changing a word here or there changes the whole meaning. 

Reminds me of a time when I was reread a statement I gave to a police officer.He wrote what he had actually wanted me to say !Thank goodness I had my wits about me and a witness there also.Scary  >:(
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: New York Times article.
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 07:11:26 PM »
Jeff,

I suspect that you can relate to this article, especially the part about the pizza in the Atlanta area: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aH0aFEwm8tMA&refer=home.

Peter