Author Topic: Tony G: 1 day class in Chicago Wed May 22, 2019  (Read 1182 times)

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Offline john_k

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Tony G: 1 day class in Chicago Wed May 22, 2019
« on: April 17, 2019, 04:18:36 PM »
I just signed up.


[From the description]:
Master Instructor Tony Gemignani will be teaching a unique and 1 -day class here at NAPCA, with Laura Meyer 2 time world pizza champion and corporate chef.

This class gives you a better understanding of  different pizza styles. This course will give you the confidence to make great pies and leave you with a better understanding of classic Italian pizza.

Your day will start in our classroom at 9AM, with Tony and Leo. We’ll move to the dough room and finish in our oven room, stretching topping and baking.


The following pizza styles will be demonstrated:

Sicilian, Detroit, NY, & Pizza in Pala 

Making dough with starter –  Classic American w/starter demo in a spiral mixer
Making a classic east coast tomato sauce & vodka cream sauce
Proper techniques for opening and stretching dough
Oven technique and training – Students will work on grabbing pizzas on a peel and turning pizzas in the oven etc.
Students will work in very small groups, seating is limited

Tony Gemignani is the chef and owner of twenty-one concepts in Northern California and Las Vegas and a 13-time world pizza champion. Born and raised in Fremont, California, Tony Gemignani has received a number of accolades for his impressive pizza making and throwing skills over the past decade. He is the first and only Triple Crown winner for baking at the International Pizza Championships in Lecce, Italy; and, his most prestigious title to date, the 2007 World Champion Pizza Maker at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy, where he was the first American and non-Neapolitan victor. Tony has been inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records four times for most consecutive rolls across the shoulders, largest pizza in the world, longest pizza in the world, and most people tossing pizza at once. In 2016, he became the first American to win first place in the Pizza In Pala division at the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy.

Tony is president of the World Pizza Champions, and an official U.S. Ambassador of Neapolitan Pizza by the city of Naples, a prestigious title only given to three people in the entire world. He is also the first Master Instructor in the United States from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli and is the proprietor of the International School of Pizza where he certifies chefs from around the world.

Tony has appeared on a number of popular shows including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Food Network, including taking home the gold medal at the Food Network Pizza Champions Challenge. In an effort to share his talent and passion with aspiring connoisseurs, Tony collaborated with acclaimed cookbook writer, Diane Morgan, on his first cookbook PIZZA, which was showcased on Emeril Live and The Rachael Ray Show. Following the success of PIZZA, he wrote his first children’s book, Tony and the Pizza Champions, a fictionalized telling of a pizza team’s journey to compete in the International Pizza Lovers’ Competition. In October 2014, he debuted The Pizza Bible, the definitive book on pizza

Offline Park.Pizza

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Re: Tony G: 1 day class in Chicago Wed May 22, 2019
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 01:10:37 PM »
I need to pay more attention. I keep missing this opportunities.
Throw me a slice, won't ya

Offline john_k

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Re: Tony G: 1 day class in Chicago Wed May 22, 2019
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 09:22:17 PM »
The class was full at about 23, with people coming from as far as Ohio and Green Bay, plus a lot of staff/helpers. It was a great experience; I will look at my notes and make a post later.

But one thing that struck me was that the crossover between what we (the pizzamaking.com forum) have been discussing the last couple days concerning the most important thing to pay attention to in making pizza (I forget exactly what the thread is called), and what transpired in the class today. The forum discussion repeatedly returned to "fermentation" as the most important piece (if there is in fact a _most_ important piece).

Tony G had made dough ahead of time for the class. That dough had been in the cooler for 2 days and brought to room temp and treated "correctly" today. However, he was concerned that that dough was still not ready because the cooler had been too cold. He made this point a number of times. He wasn't exactly apologizing per se, but he was acknowledging or saying that if we had waited till the afternoon to use that dough we would have produced better pies.

So this is what was on the mind of the professional in the room (well, one of the professionals; the one leading the class).

The other important thing mentioned in the forum discussion here was shaping. I found that true for me in the class too. We had hands-on time with shaping. I don't make a lot of New York pies, I mostly now make Detroit, Chicago thin/cracker, and Roman style, and none of those really use regular New York style shaping. So for me at least, I saw that shaping is a basic skill that needs improvement.

But my beaming pride  :) happened when I was walking back from the oven with my cheese pizza; we all made one for shaping and topping and oven-loading practice. He asked if he could take a picture of me with the pie, which I interpreted to mean he liked how the pie looked.

He also asked me later, I think during a demo or a question period if I make pizzas, and I said "just at home".

I took his question as  some kind of nod, but he may actually have been voicing his suspicion that I had stumbled into his class by mistake, perhaps thinking I was trying to come to the DMV to renew my drivers license.

Anyway, that felt good even if I am imagining it all  :).

Offline Essen1

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Re: Tony G: 1 day class in Chicago Wed May 22, 2019
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 12:49:24 AM »
That class must have been fun for you, and very informative.

TG is a treasure trove of knowledge and expertise. He gets a bad rap on here sometimes, for reasons unknown to me. But he’s never shy of talking pizza, methods, flours, different styles and what not.

He is also very appreciative of people who show genuine interest in pizza making, the craft and/or learning the trade, and will always freely share information.

Great guy.

Same goes for John Arena, Jeff Smokevitch, Brian Spangler and a bunch of others.


“All styles of pizza are valid. I make the best I’m capable of; you should make the best you’re capable of. I don’t want to make somebody else’s pizza.” ~ Chris Bianco