Monday, September 25, 2006

A pizza video

I used to know nothing about pizza. Then one day I went out and bought a pizza stone, a pizza cookbook, and all the ingredients I would need to make my first pizza from scratch. Following the instructions in the cookbook, my first stab at making homemade pizza wasn't pretty. I remember having a bitch of a time with the dough. I remember struggling to find a way to transfer my raw pizza "skin" onto the hot pizza stone for baking. In general, I remember how clueless I was about the whole process of making pizza from scratch. Even after multiple attempts at following the cookbook's instructions, I never felt like the cookbook prepared me adequately for the challenge of making a remotely decent pizza.

Now, almost ten years later, I know a lot about pizza, but none of my knowledge came from books or TV shows. I've certainly taken advantage of books and TV shows in an attempt to expand my pizza knowledge, but all I've learned from them is how NOT to make pizza. My greatest teacher has been trial and error.

I'm not going to pretend that I possess even a fraction of Emeril Lagasse's overall food knowledge, but you can trust me when I tell you Emeril knows almost nothing about pizza. For anyone who may have seen the "Emeril's Pizza Party" from early 2006, with Tony Gemignani as a guest: That beautiful pizza Emeril took out of the oven after the commercial break wasn't the same pizza he put into the oven before the commercial break. If it had been, the pizza would have been black and overflowing with cheese.

You can also trust me when I tell you Alton Brown and Tyler Florence know almost nothing about pizza. If you've seen their pizza shows, they certainly seem to know a lot about pizza, but they don't. TV has a lot of smoke and mirrors. Similarly, cookbook authors have their own ways of appearing more knowledgeable than they really are.

My objective here is not to talk shit about cookbook authors or celebrity chefs. I'm just saying, as a knowledgeable pizza guy, that I wouldn't endorse any of the books I've read or any of the shows I've seen. They simply will not help you make a good pizza.

So it occurred to me today that I ought to make a pizza video. There are so many reasons why I should do it, and even more reasons come to mind between each word I type here. And because there are so many reasons, I'm just going to stop here for now. Once I give it some more thought, I will probably say more about it.

The main reason I should do it is because I could get it done very inexpensively and I could end up with something that might be pretty marketable. The really great thing, though, is that I think my style would probably be a lot easier to follow than any of the celebrity chefs. People could learn a lot from me without first giving a lot of effort.