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2011 March: Spicy Alternative

2011 March: Spicy Alternative

What exactly is soppressata? In a nutshell, it’s a form of dry- cured salami. A specialty of southern Italy, it is traditionally made using pork (beef is used on occasion). The basic seasonings include cracked red pepper and garlic. Depending on who is making it, some versions are hotter than others (in other words, moreMore »

2011 March: Succession Plan – Passing the Torch

2011 March: Passing the Torch

What do you want to be doing 10 years from now? If you’re the owner of a family-owned pizzeria, and your dream is to kick back on a sunny beach with an umbrella drink in your hand while a suc­ceeding generation continues the business, then it’s not too early to start planning. Ample time, alongMore »

2011 March: Catering to Kids

2011 March: Catering to Kids

When Ray Perkins, owner of Chubby Ray’s Louisville Pizza Company in Louis­ville, Kentucky, was approached by a group of Girl Scout Brownies to do a pizza workshop for one of their badges, Perkins agreed, even though he’d never really worked with kids before. In fact, his establishment is known more for game day excitement, pokerMore »

Artichokes: All Choked Up

2011 March: All Choked Up

Sure, pepperoni, onions and mushrooms will always be beloved pizza toppings. But as patrons’ palates evolve, so does their desire for trendy toppings. Filling this of-the-moment-ingredient spot is the artichoke. The artichoke is a member of the thistle or sunflower family. While it is a formidable plant to tackle, the edible “heart” provides a nutty,More »

2011 March: Dough Doctor

2011 March: Dough Doctor

From time to time, I get questions from operators wanting to know what the secret is to making a decent thin-crust or thick-crust pizza. To answer this question, I’d like to share some tips for making both thin- and thick-crust pizzas. Thick-crust pizzas always seem to be a bit problematic for those who haven’t madeMore »

2011 March: Keep it Neat

2011 March: Keep it Neat

A neat, clean and organized kitchen is always a happy kitchen. Life in our pizzerias can be hectic. When compared to other restaurants, I think we put out a larger menu with a much smaller space, for the most part. It creates a lot of work and a lot of prep –– all in tightMore »

Long Island, NY – Tour the Island

2011 March: Tour the Island

DENINO’S We rolled up to Denino’s Pizza Tavern –– an unassuming pizzeria in a working-class neighborhood on Staten Island –– at about two on a bright Wednesday afternoon. A few regulars peppered the granite countertop, and we took seats at a high table overlooking the street. This is a no-delivery, cash-only place with a longMore »

2011 March: My Turn 

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2011 March: My Turn 

In 1970, Pogo, a famous and beloved cartoon character, uttered the phrase, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” While the reference was made with regards to man’s negative impact on the environment, those words certainly apply to today’s pizza industry as well. In my conversations with pizzeria operators around the country, IMore »

2011 March: Seafood Pasta – Fruits of the Sea

2011 March: Fruits of the Sea

Frank McCarron, general manager/ chef at Portino’s Fresh Italian in Valley Center, California, wanted to freshen up his menu. So he decided not to introduce a new type of pizza, but instead opted to incorporate seafood pasta specials. “Seafood pasta spices up the menu and offers variety for customers,” says McCarron. At Portino’s, seafood pastaMore »

2011 February: Business Solutions – Portion Control

2011 February: Business Solutions

We’ve beat this drum before, but we’ll continue to beat it until operators everywhere heed the call and begin taking portion control seriously. The fact of the matter is that portion control is sound business that should save you at least five percent on your food costs — and it’s incredibly easy to enact. Let’sMore »