As Art Director Josh Keown and I trekked across Los Angeles recently, I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the coincidence. We’d been in about a dozen pizzerias in the City of Angels and had tasted everything from mundane to memorable. But the one pizza that stood out most to the both of us was a simple Grandma pie. The coincidence I previously mentioned? Respecting the Craft columnist Tony Gemignani e-mailed me a story on Grandma pies just hours before Josh and I started the mini tour. And now here we were unexpectedly enjoying one on the West Coast, far removed from this style’s East Coast origins.
In Respecting the Craft, Tony talks about the fact that enterprising students at his International School of Pizza ultimately end up coming to him after their week of study and asking him to once again explain the process behind making a Grandma.
Grandma pizzas originated on Long Island and are renowned for their simplicity. The ones I enjoy most have nothing more than a vibrant tomato sauce topped with a light sprinkle of Pecorino-Romano cheese. Of course, as Tony explains in his article, there are plenty of options. But, to me, simpler is better here.
That was the case in Los Angeles recently as many of the pizzas we tasted sought to wow us with a bevy of trendy ingredients. While we enjoyed them all, the simple Grandma might have left the biggest impression, just as it often impresses Tony’s students when they travel to San Francisco to learn how to master a variety of styles.
Next month Tony is going to offer step-by-step instructions for making a Grandma pie. I encourage you to give it a try. I think your lunch customers, in particular, will enjoy it.
You might notice by our not-so-subtle cover that this issue features beverages. There’s nothing hotter than craft beer right now. Check out Denise Greer’s article, Brew-haha. Denise is our resident craft beer aficionado and I know she really enjoyed working on this piece. Craft beer’s presence in our industry is going to grow for quite some time, so getting on the bandwagon now would be a very good thing.
Lastly, thanks for your feedback regarding December’s Menu Guide. We really enjoyed bringing all the great recipes to you. Keep the comments coming!
Jeremy White, Editor-in-chief