June 1, 2017 |

Expo Spotlight: “Best Pizza in America” Creator Joe Beddia is Coming to Pizza & Pasta Northeast

By Bill Oakley

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Joe Beddia, owner of Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, to headline Pizza & Pasta Northeast tradeshow, which will take place at the Atlantic City Convention Center October 17-18, 2017.

When in 2015 Bon Appétit magazine placed its stamp on Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia as the home of the “Best Pizza in America,” the reputation of its founder, Joe Beddia, was immediately elevated to star status. Up until that time he had been operating under the radar, but never again.

Beer brewer turned master pizzaiolo, Joe Beddia is one of our featured headliners for the Pizza & Pasta Northeast tradeshow, which will take place at the Atlantic City Convention Center October 17-18, 2017. A good portion of the five years of research he did took place in his home kitchen, where he explored the science of dough making and developed his uncompromising approach to sourcing only the finest cheeses and toppings. He also honed his pizza making skills and expanded his knowledge base with job stints at Tria, Osteria, South Philadelphia Tap Room and Madison, Wisconsin’s Pizza Brutta before landing in Philadelphia at Zavino. Then he opened his small namesake Fishtown storefront pizzeria in March 2013 and the rest is history.

What makes his pizza so special is his complex dough recipe founded on technique and a long-fermentation period, as well as his signature sauce and top-shelf artisan toppings. In a world of limited production cars and one-of-a-kind fashions, it’s somehow apt that he only makes enough of his special 36-hour dough for 40 pies each day that he’s open for business, which is still just four nights a week. Better yet, he stays open only until the 40th pie is sold, which is usually prior to closing time. His pizzas are reputed to be a mind-blowing gastronomic adventure for his loyal customers and fans, even if they have to put up with a few inconveniences…cash only, no phone and no bathroom. His pizzas are in such demand that a line starts to form at least an hour ahead of the 5:30 p.m. opening.

Beddia followed few conventions of pizza royalty, including bake time and temperature — opting for 10 minutes at 600 degrees in a gas brick-lined Montague deck oven. Yet his pizzas became a sensation. He’s now written a book on pizza making, Pizza Camp (Abrams), and is planning a new venture after Pizzeria Beddia.

On opening day, Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m., Peter Reinhart, a bread-baking expert, instructor at Johnson & Wales University and the founder of the Pizza Quest video and blog site, will conduct an in-depth interview. Peter has visited many of the nation’s top pizzerias and learned how they handle dough, ingredients and ovens. He’ll talk shop with Joe and try to uncover a few of his secrets during this Pizza & Pasta Northeast kick-off session.

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