John Arena is an amazing pizziolo. He grew up with pizza. He's been making pizza for most of his life.
In 1980, after seeing an ad in an Italian newspaper, he and his cousin, Sam, sold everything they owned and moved to Las Vegas. At first things were tough. These New York City transplants struggled to create outstanding pizza in a town, that did not know anything about pizza.
They called their pizzeria Metro Pizza and now have several locations around Las Vegas. He and Sam's pizza skills are extraordinary. Metro Pizza is now regarded as having The Best Pizza in Las Vegas.
He loves sharing his pizza passion by showing others how to make pizza. He is also known as The Pizza Professor. He teaches the only college certified pizza class in the country. He calls his class Pizza 101 and you can read the course proposal at this link.
I was recently honored to attend a private class at one of his Metro locations. The Pizza class was fun, informative and filling. (It was filling in that we ate a lot of pizza. A lot of pizza!).
John started out the class by giving a bit of the Metro story. He said the first day they opened a couple of customers showed up on horseback. He and Sam were shocked, but they soon got over it.
He fell in love with making pizza for people and contends that it is the world's greatest collaborative food. John also states that the best thing aobut pizza is that you eat it with people that you care about.
John relates that everyone has a favorite pizza in their heart. A special place with special pizza. To start out the class, John made each of us share our favorite pizza memories. The funny, the romantic and the life changing pizza tales reavealed were impressive.
It seems everyone has a pizza story. Everyone. (And I bet you have one, yourself!)
When you eat pizza, John explains, you bring your own memories to the table.
Listen and watch as John gives an Introduction to Pizza:
Thanks, John, you are a true Legend of Pizza.
You can find Metro at various locations around Las Vegas:
1395 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tropicana & Maryland Parkway
Phone: (702) 736-1955
If you get the opportunity to take this Pizza Class, I recommend it without reservation!
pizza all over Las Vegas,
The Pizza Promoter
Clerk in Training at:
The Pizza Therapy Digital Store
Here are some more great pizza resources:
I have copy of making pizza and I think it's great:
And of course Tony Gemignani's book is outstanding: