True story. Tony Gemignani and his wife, Julie are visiting Honolulu for the first time.
We want to take them to lunch to one of our favorite restaurants. I’m thinking an upscale sushi place or maybe seafood dim sum. Something special. “What do you want for lunch?” I ask.
Without batting an eye, “pizza” he states with a grin. And that is exactly what we ate.
Tony Gemignani thinks about pizza all the time. He lives pizza. He honors pizza. And now he has put all of that knowledge and passion into a book about pizza called The Pizza Bible
The is an extraordinary book which shares his passion and desire about teaching you to make incredible pizza.
This book describes in detail how to recreate many different types of regional styles in your own kitchen. As you may know there are a number of different regional styles of pizza in the United States.
While certainly a melting pot for many ethnic dishes, the United States has allowed pizza to be cultivated and influenced by region. And Tony takes the best of each region showing you how to create that particular pizza.
With this book Tony has raised the bar in teaching how to make great pizza. As Tony explains, this book is less about actual recipes and “more about inspiring people to master the craft of pizza.”
And he takes these words to heart or more precisely as the tattoos on his hands state simply: “Respect the craft.
Tony gives you the tools you need and the ingredients necessary. As any professional chef will tell you a scale is essential to get the exact weights of ingredients. You can keep your measuring spoons in the drawer.
He starts with an equipment check list and then moves into the Master Class Shopping list. He goes into detail on the rationale about using particular tools and ingredients. Pizza maker be warned: the path to pizza perfection takes effort. As with all crafts you wish to master you must be dedicated and tenacious.
And Tony is a task master. He insists you read the first 19 pages before you try a single recipe. His notion is to teach you, then inspire you to create memorable pizzeria style pizza. He provides the steps involved and wants you to share his vision of creating pizzeria quality pizza in your own home. You won’t do this by obtaining ordinary pizza ingredients or tools.
Tony guides you as he would the pizzaioli he mentors at his pizza school or at his rare quality driven, pizza workshops. He encourages you to master each step along the way. He takes you through the techniques of his Master Class.
The best part is that you are sitting right in the front row! There are no short cuts here. As he testifies, anyone can follow a recipe and make reasonable pizza, but if you want to make authentic pizzeria style pizza, you need to follow his lead. And he takes you to pizza possibilities you never imagined. Pizza paradise, if you will. He is with you each phase along the way.
His go-to-flour list is a massive inventory of flours needed to create different types of pizzas.
The flours range from Harvest King, to King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot and his own Tony’s California flour. He describes each one giving the protein percentage and why it should be used. And he shares the theory of pizza relativity. Simply stated that means making your pizza the best it can by adding touches and variation that will improve the experience.
While he is an expert, Tony realizes there needs to be adjustments and flexibility in creating pizza.
He gives you his framework for pizza nirvana and it up to you to become your own pizza master. “Tony’s Ten Commandments of Pizza” are his must follow rules for pizza perfection.
The commandments will help keep you grounded and on task as you go through all of the recipes. Tony takes you on an unprecedented pizza journey in teaching you, how to create various styles of regional pizza. He shares New York, and New Haven. He gives Chicago Deep dish lessons as well as how to make Detroit and St. Louis pizza. In addition he gives many pizza secrets for making California Style, Regional Italian, and grilled pizza. Tony has also included a section on focaccia and bread. Tony shares a wealth of pizza knowledge.
Tony Gemignani has accomplished his mission with The Pizza Bible.
As Tony explained to me: “I put everything I know about pizza into this book.” If you ever wanted to make pizza like a pizzeria, this book is for you. If you are looking for the inside secrets about pizza, you have just opened the magic doors of pizza knowledge.
As Peter Reinhart once explained to me, there are two types of pizza: good pizza and great pizza. The same can be said about pizza books. The Pizza Bible is a great pizza book. Check out it out here: The Pizza Bible