Everything You Need to Know about Slice Out Hunger: TONIGHT’S $1 Pizza Party

Tonight’s the biggest night of the year for NYC-area pizza lovers. We started Slice Out Hunger as an anniversary party for Scott’s Pizza Tours but it has become a beast of its own over the past six years. It all started when several pizzerias I work with on the tour offered to give me a few free pies for a launch party. Rather than just eat the pizza with my friends, I decided to charge a measly $1 per slice and send all the money to City Harvest. After a year of running the business, we were able to get even more pizza donated and I decided SPT would match every dollar going to City Harvest. The amount of pizza increases every year and as the event gets bigger we’re able to take on sponsors to assist with the donation matching. Last year we raised $20,000 for Food Bank For New York City and this year it’s looking like we’re going to crush that number. 

I wanted to take a few minutes before I head out to set up the event space just to give a quick rundown of how the night works and what changed between this year and last. 

image
Lots of people show up but we keep the flow as smooth as possible.

We always run out of pizza. That’s just how the event works. If we don’t run out of pizza we didn’t get the word out enough. In an effort to feed more people who show up and wait in the line, we decided to limit everyone to 10 slices. We have lots of other items that can be purchased with tickets (Brewla Bars, Boylan Sodas, Ferrarelle water, raffle tickets, my mom’s cookies, etc) but only 10 of them can be used for pizza. That being said, we do have 1,300 pizzas this year. That’s 500 MORE than last year. So yeah, there will be a TON of pizza!

image
My mom makes her famous chocolate chip cookies for this event and they go FAST!

How are we going to keep track of your 10 slices? We’re selling two different tickets this year: RED tickets and BLUE tickets. RED tickets can be used for anything. BLUE tickets cannot be used for pizza. So You can buy a total of 10 RED tickets and unlimited BLUE tickets. If you have leftover tickets at the end of the night, just visit our raffle table and we’ll set you up to win some killer prizes.

But what about the people who get in line super early??? Don’t worry, we’re not capping the number of slices for the first 20 people in line. So if you want to construct a monster pizza with a slice from all 51 pizzerias, just get there super early. We’re also limiting everyone to 1 slice per pizzeria, so you can’t drop $8 at Difara’s table and walk out with an entire pizza. 

image
Last year a genius made labels for all his slices. 

When do people start lining up? I’ve arrived at the church at 4pm to set up and folks have already been waiting in line. If you want your choice of pizza, get there early 

What’s that? You don’t want to wait in a long line and you love donating to charity? There is a solution. Just head on over to our website, click the DONATE button and drop $100. That gets you and a friend directly to the front of the line without having to wait PLUS you get 10 pizza tickets to start. Buy whatever else you need for just $1 per ticket! Remember, ALL OF THE MONEY we raise goes directly to Food Bank For New York City. 

Where are you going to store all those slices? Fear not, we’re giving you an entire pizza box to use for your slices. It’s a GreenBox, the amazing pizza box that breaks down into plates and a storage container for your leftover slices! After the event, you can either hang out and eat inside the venue (floor space only) or you can take your pizza to three bars who have partnered with us for the night. Blue Haven, Peculiar Pub and American Flatbread are allowing our pizza crew to bring our booty to their establishments and enjoy along with exclusive drink deals. Or you can just take your slices home and watch Ghostbusters or something. 

Once you’re in the room, you get only one pass through the pizza tables. No going backwards in line because you missed something you wanted, we have to keep all traffic flowing in a single direction. So buy all your tickets when you get inside and grab slices as you pass them. 

image
Here’s the room layout. Plot your SOH experience accordingly!

Will the pizza be warm? This year we have three MPUs (Mobile Pizza Units). Luzzo’s, Valducci’s and Neapolitan Express will each be setting up outside the venue and baking fresh pizzas to be served inside. Go to their tables if you want fresh pizza, but due to the nature of this event and the distances some of the pizza is traveling, it is unlikely the other slices will all be piping hot. 

Who gets all the money from this event? Every cent we take in goes directly to Food Bank For New York City. This organization supplies food to shelters and programs around the city. Every dollar they take in results in 15 meals for New Yorkers in need. Here’s the real beauty of tonight’s event: we have a bunch of sponsors who have pledged to donate various amounts based on how much money we raise, so every dollar you spend will actually transform into $3 for Food Bank. That means every slice you eat tonight becomes 15 meals for people who have trouble affording food. Think about that. 

image
Tumblr made an amazing banner for this event!

Who puts this thing together, anyway? There are about six of us who do most of the work for SOH. We’ve had meetings as far back as January of this year just for tonight’s event. This isn’t a job for us, we do it because we want to. There are 80+ volunteers who have attended training meetings and are giving up their time (and their ability to actually participate in the event itself) just to make it happen. St Anthony’s Church has donated their space for the past three years and we could not do this without them. Sponsors like Brewla Bars and GreenBox have been with us since we started and more sponsors like Tumblr (yes, you are reading this ON Tumblr AND they are a sponsor — crazy) and Boylan Bottling are joining this year. 

image

Slice Out Hunger isn’t just about pizza and it isn’t just about charity, it’s about coming together as a community. The restaurant community is notoriously competitive and the pizza scene in NYC is absolutely part of that, yet they all come together to serve pizza side-by-side for one night only. Lucali is closing for the night so their whole staff can attend to help. This event is so incredibly special to me, it’s easily the most important thing I do all year. If you would like to volunteer next year please contact me and we’ll make it happen. If you have any event questions you can try emailing but I’ll be setting up all day so it’s probably best if you just come and ask one of our volunteers in person. 

If you’ve come in the past, I hope to see you again tonight. If you’ve always wanted to come, tonight is the night! If you’ve never heard of our event, there is no better time than now to change your life for the better by attending. There’s such an amazing energy in the room beyond the deliciousness of the pizza. It is absolutely incredible. I’ll see you there.

SPT Holiday Party

Just a few shots from this year’s Scott’s Pizza Tours holiday party, a retrospective of hometown pizza styles. 

image
Our amazing host / pizza tour guide JOE showing off his flatbread appetizer and a classy oven mitt. It was awesome. 

image
Miriam photographs a frozen pizza from her favorite pizzeria in Dayton, OH called Marion’s. Close the oven, you’re losing heat!

image
Marion’s pizza from Ohio gets cut into squares even though it’s round. I will never understand this, but I will accept it.

image
Joe is from Detroit so he made a style of pizza indigenous to his native land. Miriam is excited and Scott is amused.

Read More

NYC’s Biggest Pizza Party Oct 10 in Soho

Mark your calendars for an epic event in NYC that will make all your pizza dreams become reality. On October 10, we’ll be hosting our annual Slice Out Hunger event to make slices from NYC’s best pizzerias available to you for $1 each. Just show up to St Anthony’s Church (154 Sullivan St at Houston), buy tokens at the door for $1 each, go inside and cash in your tokens for slices, a Fizzy Lizzy soda or entries to our mega-amazing raffle. Every dollar we collect will be matched by Scott’s Pizza Tours and Seamless for a massive donation to City Harvest, New York City’s premier food collection organization.

Doors open at 6PM and pizza is first come, first served so be sure to get there early. Our friends from Brewla Bars will be on hand to serve up their brewed ice pop goodness and the geniuses from Green Box will have plenty of their revolutionary pizza boxes for your pizza eating and storing pleasure. October is National Pizza Month — celebrate it with a pizza party to benefit New York’s homeless and hungry!

Slice Out Hunger - $1 Slice Fundraiser for City Harvest
October 10, 2012 at 6 PM
St Anthony’s Church, 154 Sullivan St (at Houston)
FIRST COME FIRST SERVED

What pizzerias will be represented?
Lombardi’s, Joe’s, John’s, NY Pizza Suprema, Difara, Motorino, Da Mikele, Keste, Tosca, Rubirosa, Cowboy Pizza, Naked Pizza, Pala, Forcella, Pizza Box, Rizzo’s, Prince St Pizza, Two Boots, Arturo’s and MORE!

Need more info? Check out the Slice Out Hunger event website.

Breaking in a Pizza Stone with Kate and Nir

As do most newlyweds, Kate and Nir have a neglected pizza stone. It was pretty obvious from looking at it that its only purpose had been reheating a couple rogue slices. There are certainly better ways to reheat a slice (or maybe this one) and most folks who have stones have no idea how to use them, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to show them you don’t need a brick oven to pop out a good pie.

This was a particularly rainy night and I foolishly rode my bike across town so I traveled pretty light. All I had was some dough, a bit of cheese, can of tomatoes, small tin of oil and a cheese grater. No peel, no extra flour, no slicer, etc. I like improvising but the underside of a lipped cookie sheet isn’t the most efficient means of transporting a dressed dough skin into the oven. I had some near disasters but the resulting pizza, however misshapen, was still pretty tasty.

Read More

Slice Out Hunger: Recap!

Thursday, June 9 was our annual Slice Out Hunger fundraiser in which we collect donations from NYC’s best pizzerias and sell slices for $1 each. All the money goes to feed the city’s homeless and hungry, with this year’s proceeds going to City Harvest. The event started in 2008 as a simple launch party for Scott’s Pizza Tours and has since blossomed into an animal all its own. This year we raised $5,000 for New York’s homeless with the help of 20 amazing pizzerias, a dozen amazing raffle prize donors, 25+ volunteers, and about 700 hungry pizza lovers.

Pizza started to arrive around 5:30, as I didn’t want to risk running low on slices mid-event. Last year we blew through 40 pies in 20 minutes and people had to wait in the rain before 25 backup pies arrived. This year’s pie count was at 182 the afternoon of the event, so my only fear was that we wouldn’t have enough people to eat all the pizza. I was totally wrong.


Excited pizza lovers waiting in line. (Photo by Liz Migliore)

Doors were scheduled to open at 6:30PM but the line started by 5:15 and the sky was threatening to burst open, so we started selling slice tickets to people waiting outside by 6:10 in an effort to assist the flow once doors opened. All pies were in position, plate distributors were at the ready, pizza servers were armed with spatulas — so we opened the doors at 6:20.

Amity Hall was completely mobbed within minutes. We quickly reached capacity for the building so the bouncer had to stop letting folks in until people left. Then the sky opened up and things got crazier. Our volunteer crew had the pizza under control so I ran outside to let everyone in line know why they weren’t moving. While we weren’t able to get anybody else inside, we did bring some pizza to the line so people could at least get a slice in their bellies.

 
Happy dude inside; me in freakout mode outside. (photos by Rosemary Zuppardo).

Enough people eventually left and the bar and we were able to get more pizza lovers inside. The scene was pretty crazy but everyone was certainly having a blast. We started calling names for raffle prizes and have away TONS of cool pizza stuff. There were pizza making classes, pizza t-shirts, bags of flour, travel vouchers from GAP Adventures, pizza tours in NYC and Chicago, pizza books, etc. It was incredible. We even raffled off some great photographs of our featured pizzerias, courtesy of the NY Pizza Project.

Our pizza donations were incredible this year and we are eternally grateful to all 20 pizzerias for being part of the event:Lombardi’s, NY Pizza Suprema, Luzzo’s, Pizza Box, Keste, John’s of Bleecker St, Artichoke, Slice, Joe’s Pizza, Famous Original Ray’s, 900 Degrees, Two Boots, Famous Ben’s, Difara, Tosca, Pizza Roma, Grimaldi’s, Arturo’s, Rizzo’s and Bleecker Street Pizza. By the end of the night, we had eaten over 1,500 slices and raffled off 30 prizes. The resulting $5,000 will help City Harvest rescue 21,121 pounds of food around NYC.

As much pizza as we had, it all disappeared into the bellies of hungry pizza lovers within one hour. Plans are already in motion to make next year’s event even bigger and better. To volunteer, please contact me at sliceouthunger[at]gmail[dot]com.

THANKS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED AND WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!

Here’s a smattering of photos from Slice Out Hunger 2011…

   
 
 
 
 
Until the dough runs out… (photo by Adam Kuban)


Slice Out Hunger - $1 Slices to Benefit City Harvest

Mark your calendars for the biggest, most awesome pizza party you’ve ever been to in your life. We’re collecting pizza from all the city’s top spots and selling it off for $1 per slice at a bar in Greenwich Village. All the money goes to City Harvest, NYC’s only food collection organization, so you’re helping others while feeding yourself.

DETAILS:
Thursday, June 9
Amity Hall
80 W 3rd Street (at Thompson)
6:30 - 10pm

Enjoy pizza from: Lombardi’s, DiFara, Grimaldi’s, Joe’s, John’s of Bleecker, Pizza Roma, Famous Ben’s, Slice, 900 Degrees, Two Boots, Luzzo’s, Artichoke, NY Pizza Suprema, Tosca, Pizza Box and MORE!!!

Raffle prizes from Serious Eats, Pizza a Casa, Coluccio & Sons, Chicago Pizza Tours, GAP Adventures, Trader Joe’s, NY Pizza Project, Busted Tees, Scott’s Pizza Tours, Real Pizza of NYC App plus your chance to win a pizza party for you and seven friends catered by Slice founder Adam Kuban!

Learn more at www.sliceouthunger.org or read about last year’s event at I Dream of Pizza.

Mother’s Day Pizza Party

This year my family decided to celebrate Mother’s Day in the most relaxing way possible: pizza party. Come to think of it, we had pizza last year too! That’s right, my mom wanted to get a clam pizza from Lombardi’s. Dang, it was tasty! We decided to keep things a bit more low-key this year so my brother and his fiance had us over to their place and I brought some dough to get the party started.

I made the dough three days in advance (recipe below) so it would have time to develop. After all, this was going to be my first time making pizza for the family so the heat was truly on. I talk big game about pizza so I really had to put my mozzarella where my mouth is. Speaking of mozzarella, we picked some up from Alleva in Little Italy. They make great cheese but you really need to slice it and drain some moisture before you use it on pizza.

Mom loved the mozzarella, mushroom, onion and garlic pizza and I think it was my favorite too. I sauteed the shrooms and onions so they would handled the oven heat without burning or drying out. My brother’s oven isn’t exactly what I have in Brooklyn so I had to take a few chances. He has a broiler on top and I thought that would be good for some sweet top heat but the thing didn’t want to ignite so I had to ditch that idea.  My home oven can get pretty hot with the quarry tile method I use, so I’m used to getting the bake zone up to 650 degrees F within 50 minutes. My brother’s oven got up to exactly 500 degrees F at its max so I had to leave the pizza in the oven for an extra 2+ minutes for each pie. This made a big difference in the end product and dried out the crust a bit more than I had anticipated. Oh well, it still tasted awesome!

The pie above has a pile of post oven arugula, chunks of grana padano, prosciutto di parma, mozzarella and a squirt of lemon juice.

Here’s one of my new favorite pizzas, which covers a layer of thinly sliced potatoes with strings of red onion. I should have put more potato and onion on there because they shrunk up a bit inside the oven. I also failed in topping distribution. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make it again!

I was pretty nervous about making pizza for my family, but all the pies came out great and we had an absolute blast hanging out together. Hooray for Momma Wiener!

Dough recipe:
600g All Purpose flour
50g whole wheat flour
412g tap water
18g sea salt
1.5g dry yeast
100g Ischia starter

20 minute autolyse (resting period)
short knead, rest, short knead
split into 4 pieces at 291g each, balled and stored in the refrigerator for three days
room temp rise 2 hours pre bake

Bake until crust browns and cheese melts, usually about 8 minutes in a standard oven that has been pre-heated with pizza stone for 60+ minutes.