Pizza Box Gallery Show Hits Brooklyn This THURSDAY

Steph Mantis built these rad custom frames to house beautiful pizza boxes!

The art world will never be the same after this epic gallery show of amazing pizza boxes hits the scene this Thursday at the Melville House Gallery in DUMBO. About a dozen boxes will be on display all month long, most of which are featured in Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box, the acclaimed new book about the history, art and science of pizza boxes. 

            The Art of the Pizza Box an exhibit curated by Scott Wiener
            Opening party Thursday, March 6, 6:30 PM
            Melville House Gallery
            154 Plymouth St, Brooklyn
            The show will be up through the end of March!

*Buy the book on 
*Buy a signed copy from McNally Jackson 
*See the list of Tour Dates

Tomato Tasting at Razza, Jersey City


I was so completely delighted to attend a tomato tasting at Razza Pizza Artigianale in lovely Jersey City a few weeks ago! The owners, Dan and Fred, are solid dudes and they truly care about their goodies — enough to invite a bunch of folks over to taste 11 different canned tomato products. 


Everybody got a super-detailed scoring sheet, complete with grading rubric and helpful hints. All the cans were covered so we couldn’t see labels. Dan mashed all the can’s contents with an emersion blender and that was that.  

He even put his own sauce into one of the cans to see how it held up against the rest. The results were pretty consistent with tomato tastings I’ve done before (2010 part 1, 2010 part 2, 2013) so that was comforting!

Cameo by Pizza A Casa's Mark Bello as Dan unveils the results!

The Results
1. Stanislaus Alta Cucina - 3.6 (a tomato from central CA, usually wins)
2. Ciao - 3.5 (Italian tomato found on the pies at Keste and Don Antonio in NYC, among others)
3. DiNapoli - 3.4 (lovely California tomatoes)
4. Escalon 6 in 1 - 3.28 (a crushed tomato product on the sweet side)
5. DaniCoop San Marzano DOP - 3.26 (Very good DOP tomato)
6. Razza’s Pizza Sauce - 3.23 (I LOVE that Dan included this!)
7. Jersey Fresh - 3.18 (another crushed product, I dig it)
8. Muir Glen - 3.1 (California organic product)
9. Cento San Marzano DOP - 2.76 (go-to supermarket availability)
10. Bianco DiNapoli - 2.1 (I love these, surprised the came in so low)
11. Teo - 2.04 (private label tomato from Chef’s Warehouse)


Tastings like this are important because the crop changes every year. If you’re struggling with your sauce, start by finding a tomato you like. The better the base, the less you have to do. Most NYC pizzerias use the Stanislaus Alta Cucina tomato, but that’s not available in stores unless you’re a restaurant. Good comparable tomatoes are the Trader Joe’s whole peeled variety (I used them on my pizza last night!), which you can get either salted or unsalted.

Big thanks to Dan and Fred and everyone over at Razza for having us! Best part after tasting all those tomatoes was having their delicious pizza! They’re hardcore about dough and natural fermentation, so DO NOT skip the bread when you go to Razza. EAT EVERYTHING YOU CAN!


Last Night’s Pizza Making

I made some dough four or five days ago using some Ischia starter pretty much just because I had to feed it. It was getting a bit raunchy so I invited my downstairs neighbor Simon up to help me eat it all. The results were solid! 

First, the recipe:
175g room temp water
300g King Arthur bread flour
50g Whole Wheat flour
[mix to combine and let that hydrate for 30 min or so]
300g Ischia starter (highly active)
[mix to combine]
13g salt
[knead gently until you don’t feel like kneading anymore, split into 3 and store balls in lightly oiled containers in refrigerator]

Now, the bake method:
I’m using a Baking Steel right around the center of the oven. Oven is set to highest (mine goes to 550 degrees F (290 degrees C) but I switch to BROIL after about 3 minutes inside the oven. Last night was the first time in a loooong time I didn’t clock each pie, but they seemed to be about 4-5 minutes.  

The dough was a bit tough to stretch, but the third pie pulled easiest (photo on top). Here are the results, using a mix of lo-mo and fresh mozz plus whatever random toppings were laying around. Simon brought 6 or 7 Calamata olives and we stretched them over two pies. I loved the one with the olives copped really fine and sprinkled about. Check them out….

Sweet bubble action but I’m not happy with the stretch on this.

Nice fingerling potato, red onion, cherry tomato, Calamata olive, mozz pie!

Simon’s in focus, but my attention is directed to the even char!