I usually cringe when TV shows do segments about pizza. They all go to the same places and describe food the same boring way with no insight into the real interesting stuff aside from a quick line about oven temperature here and mention of fresh ingredients there. This is not true for Cooking Channel’s new show Pizza Cuz, featuring Francis and Sal of NYC’s Artichoke Basille’s.
The show drops pizza into the standard format of 3 restaurant visits over the course of a 22 minute show. Francis and Sal have lots of experience working at their family’s restaurant in Staten Island, three pizzerias and two sandwich shops in Manhattan, all of which helps them translate the tastes and techniques they encounter at the pizzerias they visit. Other shows have such lame hosts who know nothing and freak out over everything they see happening in the kitchen but these guys are legit and their analysis is the perfect translation for armchair pizza tourists.
Francis and Sal are clearly guys who like to eat and it shows by their reactions to each slice. I actually got hungrier with every bite they took! It’s not the tired old “this is the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten” reaction. What a relief.
Pizza Cuz is scheduled to run for six episodes but if the remaining five are anything like the premier I really hope they get picked up for more.
I’ll be talking about pizza on Discovery Science Channel’s new show BLAIS OFF tonight at 10 PM EST. The show features Top Chef’s Richard Blais, who re-engineers iconic foods with a scientific approach. Tonight’s premier features Patsy’s in Harlem, where Blais learns all about pizza before tinkering with the basics in his kitchen lab.