Got back a few days ago from my mini east coast tour (Philly, Arlington, and Richmond) and have been promising you news on the TV series and, again, have to beg for your patience. Things seem to be moving on all fronts and we have another team meeting later this week but it's agonizingly slow. The new web site has taken longer than expected due to technical difficulties but we should have a proto-type ready to look at this week and then, probably, face another few weeks of nuts and bolts, final tweaks, etc., before we launch. But it is, in fact, moving forward. I'll post the progress here as we get closer to a launch date but we're inching toward one. We have all sorts of fun Pizza Quest webisodes to show you, so hang in there with us and it will happen!
Pizza Quest itself is picking up more traction towards becoming a TV series. No details that I can share yet and, of course, the web site will happen first, but talks are going on as I write, so I'm beginning to actually believe we will get this to happen. I'm beginning to think this blog is like one of the Entertainment Tonight shows that keep teasing the big celebrity story but first there's the commercials and then the lesser stories and then,near the end of the hour, they finally give you 30 seconds on the "big" story. So let's move on and I'll just promise to keep you posted as I get more details.
I had a wonderful time last week doing classes at Sur la Table in King of Prussia, Arlington, and Richmond as well as visiting family friends in my home town of Philly. At each stop I got to meet some long time correspondents, recipe testers, and made some new friends too. It's hard to put into words how fulfilling it is to have so many friends in every city. Bread--who knew?!! Thank you, those who came, and I look forward to seeing more of you soon--next stop Western Reserve Cooking School in Hudson,OH, and The Loretta Paganini Cooking School just outside of Cleveland (all during the week of June 21st-26th--call the schools to see if there are still seats available).
The bad news is that we had to postpone the August class at Sur la Table in Naperville, IL indefinitely, due to a scheduling problem at my end. I do hope to get this back on the calendar but it probably won't be till next year. So sorry!
The good news: on my way home from Richmond I drove through the tiny town of Floyd, Virginia, in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, and met up with Scott Smith and Jon Roberts of DogTown Pizza. Most of you probably never heard of DogTown Pizza unless you stumbled across the guys and their mobile wood-fired oven at various rock concerts or farm markets in the Virginia/North Carolina border area. Here are three things you should know:
One: the DogTown guys are about to open an actual brick and mortar restaurant in Floyd, right next to the very meadow where the famous FloydFest Music Festival is held. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their new, permanent, wood-fired oven (their own design), as well finishing up a new, larger mobile oven so that they can keep going on the road and make even more pizzas for their adoring (and often very munchie hungry) fans> But now (or soon) they will also be open on a daily basis at their new DogTown Roadhouse on Locust St. (aka Main St.). The doors should open sometime in mid June (see web address below).
Two: Floyd, I discovered only when I got there, is one of the main bluegrass epicenters in the universe--nearly every store in town (and the town is only a few blocks long) also has a stage for the never ending evening jam sessions, and the DogTown Roadhouse will also boast a good sized performing venue for both local and national acts. I was embarrassed to learn that a mere two hours from my home is one of the great destination music towns in America and I never knew--until now (and you can be sure I'm going back as often as I can).
Three: And most important of all--the pizza is amazing! Jon and Scott are, above all else, totally dedicated to the quest of making the perfect pizza. They use a long fermentation, wet, tricky dough (aka pain a l'ancienne), cure their own bacon and ham products,make their own mozzarella with milk from local Jersey cows), feature root beer and ginger beer (as well as real beer) made in Floyd, use almost exclusively, locally grown or made products (other than the tomato sauce, which is organically grown in California), their flour is milled not too far away in Graham, NC--in other words, they totally get it. All of this would be moot, of course, if the pizza didn't live up to the hype but they had me at the first bite. Their pizza has everything I look for--great snap in the crust, proper char on the cornicione and the underskirt, and perfectly balanced flavors on top. I told them I'd rank their pizza right up there with Pizzeria Bianco and Pizzeria Mozza at the top of my "will travel long distances for" list.
Now, I know that by extolling them I'm also setting them up and I'm sure there will be chowhounds and "Slice" writers headed there with cameras and keyboards and critical opinions in hand, so give them a couple of weeks to get things going and then, yes, GO. Their website is www.dogtownpizza.net (not .com--which is another DogTown in St. Louis which makes frozen pizzas--I've never had them so can't comment).
I think FloydFest is happening in late July so if you need an excuse to make the trek, perhaps that will tip things. If you do go, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think. I think you will thank me but if I'm wrong, tell meand we'll duke it out.
Enough for now--more updates as they happen, hopefully soon. Till then,
May Your Bread Always Rise!