Statement from Chris Bianco Regarding Absence from Pizzeria Bianco

There's been a lot of talk online in various forums and pizza sites, including here on Slice, about the status of Chris Bianco at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Is he retiring or is he not (For the record he isn't)? Is he there making every pie or is he not? We've known about some of the issues Chris speaks about below for some time, but out of respect for his privacy we have not gone public with them. But with the rumors reaching a new level lately, we asked if he would go on the record about what's been going on. Take it away, Chris! —The Mgmt.

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

To everyone out there who has been wondering about where I'm at,

For the first time ever, in all my 16 years of business, I am spending some time away from my beloved pizza oven and restaurant, so that I can attend to some pressing health issues related to my asthma. This taking some time for myself is not a matter of convenience, it is a necessity. The consequences of not taking this time would be significant. When you're 27, you are invincible; when you're 47, you are most definitely not. So yes, it's true that I'm not at Pizzeria Bianco every night making pizza.

But I still go there every day at some point, my brother Marco still makes the dough, and I hope that the pizza still lives up to everyone's and my expectations.

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I appreciate and am grateful that people care. I really am appreciative of that fact. And as much as anything else, I don't want people to feel let down when they come to the pizzeria and I'm not there.

Right now I'm trying to get better, and the only way I can do that is to not make pizza. But I am not retiring. For me it's always been about the journey, both mine and my customers'. One way or another I will figure out a way to stay engaged in the intense conversation I've been having with people who have come to Pizzeria Bianco all these years. How that happens remains to be seen. Trust me, I'm working on it. Because my heart and soul are still in every pie served at Pizzeria Bianco.

Gratefully,
Chris Bianco.

Pizzeria Bianco

623 East Adams Street, Phoenix AZ 85004 (map)
602-258-8300; pizzeriabianco.com

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