Paige has worked her way up the ranks from Serious Eats intern to Slice intern! You gotta love a girl that knows where it's at. Let's find out what her passion for pizza is all about with a little Pizza Obsessives Q&A.—MS
Name: Paige Brocious
Occupation: Student at Northeastern University, and Slice intern
URL(s): seriouseats.com/Paige Brocious
What type of pizza do you prefer?
My favorite has to be New Haven style apizza. Sally's to be specific. Paper thin crust, burnt to a crisp in a coal oven with amazingly sweet and tart tomato sauce and a light layer of mozzarella—or "mootz!"
The Pizza Cognition Theory states that "the first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes ... becomes, for him, pizza." Do you remember your first slice? Where was it from, is the place still around, and if so, does it hold up? On that note, has your taste in pizza evolved over time?
I sadly don't remember my first slice, but maybe that's for the best considering the severe lack of pizza culture in Maryland, and the fact that my first bite may very well have been delivered from Pizza Hut.
My taste in pizza has definitely evolved over time (see Pizza Hut). Living in New York for four months gave me a chance to try tons of great pizza from the fancy and dollar slice categories. Now I know what I like, and what to look for.
What's your favorite topping or topping combination?
If the pizza is truly amazing, I like to stick with tomato sauce and cheese. Why not let the pie's best attributes shine all on their own? No need to fuddle a great pizza with toppings.
But if the pizza is subpar, or a place is known for their great toppings, I go for sausage and thinly sliced onions. Pizza topped with homemade sausage is a beautiful thing whether its spicy, or super-fennel-y, sturdy round balls or slices. Also, and I don't think I'm the first person to mention this, Motorino's pancetta and brussels sprouts pie may have changed my life. I really wish more pizzerias offered brussels sprouts as a topping, all charred and what not. Mmm.
Where do you go for pizza in your area?
I go right downstairs! I kid you not, there is a pizzeria called Joseph's in my apartment building. And what's better is it's open until 3 am, which is practically unheard of in Boston.
Maybe my judgment is clouded by nostalgia and a few beers on occasion, but they make a damned decent NY slice.
Sounds like just the place for a Daily Slice, then you can tell us all about it. So with a pizzeria downstairs, do you ever make pizza at home? If so, what recipes do you use?
I've never made pizza at home. For shame! But you did promise to help change this very soon though, remember?
Oh, YEAH! I did say that. Let's do it! Any toppings that are on your "NO WAY, NO HOW, NEVER" list?
This is tough one. I've been astounded before at how a great chef can make unlikely toppings taste perfectly suited on a good pizza. So I'll just say the least likely thing I can think of...ice cream? And yes, that's a challenge to all you pizza masters out there, make a good pizza with ice cream on it and I'll eat it!
Believe it or not, I think I know where we can get one. Stay tuned. Until that happens, what's the most unusual pizza you've eaten to date?
I haven't had anything too out there. I recently tried a St. Patrick's Day themed slice with corned beef and cabbage that tasted pretty good, despite being super dried out.
What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?
Road trip to New Haven, CT! I'd like to thank my boyfriend for introducing me to this treasure trove of pizza goodness, and for giving me a regular excuse to make trips there so often.
Anything else you'd like to get off your chest?
I don't feel qualified to call myself a pizza connoisseur just yet, but I really do love the stuff. And interning for Slice is helping me broaden my pizza horizons everyday.
What do your friends and family make of your pizza madness?
They seem pretty alright with it!
Who would you like to see interviewed next?
Don Cheadle. Then I'll know we're meant to be.
Ha ha! Why am I not surprised? (If you check out Paige's Serious Eats profile name up in the browser, you'll see why that's funny.) Thanks for taking one for the team, Paige, and taking a turn in the hot seat! It's always great talking pizza with you.