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Dear Slice: Texas Pizza Summit at The Garage
Reaching in to the Slice mailbag, we've got ... a letter from TXCraig1, reporting on the inaugural Texas Pizza Summit held at his Acunto equipped Neapolitan garage! Talk about some serious pizza minds coming together under one roof... If this event isn't the envy of serious Slice'rs, I don't know what would be.
Last weekend I hosted the inaugural Texas Pizza Summit at The Garage. Some great guys joined Java (our chocolate lab—German shorthair mix—we call him a German chocolate) and me for two days of serious pizza making, storytelling, and perhaps an adult beverage or three.
Gene was so excited about it that he showed up on Friday, a full day early. I was at lunch when he called to ask why I wasn't at home and why there wasn't any smoke coming out of the chimney??? Ummm... because it starts tomorrow? Unfortunately, I didn't have any pizza for him, so he had to settle for some venison tacos and a couple cervezas while working up the nerve to call his very understanding wife and get his kitchen pass extended. He also made some really cool t-shirts to commemorate the event. Tom (aka Tscarborough) was the next to arrive (on Saturday), and he was loaded up with coolers of pizza dough, sauce, cheeses, salami, and beer. An interesting note, Tom is currently building a WFO for Gene, though this is the first time they had ever met. Peter (aka Pete-zza) walks in soon after, opens his bag, and starts pulling out bottles of Bordeaux from the 80's - Including a '85 Mouton. I was just like "oh, you've got to be kidding me!" Then he pulls out more wine, then out comes the Herradura tequila complete with hand-blown shot glasses from Tlaquepaque. Yes, it was certainly shaping up to be a great weekend.Bill joined us as an ambassador of the great state of Alabama. People have asked if you can fly dough. It turns out that it works pretty well if you cut back the starter a little and pack things up thoughtfully. He left his cooler and containers with me, and I've been thinking that hopefully one day in the not too distant future I can travel with dough and toppings to make pizza at someone else's house and then leave the equipment with the host of that party, and so on. Saturday afternoon started out with a couple 1-hour dough pies made in a neat little BBQ pizza oven I'm testing for a friend. It was only 99F outside, but despite being relatively cool, we opted to stay in the air conditioning until the sun cleared The Garage and the driveway was in the shade, so the real baking didn't get going until 6:00pm or so by which time Gene just couldn't take it anymore and had to have some pizza.Lots of different types of pies were baked, many of which I've sent to MPM in the past, but we also tried a couple new ones such as fresh mozz, tomato, rapini, fennel sausage, and Calabrian chilis and duck confit, candied figs, brie, and mascarpone. Bill whipped up an incredible Scarola calzone inspired by our friend John Dellavecchia who unfortunately couldn't make it. Bourbon and a couple cigars rounded out the first evening.For breakfast Sunday morning, Gene procured some bloody marys and Tom baked a cherry tomato and cilantro pie which was incredible with a little tequila. We hit it hard for most of the afternoon, then that evening, after the Summit guests had all left, a couple neighbors dropped by. I don't remember how many more pies were baked, but the oven finally shut down about 10pm that night.
Over the two days, I think we baked 29 pies. Needless to say, Java made out like a bandit.
Whoa! Be sure to check out the slideshow to see what pizza from a crew of serious pizza obsessives like these produce. Does it get any better than this? Thanks for sharing, Craig. Long live the Texas Pizza Summit!