'Arizona' on Serious Eats

Chris Bianco is Opening a Pizzeria in Tucson!

At least two or three times a week, I get really annoyed at Chris Bianco. Here's a guy—a fellow New Yorker, no less—making, by all accounts, some of the best pizza in America, and he just has to do it in Phoenix freakin' Arizona. Which is, I'll have you know, 2,410 miles and 36 hours in the car I can't drive, or, alternatively, 5 hours on the plane I can't afford. Goddamnit, Chris Bianco. Why are you so far away? More

Building a Pizzeria: A Pizzicletta Update

We all followed along as Caleb Schiff built and opened his Flagstaff pizzeria, Pizzicletta. It's been a little more than eight months of wielding the peel and Caleb brings an update on what he's learned about the business, details on his pizzas and menu, wood, dough, and more. More

Dear Slice: Arizona Pizza Pilgrimage

We've some pizza gold from the Slice mailbox. If you saw our Pizza Obsessives interview with Lance yesterday, you'll have eagerly been awaiting the followup—Lance describes his visit to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix and gives us a first look at Flagstaff's Pizzicletta, which of course is the subject of Caleb Schiff's column "Building a Pizzeria". What I'm saying is that we have a cosmic pizza convergence here. "You're driving to Phoenix... for pizza?" That's how everyone used to say it, with shock in their voice. But with all the press that my favorite place in the world, Pizzeria Bianco, has... More

Building a Pizzeria: Behind-the-Scenes

So far I've been telling everyone about some of the major steps and objectives I've accomplished as I open a pizzeria: the local support and lenders, the menu, the oven, the layout, and glimpses of the construction. And now as a businessman, I have to consider how much detail I can and should reveal to all my followers. However, I'm not one that can hide my emotions, as those closest to me could tell you. Making long-term financial commitments to my lenders, committing my foreseeable future to making Pizzicletta successful, and understanding that Pizzicletta and Caleb will soon be an inseparable entity is a HUGE emotional undertaking. The closer these plans come to a reality, the more excited I am for them to be true. At the same time, I am constantly thinking of how I can improve my business model to ensure success. More

Scottsdale, Arizona: 'Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana

'Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana is situated in the Borgata, a faux Italian plaza built about 20 years ago in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona. Stefano Fabbri opened the restaurant—the valley's first VPN-certified pizzeria—in February of this year with his Acunto Forni brick oven as the prominent centerpiece. This 6,000-pound beauty was hand-built in Naples, shipped across the ocean, and then brought all the way to Arizona. More

My Pizza Oven: Sue Wong - Busy, WFO-Obsessed Moms, Represent!

Last week I got an email from today's My Pizza Oven subject, Sue Wong of Phoenix: "I just had my first wood-fired oven installed in my backyard a month ago and have been reading everything I can on pizza, and your blog is my favorite." Well, if Ms. Wong was gunning for a MPO spot, she knew just the right buttons to push. Flattery gets you everywhere, right? Anyway, without further ado, let's put Sue in the hot seat. More

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... More

Controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio and His Pizza Pranks

I never thought I'd have reason to blog about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio here on Slice, much less post a photo of him with wackadoodle Paula Abdul. [Photograph: mcso.org] If you don't live in Arizona, chances are you know Joe Arpaio from his many media appearances. He's the controversial sheriff whose harsh measures against inmates and, in the last several years, illegal immigrants, have drawn fire from critics. One of those critics, the Arizona Republic's E. J. Montini, reports in this column that the sheriff has been sending the columnist anchovy pizzas any time Montini writes a negative... More

In Which I Finally Get My Ass to Pizzeria Bianco, Have Amazing Pizza, and Finally Write About It

From the mailbag: Adam,I now log into Slice every day and really enjoy it. When will you have the write-up and photos from Pizzeria Bianco up?--Rich S. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] OK. Bianco. Yeah. Sorry, Rich. I'm actually trying to juice the Slice traffic numbers by making you and the rest of the readers who have been following Pizza Madness 2009 check the site every day. ... Just kidding. I just got a bit behind with Thanksgiving and now the holidays and all that jazz. Now it is time to tell my tale. In mind-numbing dear-diary detail. For I wish to... More

The United States of Pizza: Arizona

Continuing the 50-part series that is The United States of Pizza, here's a bit of intel from the Grand Canyon State. —The Mgmt. [Illustration: Adam Kuban] If you read Slice with any regularity, you might get the impression that pizza in Arizona begins and ends with Pizzeria Bianco. Lord knows, we've spilled enough pixels writing about the place—not that it doesn't deserve it. But there are other places in Arizona that you might want to check out.... More

F-Words of Wisdom from Pizzaiolo Chris Bianco

Chris Bianco, assembling a pizza. Photograph by Robyn Lee Matthew Amster-Burton writes on Gourmet.com about the philosophy of legendary Phoenix pizza man Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco). Readers here are more than familiar with the place, so here are a couple choice quotes: “Don’t worry about eight hundred degrees, don’t worry about the bullshit of time, don’t worry about tripping out your fuckin’ home kitchen to reproduce something. Those things to me are not organic. I mean, if you have a hot sidewalk and a magnifying glass, you can make something.” He paused while I imagined how this would work.... More

Upstart Wood-Fired Pizzeria in Nothing, Arizona

Photograph from cobalt123 on Flickr The town of Nothing, Arizona, sounds like something straight out of Duel, Breakdown, or any number of psycho-stalker-trucker movies. A town in name only, it's basically a shell of a gas station in rural northwestern Arizona surrounded by swaths of federally owned land. There's no reason to go there—especially now that the former owner sold it and ripped out the gas tanks. But its new owner, Mike Jensen, hopes to make it a destination in part through wood-fired pizza: A good chunk of Jensen's plan hinges on his pizza. For the past four years,... More

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