'Obituaries' on Serious Eats

Aloysius C. 'Al' Pawlowicz, Co-Owner of Pizzaland, Dies at 49

I am sad to report the death of Aloysius C. "Al" Pawlowicz, the co-owner of, and pizzamaker at, Pizzaland, the pizzeria immortalized in the opening credits of the Sopranos. Pawlowicz made me some of the most memorable, unique and downright delicious pizza that I have had. He suffered a heart attack and died on October 28, 2010, which must seem somewhat ironic to those that knew him, as he clearly had a huge heart. But considering that he worked upward of 12-hour days, often seven says a week, the result is perhaps not so surprising. Pawlowicz put his heart and soul in his pizza, and it showed, but more important, he was dedicated to his family, which he talked about proudly and lovingly while he served his "old fashioned"–style pies. More

East Harlem Patsy's Pizzaiolo José Jiminez Dies

"I remember seeing José shoveling coal in the oven, firing it up during hot summer months with only a fan to cool him." [Photographs: Jared Goldstein] Some sad news just arrived in the Slice inbox, courtesy of NYC tour guide Jared Goldstein: I am sorry to share the passing of one of America's great chefs—and a great guy—José Jiminez, on December 7, 2009.Jiminez, who immigrated from Ecuador, was the East Harlem Patsy's pizza chef and cook since 1977. He learned how to make their special pies from the previous pizza master, back when Carmella, "Mrs. Patsy" was alive.... More

How to Get a Ride Home for the Cost of a Pizza Delivery

Experimental Domino's delivery vehicle. [Photograph: Hugo90 on Flickr] From the obituary of geriatric psychiatrist Gene D. Cohen in the New York Times today: In the opening chapter of his latest book, "The Mature Mind," Dr. Cohen related an anecdote that in many ways encapsulated his theories. His in-laws had arrived for a visit in Washington in the midst of a snowstorm and emerged from the subway lost. Unable to hail a cab or reach the Cohen family by phone, Dr. Cohen's father-in-law had an idea. He and his wife walked across the street to a pizza parlor, ordered a... More

Sal and Carmine's: A Post-Sal Pilgrimage

"His slices were so good that they didn't have to deliver." The other night I started thinking about Sal and Carmine's. Adam reported on Sal's untimely death, but somehow I feel the only true way to pay one's respects to a pieman (and Sal was one of the all-time great piemen) is to have one of his pies. So last Friday I left the Slice–Serious Eats office around 7 p.m. and took the 2 Train to 96th Street and Broadway. I know I could have taken the local one more stop and ended up a couple of blocks closer, but... More

Obituary: Sal, of Upper West Side Favorite Sal and Carmine's, Dies

bronxbanterblog.com Sad news. Sal of the Upper West Side's Sal and Carmine's has died. We received a report over the weekend from Josh G. that the neighborhood favorite was shuttered due to "an emergency." And now today comes word from Alex Belth of Bronx Banter as to the state of that emergency: Sal died late last week. I’ve been eating their pizza since I was a kid. Sal and Carmine. Two short, taciturn men in their seventies, though they look older. I never knew who was Sal and who was Carmine, just that one was slightly less cranky than... More

Alan Scott, Wood-Fired-Oven Builder, 72

The New York Times ran an obit yesterday for Alan Scott, who died on January 26 in Tasmania, Australia. Scott was the driving force behind California-based Ovencrafters, a small company that revolutionized the way backyard brick-oven bakers—and not a small amount of commercial ones—baked their breads and pizza. The Times says: Several thousand amateur bread bakers and thin-crust pizza makers now have backyard brick ovens, many with cathedral-like arches, that were built either by Mr. Scott, with Mr. Scott or according to specifications he laid out with his protégé Daniel Wing in their 1999 book, The Bread Builders. More than... More

Bob Petrillose, Hot Truck Founder and French Bread Pizza Inventor, Dies

"Bob built his life around the Hot Truck, striving to put out a very, very high-quality product." From left: The Hot Truck, Bob Petrillose. This morning, some sobering news to report. Bob Petrillose has died after fighting Parkison's Disease. Petrillose is the man credited with having invented French bread pizza (later licensed to Stouffer's) and is the founder of the legendary Hot Truck on the campus of Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York.... More

Arturo Giunta, Founder of Coal-Burning Pizzeria Arturo's, Dead at 79

This is one of those entries we wish we'd never have to post. From the New York Daily News: Arturo Giunta, whose Greenwich Village coal oven has been cooking up pizzas at Arturo's for nearly five decades, has died. He was 79. The Manhattan native died Wednesday night at Beth Israel Hospital, a month after breaking his arm and developing an infection that led to kidney failure, said his daughter-in-law, Carol Giunta. A World War II Army sergeant wounded twice battling the Nazis, Giunta founded Arturo's pizzeria in 1957. Our condolences to Mr. Giunta's family and friends. Iconic pizza chef... More

Bum Me Out, Scotty

Like a decent number of Slice readers, I'm sure, I was saddened to learn of the death of James Doohan, a.k.a. Star Trek's "Scotty" or "Mr. Scott." I grew up watching Star Trek and enjoyed the cantankerous commander and his declarations—that he was doin' all he kin, cap'n. That she, the ship, canna take no more. As is the case here at Slice, when a beloved public figure dies, we hit the Internets and see if the dearly departed had any connection to pizza. Mr. Doohan apparently did not, but we came across this page that posits what toppings Trek... More

John Paul II and Pizza

ABOVE: The late John Paul II blesses pizzamakers during the Jubilee of Pizza Chefs on October 25, 2000. Here, gifts are delivered to Il Papa by Walter Botrugno of the Associazione Nazionale Pizzaioli E Ristoritori, Catalan Stefano of the Pizzaioli Associati Siciliani, and the owner of Naples' Starita Pizzeria, the famed location of Sofia Loren's L'Oro di Napoli. RIGHT: John Paul II at Shea Stadium on October 3, 1979. Though there's no evidence that he ate pizza during his visits to New York City, it's nice to think that he may have. I was saddened last night to hear... More

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: H.S.T. R.I.P.

[For those of you new to Slice, let me introduce E-Rock. E-Rock is our roving reporter. While the rest of the Slice staff remains safe and warm in New York City, with easy access to some of the world's best pizza, we send E-Rock out to do our dirty deeds: eating at and reporting on pizzerias in other parts of the country—and the world—that might not have the greatest pies. Most of his missions end in disappointment, but he seems to cope by viewing these crazy assignments as being more about the journey than the destination. Hunter S. Thompson has... More

Goodnight, Johnny

Before anyone did anything, Johnny Carson did it all. Leno, Letterman, Conan? Pfffht. They're all pickin' up on the style he laid down more than 40 years ago—the topical monologue followed by a short skit followed by celebrity interviews. And with 4,500 shows during a 30-year Tonight Show run, is it any surprise that Johnny did pizza long before Slice was but a gleam in its founders' eyes? We did some digging and found some archived 1982 footage of Johnny tossing dough with a young pizzaiolo named Barry O'Halloran. The clip, which appears on the website of Mr. O'Halloran's present-day... More

Totonno's Joel Cimineri Dies

A sad bit of news to wake up to: Joel Cimineri has run out of dough for the last time.Brooklyn's legendary pizza man — who manned the oven at Totonno's in Coney Island and famously closed for the day if he ran out of dough — died this week from diabetes. He was 59.A Brooklyn legend, Cimineri not only helped keep alive a pizza-making tradition dating from the turn of the 19th century, but with every thin-crusted pizza he made, he stood up against fast-food culture."We live in a Burger King world of 'Have it your way,' " said Dick... More

Today Is A Dog Day Afternoon

words by seltzerboy .::. This item is a bit of stretch, but somehow it seems appropriate for a compendium of New York pizza—a fixture of city life—to search for a link to note the death of radio legend Scott Muni (right) earlier this week. After all, listening to his show was a slice of life here, so to speak. Very recently, I happened to watch the Sidney Lumet film Dog Day Afternoon again. The film recounts an incredible bank heist in 1972, when a couple of guys’ robbery attempt turned into an all-day affair for the employees and customers—and for all... More

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