About eight months after we opened Delancey, a customer named Eric Peterson sent an e-mail to Brandon, and the subject line read, I want to make pizza at Delancey!
Eric was working at a local pizza place, but he wanted to learn another approach – to learn the chemistry behind good dough, how to make sauce from scratch, how to manage a wood-burning oven. His five-year plan was to open a small wood-fired pizza restaurant in Leavenworth, a mountain town roughly two hours east of Seattle, and he was ready to put in the time to learn what he needed to know.
I called his references and wound up talking to an older guy with whom Eric had once worked at a ski shop, I think, and mostly what I remember is that this guy all but yelled into the phone, SNATCH HIM UP. So we did. We hired Eric, and he cooked next to Brandon for a year and a half, making dough and stretching pizzas and finding his way around the fire, until late 2011, when he headed east over the pass, as he had always planned, to open his Idlewild Pizza. And it is killer.
And this coming Monday, Memorial Day, I get the great pleasure of doing a talk and signing for Delancey – which comes out in paperback on Tuesday! – there, at Idlewild. If you’re going to be in the area, or even remotely in the area, please come visit. I’ll be there from 3 to 5 pm, and there will be wine and, of course, pizza.
I love Leavenworth and the mountains around it, in the summertime especially, and I’m thrilled to have the book as an excuse to get back over there. Hope to see you – and either way, happy almost-Memorial Day.
P.S. I should note that the above photos were taken at Delancey, not at Idlewild. I don’t have any pictures from Idlewild, though, hey, I could fix that this weekend.
P.P.S. San Francisco! I’ll be in your town next week, on Saturday, May 30. See you at Omnivore Books at 3 pm?
P.P.P.S. This week’s This American Life is so smart, so heavy, and so important.