Month: May 2015
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.
Last November, I got an e-mail from a fourth grade public school teacher in Sitka, Alaska, inviting me and Brandon to be part of a classroom project he was planning. The project would be called the Perfect Pizza, and it would go like this: the students would spend some time studying pizza and writing about pizza, and along the way, we’d chat with them once or twice via Skype about what makes great pizza great. As the culminating event of the project, Brandon and I would come to Sitka in the flesh, ta daaaa, where we would make pizza with the students (Brandon), talk writing with the students (me), and give a reading at the local library (me). We of…Read more
One Tuesday evening in March, I went somewhat accidentally to the town of Edison, Washington, and bought a pack of graham crackers. Two weeks later, I drove back deliberately, 75 miles each way, just to buy more. Thanks to Renee Bourgault and her wonderful Breadfarm, I got to tell the story, and share the recipe, on (the newly redesigned! fancy!) Saveur.com.Read more
When I moved to Seattle, I lived a gray shingled apartment building on Northeast 67th Street, a speedy bus ride to the UW, where I had just started school. My apartment had deep-pile carpet the color of weak tea and a floodlit view of a parking lot, but it was mine, mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Even getting a utilities bill was exhilarating: it was in my name! I bought cheap produce at the stand a few blocks east, found a good Thai curry place a few blocks to the west, and got takeout from an Indian restaurant down the street. I started this blog in that apartment in 2004, and I lived there when I met Brandon…Read more