By Tony Gemignani, a 12-time World Pizza Champion, master instructor at the International School of Pizza, two-time Food Network gold medalist, restaurateur of 21 concepts, author and reality television personality. Gemignani is the president of the World Pizza Champions, is also a Guinness World Record holder and is the owner and executive chef of several restaurants.
There is nothing like having a pizza with SAUCE ON TOP! I have been preaching this longer than I can remember. I always say pizza and food, in general, is about balance. Each bite should take you through a journey. My sauce has never been understated when it comes to my pizza, it has always stood out. I take pride in it as I do with all other ingredients.
Nowadays young pizza makers, chefs, or bakers that come into our industry always want to be known for their dough and starters. I know this because I use starters in practically all of my dough recipes before it became mainstream but I never let it overcome my pizza. But it’s when guys say “did you taste my pizza? What do you think of my starter it’s like 100 years old?” For me that can be something great to brag about but I don’t want my customers, some critic, writer, blogger or hot shot primadonna kid coming up the ranks remembering my starter.? I want them to remember me for my pizza.
Sometimes it takes one longer to learn this way of thinking, sometimes they never learn this at all. Sauce, dough, and cheese or dough, sauce and cheese, whatever it is one can overcome or overcompensate the other. They should be harmonious.
We make several styles of pizzas at all my restaurants with SAUCE ON TOP, Grandma’s, Detroit’s, Sicilians, Deep Dish, Jersey Tomato Pies, Neapolitan Marinara, Coal Fire Tomato Pies, Cast Irons the list goes on. As a pizza purist I pay homage to every style of pizza. With nearly 30 years in the pizza industry, I have been fortunate enough to try pizzas from all over the world and my favorites have always been with SAUCE ON TOP.
My palate, as well as myself, have evolved. The young Tony wanted to do what hasn’t been done when it came to cooking. Nothing is sexier than recreating a pizza that was from so long ago. What’s old is new again. SAUCE ON TOP is in this category. For me the flavor, simplicity, strength of the pie, bake, all play an important factor. I teach this to my students and practice this every day.
My mission statement, my mantra, my everyday way of life is “ Respect the Craft” say hello to “Respect the Sauce”