ryan making pizza outside

“Within the span of a few months in 2014, I both received a Baking Steel as a gift, and Roberta’s in Brooklyn shared their dough recipe and I never looked back.”

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Ryan’s a pizza connoisseur and non-fiction filmmaker

Learn about Ryan’s path to pizza in this cook Q&A and get his pies on SATURDAY (3/15) from 12-7PM! Follow Ryan on Insta @ryan_eat_make_pizza!

Q. How did you first learn to cook?

Ryan: I grew up watching my mom cook everyday. I was not, and still am not, allowed to help but there are some high stools in her kitchen for viewing and noting what is going on. She comes from a line of Italian grocers, so homemade food has always been very important to the family. This was my destiny, I suppose.

Pizza Rosso
Ryan’s “Pizza Bianco!” ~8″ Neapolitan Pizza with tomato, oregano, garlic, rosemary and capers. Totally vegan! Made fresh to order!

 

My first job was at Subway and I continued working in food until I got my present job.

Q. What inspired you to get into pizza making

Ryan: Within the span of a few months in 2014, I both received a Baking Steel as a gift, and Roberta’s in Brooklyn shared their dough recipe and I never looked back. At some point in the last year I had a breakthrough with my own dough recipe and bought a pizza oven. Committing to only ordering Domino’s instead of this would have been a much cheaper hobby.

Pizza Bianco
Ryan’s “Pizza Bianco!” ~8″ naturally leavened Neapolitan style pizza with olive oil, young parmesan, pickled onion, rosemary & pistachios. Cooked to order!

 

Q. Who do you think about when you make pizza? Who are your pizza influences?

Ryan: My mom, and while I’m not sure that she’s ever made a pizza in her life, every bit of what I’m doing is playing with and riffing on flavors and textures of the food I grew up eating. Also, Chris Bianco’s book BIANCO had a huge effect on my approach to making pizza (and a general outlook on life). I highly recommend it for anyone looking to find some spirituality in the process of kneading dough.

Q. What’s your day job? What do you like to do outside of cooking?

Ryan: I work at Kartemquin Films, a non-profit documentary production company based in Roscoe Village, where I manage the Post-Production department.

In my spare time I manage a farm in Stardew Valley and make stupid videos with my friends. With spring approaching I will soon start tending to my tomato garden, and hopefully everyone will have a chance to eat those tomatos on pizza come fall.

Q. Any advice for aspiring pizza makers?

Ryan: Keep it simple and remember that pizza is 90% crust. Give the dough the respect it deserves.

Margherita Pizza
Ryan’s “Margherita Pizza.” ~8″ naturally leavened Neapolitan style pizza with tomato, basil, olive oil & mozzarella. Cooked to order!

 

Q. Anything else we should know about you and your pizzas?

Ryan: The only reason my food looks so good on Shmeal is that I am very lucky to be surrounded by great photographers, my girlfriend Alice Feldt (Instagram: @alicefeldtphoto) and my roommate Jeff Perlman (Instagram: @jeff_boyardee_). hire them to take pictures of you or your food.

If you’re interested in further pizzachat I have an instagram just for that called @ryan_eat_make_pizza give it a follow and lets talk about our favorite Domino’s toppings!

Ryan’s making “Pizza Rosso,” “Margherita Pizza,” and “Pizza Bianco” on SATURDAY (3/15) from 12-7PM in Garfield Park! Get your requests in and follow him to see what he makes next!

By Shmeal

The Shmeal Team. 🐖💻

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