Earlier this year our winemaker JP flexed his pizza making skills while making lunch for our team. Not wanting to be outdone, our owner Ryan threw down the gauntlet and challenged him to a cook-off. They both have a history in pizza: Ryan learned to sling grilled pies in the kitchen at Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island, the birthplace of grilled pizza. JP was educated on all things pizza by the godfather of California wine country cuisine, John Ash. Each contender brought a different style and process to the table with only two rules: dough had to be made from scratch and cooking method was a charcoal grill. Taking a break from our daily tasks, we sat around Ryan’s truck and tasted each contestant’s fare…tough way to spend a lunch break.
As in any contest, a winner has to be named. Tallying up the tick marks, JP’s pancetta with seasonal toppings pie topped Ryan’s take on a seasonal margarita pizza, and the Pizza Champion was crowned. A friendly rivalry is always good; one that involves food and cooking is even better, and we can’t wait to judge the next round.