Growing up, the only day at school you looked forward to was pizza day -- but what if every day was pizza day, and instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic, the core subjects were pizza, pizza, and pizza? You'd be a genius! Welcome to the International School of Pizza.
Headed up by nine-time world champion pizza tosser Tony Gemignani (of East Bay Pyzano's fame), ISOP's a veritable pizza Sorbonne: a massive open kitchen'd joint that teaches restaurateurs and regular peeps alike the authentic ins 'n' outs of cooking virtually any type of 'za from scratch, all while doubling as a full-fledged Italian restaurant. Unless you already have mad crazy pizza-skills, opt for the two-day "Home Chef" course, and Tony'll school you on making dough with exclusive imported flours/olive oil/etc, before you switch to 24-hour pre-risen dough to learn proper pushing, rolling, and showboaty tossing techniques for the four styles he covers: classic Italian, Neapolitan, pan-style Sicilian, and classic American (so...Ellio's?). Next, you'll create a variety of sweet recipes -- anything from olive oil/garlic NY White, to marinated chicken/chorizo spicy Cholula, to real-deal Margherita -- and pick up proper transfer techniques by ushering pies in and out of ISOP's various gas, electric, and wood-fired ovens kept continuously stoked by bad kids in pizza detention.
Complete the class and you'll be awarded a "Pro Card", entitling you to purchase any of Tony's hard-to-find ingredients, as well as his raw dough. When classes are out, Tony serves lunch and dinner ranging from fresh seafood pastas to, of course, a plethora of specialty pizzas -- because any good learning institution has a robust after-school program to keep kids off salad.
Published: May 21, 2009 at 4:00am EDT
1570 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133
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