We are hearing more and more about different organizations that have established themselves as the governing body of “authentic” pizza making. The idea is that they can somehow standardize and define a particular pizza making style and then offer certification (at a price) to people who have met the standards. Take a wild guess at what would have happened if somebody visited Totonno’s in the 1930’s and suggested that they needed a certificate to make pizzas.
Now I know that these schools of pizza making serve a purpose, especially for beginners who want to get started and learn the basic principles of our craft. The issue that I have with this idea is that it kind of sucks the individuality out of the whole thing. The pizzerias that I am really excited about right now (like Slice in New York) aren’t trying to recreate anything, they are listening to their own original voice. The real innovators in the pizza world are coming from diverse backgrounds and bringing a unique perspective to our favorite food. The trick is to approach pizza making with a fresh and uncluttered outlook every day. In Zen philosophy this is called “the beginners mind” The future of the pizza business is not recreation or preservation it is innovation. The “next big thing” is going to come from a beginner with no baggage or an experienced pizza lover that refuses to be confined by the past.
“For the beginner, all things are possible”