New to Pizza

Hey guys (and ladies),

I am brand new to the pizza world. So new that I haven’t actually worked in a pizzeria yet even!

I am a chef, for Sodexho…and currently am serving as a Kitchen Lead / Catering Chef at the University of Idaho. I did the whole culinary school thing at Western Culinary Intitute (Le Cordon Bleu), in Portland Oregon. etc etc etc

I came to this board one day…just snooping across the net, and was addicted immediately to the entire thing.

I am seriously leaning towards joining all of you in the pizza world…even if it means going back to a grunt level and learning the business from the ground up.

I was wondering if there are any books out there that are “the pizza bible” so to speak that I might look into. Granted I am WELL aware that in the food industry…books don’t do much teaching. I am simply looking at an industry point of view type of deal that will give me some pointers, and maybe an inside track to understanding what all I need to know.

I am learning a lot just from reading everything that all you wonderful contributors write…I simply can not peel myself from the computer when I start reading the boards.

Thanks for all the help you’ve given so far, and I hope maybe there’s something out there for me to keep going on learning about the pizza world.


despite your wonderful education (wish I would have went to Le Cordon Bleu) and your experience in food you should get in on the ground level and learn the aspects of the business first. It’s so much different than other types of restaurants. I too attended Culinary school, and the education did help and so did my fifteen years in the restaurant industry, but I was glad that I went through the training I did. Get in with a pizza place, perhaps as an assistant manager and learn how things work. That’s what I did. I am currently working as GM of an indy pizza place and working toward ownership.

We offer a pizza seminar that you might be interested in. The class will be held October 15 - 19, 2007, here in Manhattan, Kansas. The course in titlae: Practical Pizza Production Technology. You can get more information on the course here at PMQ or you can visit our web site at <> . We have been presenting this course for over 20 years and it is quite popular. The course is oriented towards both existing operators and “newbies” with a break-out of roughly 50% classroom lecture and 50% hands-on instruction. If you want to see a copy of the program, please contact Ken Embers at and ask for a copy of the Practical Pizza Production Technology Agenda. In the meantime, try to attend one of the upcoming pizza shows to develop a network in the pizza community. Also, be sure to explore our web site right here. There are a lot of great offerings right at your fingertips, and the best part of all…it’s FREE! Welcome aboard!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I think you should get a part time job at a local shop so you can start learning the basics… is easier to learn by actually doing it than reading it… this forum is a HUGE help also, once you start working on a shop and keep reading this forum, you are on your way of becoming a pizzaiolo… also a great web site I like a lot the encyclopizza… I don’t have to url on hand but type encyclopizza in google and u will find it… good luck

welcome and am glad you appreciate this world of pizza
The AIB course Tom Lehmann replied to you is excellent, I learned more usefull things about pizza that I did in the previous 5 years of experience.
I have 4 excellent books on pizza, one by Peter Reinhart on pizza, I cannot remeber the name.
there are others about the best pizzerias in the US and word by a couple of NY authors. I am sorry I am on vacation and do not have them with me.
I have learned much by visiting pizzerias, especially when i get to speak the owners or manager,
Working in a place would be good too, I did not, to my regret.
Stay above the fray of “the best way to do it”, stay a little confused and find your way.
good luck to you,

Wel come
Its good to see people like ypu in our community. We are big but at same time small family at pmq. My suggestion to you is that when you are ready just buy an existing pizza rest, with owner willing to stay behind to show you ropes. This will give you study income to realy and get you away from headache of opening from scratch a new store to save you time and money. Mean time try to find any part time work in pizza place to get you going.
Take care