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Pizza Expo Flashback: Respect the Craft

Pizza Expo Flashback: Respect the Craft - Christies Bakery
Tracey and Blair Muzzolini at the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas

When every March rolled by, I would see an advertisement for the International Pizza Expo in Vegas. I always wanted to attend, but I could never make it work. This year, I made it work!! I even dragged along my husband, my two brothers and their partners and it was totally worth it!

Tracey Muzzolini and Tony Gemignani

From the Keynote speaker Tony Gemignani, to the Italian marching band walking us into the convention hall, I knew from the first moment this was going to be good!

Pizza has been a passion of mine since I discovered the beauty of making wood fired pizzas the Vera Pizza Napoletana way. When we built our Second Location on Broadway, we installed a wood fired oven and became very serious about making this style of Pizza. I attended the Vera Pizza Napoletana school in Los Angeles to learn the art of making Pizza Napoletana. My brother Blair and I, with my young Niece, Juliana, went on a pilgrimage to Naples to verify that we were doing this historical style of Pizza making justice.

Tracey With Vera Pizza Napoletana

Flash forward a decade and my passion for pizza has never left. I was more than excited to attend the “Super Bowl of Pizza Events'';The International Pizza Expo! There were a couple of things I was really excited to see. One was the Pizza Acrobatics Championships and the other was Tony Gemignani. I signed up for a pizza class with him and they don’t call him the G.O.A.T for nothing. I can’t think of any other pizza maker who is as well versed in as many styles of pizza as Tony Gemignani and believe me, there are LOTS of styles! He has spent over the last 3 decades building a pizza empire as well as inspring and teaching new and eager Pizzaiolos and Pizzaiolas! If you go to San Francisco, check out his famous pizzeria Tony’s Pizza in North Beach. There you can experience multiple styles of Pizzas from wood fired Pizza Napoletana to pan pizzas like Grandma and Detroit styles.

From Tony, I learned that perfectionism in pizza making is what sets apart the best from the mediocre. Pizza is an art form that deserves respect. Watching a pro handle dough is something I have a keen eye for. I may have shaped as many baguettes as Tony has shaped pizza, so I understand when the skill becomes as natural as breathing. It is a beautiful thing to witness.

Pizza acrobatics at the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas

The pizza acrobatics did not disappoint either! Think pizza spinning and dance moves. These kids make it look easy, but I know that it is not. I have some new life goals! What impressed me beyond the pizza tossing moves, was the ambition and pride that these young pizzaiolos and pizzaiolas carry within them. The future of the Pizza Industry is very strong and that is really cool!

The International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas was stimulating in so many ways! 3 days of seminars, demos, people watching, talking, catching up with old friends, looking at really cool stuff and eating lots of pizza. I can hardly believe it took me over 20 years to get here!

The words; “Respect the Craft” ring through my ears as I heard Tony Gemignani say over, and over again. I will remind myself of these words often and use them as I mentor bakers and pizza makers. Respect the Craft.




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Virginia Mireau

Sorry to have missed helping out at the street fair. Always a great time! I can add that being in Italy right now enjoying regional pizzas is a pretty great time, too! luv ya all

Karen Kowalenko-Evjen

Last week, we took some friends for coffee at Il Secondo. My husband had the Don Vito sandwich and loved it. I ordered a pizza with prosciutto (can’t remember its name on the menu) and I need you/someone to know that the crust was soggy. The edges were nicely cooked, the flavours were good but the pizza was really soggy like wet dough. This was a shock as I KNOW you guys know how to do pizza what with the great al forno oven. I’m guessing you don’t want to be serving pizza like that if you can avoid it.


do you make pizzas for diabetics?

Dianne Nicklas

Now I realize – yes, it’s about time! -there is no reason whatsoever to NOT have ill Secondo as our go-to for our pizza when the craving for a good, No, for absolutely the BEST pizza takes over! So much for a handy nearby chain outlet! – There would be no comparison! After reading your most interesting (written with such passion for the art of composing the most beyond EXCELLENT pizzas!) III Secondo will be topmost on mind when we want real authentic, fabulous as-it-should-be! Italian pizza!! 🥰


now I know there is a pizza expo. Glad you were able to go. Maybe you’ll show your moves at the brdwy location this summer…


Great story on the Pizza Expo. What I wouldn’t give to have a pizza dough shaping workshop at Ill Secondo followed by a shot at pizza spinning and dancing! What fun.

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