The two things about making pizza that seem scary to people is the idea of having to toss the pizza in the air, where it gracefully twirls, before you catch it in your waiting fist, ready to throw it all over again, AND, shoveling a pizza from a big wooden paddle into the oven without loosing half of the toppings to the back wall of the oven (not to mention having to get it out again with the same unwieldy tool)!
I am here to shamelessly promote my friend Chef Panza’s Pizza Paddles. Chef Panza is crazy about lots of things, but two things that come to mind when I think about him begin with the letter”F”, Family and Food, (he is also wild about books, but that’s a whole other story!).
He is an architect and I can only imagine how his convoluted brain operates. He built his house over 20 years, adding on bits as the humor or inspiration took him. He is always coming up with inventive tools for doing things (or at least talking about what tool could be made for what job!) and his idea for the Pizza Paddles was one he carried through to the end.
As with most tools, they are usually created out of necessity. The pizza paddle idea was born from frustration when one night our little chef was making pizza with his three daughters. The girls were having tons of trouble getting their dough (full of toppings) from the big wooden paddle to the pizza stone without loosing some, lots, or all of the cheesy ingredients to the back or bottom of the oven. I’m not talking about little girls either who might have a hard time with any sort of cooking technique. His daughters are fully grown and highly capable! What to do?
My friend decided that if the pizza paddle came apart in the middle, the pizza could be positioned over the stone or rack in the oven and simply laid in place by gently pulling the paddles apart allowing the pizza to plop right where you wanted it to cook.
After lots of experimenting, getting a prototype made and finally finding a manufacturer, the Chef Panza Pizza Paddles were invented!
This is how they work:
So now that you have seen them in action you know that making your own wonderful pizza is just a Pizza Paddle away! The other great thing is that they are really inexpensive (under $10) and you don’t have to leave your house to buy a set for you and all of your friends. Click on Pizza Paddle and it will take you straight to Chef Panza’s site.
Yes, while I agree that it is a little obnoxious to solicit you to buy something, it is also a noble thing to promote something clever, original, and support this one-man-show called Chef Panza, who loves food, his family and cooking for friends and strangers with the same gusto. I would love his little Pizza Paddle business to take off, so am hoping that he is showered with orders for the holidays.
After our pizza making demonstration a few nights ago, the kids made popcorn the old-fashioned way by dangerously wielding a big iron basket full of kernels in Chef Panza’s wood stove. It was a great night.