don’t settle for plain, frozen tater tots! use this easy recipe for a savory alternative to an already yummy side dish. great for parties, family meals or anything else.
How is this the first I’ve ever heard of DJ Donpasta? Whatever chef cred I had should be revoked, clearly.
Gliding between the soundtable and butcher block with gleeful ease, DJ Donpasta (otherwise known as Daniele de Michele, an author, DJ and exhibition cook) proves that, YES—you can be a master at many things.
Michele spoke to Lara Rabinovitch at The Daily Good for a profile, and he had some great thoughts about how food—you know, the fresh kind you make at home—is a key ingredient for building community. From the story:
De Michele sees food-oriented gatherings as central to building community and preserving cultural memory—they’re political acts, in his view. “It sounds crazy, but when I try to explain parmigiana you can see how society in the south of Italy works. You have the respect of the season; you have the respect of the work of the people that prepare the tomatoes… You have the respect of tradition. I think the parmigiana is a metaphor for the persistence of tradition and resistance to modern globalization and corporatization of food. You create a community by offering all you have. To create community—to create emotion, a sensation, a connection to memory—you need to make a party, and for me, parmigiana is an instrument.”
As I’ve come to find out, Scott Wiener is a man after my own heart.
Scott—an accomplished author and world-record holder for largest pizza-box collection—leads an event called “Slice Out Hunger,” an annual gathering that brings pizza lovers together to raise money.
Put simply, SOH is exactly what I write about in Pizza for Good: that pizza has power. It has the power to bring people together, to rally hungry troops who want to make a difference for folks who need help.
The premise for SOH simple: charge attendees $1 per slice and give 100% of the proceeds to Food Bank for New York City.
“Last year we made more than $20,000 with 735 pizzas donated,” Scott told me on a phone interview today. “This year, it’s entirely realistic that we’ll break $30,000 this year.” The event encourages sponsorships from local companies that vary in cost depending on how much matching dollars each company pledges.
Scott started the event in 2009 as a small anniversary party for his company, Scott’s Pizza Tours. But the event morphed in to an annual fundraiser, growing exponentially since then, having to relocate due to incredible demand and response. This year, Slice Out Hunger will have 85 volunteers working at St. Anthony’s Church in SoHo, dishing out slices from more than 50 pizzerias.
Scott says SOH was a happy accident, one that he looks forward to all year. “It’s the most rewarding thing I do,” he says. “This is the most rewarding aspect of running a business, where I have the priviledge of doing something like this. It’s by far the most meaningful thing I do all year long.”
If you’re in the area and can attend, you absolutely should! Click here for more info on the event and how to participate. For more on Scott’s pizza-box collection, have a look at this Ben Aaron interview:
UPDATE: Slice out Hunger raised a whopping $30,000, with lots of happy faces and accomplished organizers and volunteers. Here are a few snapshots from the event, courtesy of Scott Wiener:
Author and researcher Amy Neftzger said the following: “Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.”
Loved the tongue-and-cheek quip from a fellow author who’s active on social media and obviously of quick wit. After reading the quote—which got a graphic treatment from none other than Domino’s pizza—I thought about changing two words to suit Pizza for Good fans:
“Those pizzas I made were for fund-raising purposes.” And that, in a quick-edit nutshell, is why I wrote PFG: to return pizza enjoyment to an in-home practice, so that it may help you help other folks in your community.
After a long pause in posting, I’m back with a vengeance! Let’s celebrate #ThrowbackThursday with a few snapshots from where Pizza for Good got its start.
The whole concept grew out of an offhanded conversation I had with Dennis “Deno” Oswald; I asked him what kind of new and fun party theme I could use for my New Year’s Eve party in 2002. I had just moved back to Atlanta from grad school and wanted to get something cool going. He suggested a gourmet-pizza bash since I had just cooked pizza for him the night before and he remarked on how good they were.
Little did I know it was to be the spark of something much bigger than that day. After the party grew, in 2006 I launched a piggyback charity in conjunction with the pizza party and BAM—ARTvision Atlanta was born. Cut to today, and ARTvision has raised more than $50,000 for charity, and we of course now know you, too, can buy and use Pizza for Good to do the exact same thing in your local community.
Here’s a collection of pictures from that fateful evening. We all look quite a bit more, um, “youthful,” but many of those folks are even more lively and full of spunk than they were back then!
Cheers to many more years of pizza-making.
Now you can be impressed by technology AND enjoy pizza—at the same time! Pizza for Good is one of the most interactive, embedded-video-fancy eBooks on the market today. Buy it for the recipes, or go the whole 9 and throw a fund-raising party.
There’s also a print edition to complement the digital version, so… the choice is yours.
Either way, you can download pizza and make a big difference in your community in the process.