#QuotableMondays: ‘We Have to Love Each Other’

from left: Will Pollock, Lucas Schneider, Rob O'Connor & Alexis Vear at the "Pizza for Good" book-release party

from left: Will Pollock, Lucas Schneider, Rob O’Connor & Alexis Vear at the “Pizza for Good” book-release party

In Episode 1 of my podcast, “The Pizza Dish,” I speak to NYC-based software developer (and longtime pal) Rob O’Connor about a number of pizza-related topics, including:

  • DNA on pizza crust implicates Daron Dylan Wint in D.C.’s “Mansion Murders“—what are the civil-liberty implications?
  • What will happen to Memories Pizza? What will the long-term impact be of the Religious Freedom Act on Indiana?

“Are they collecting DNA for people charged and not convicted?” is a topic that came up during the podcast. Actually, the answer varies by state. HNGN has a great post up about the subject, and you can read the entire thing here. Some states collect DNA in light of serious charges like murder; others only do it post-conviction. In both cases, DNA collection raises serious constitutional questions that nobody is talking about, which was brought to light by this unusual DNA discovery on a pizza crust.

‘First sign of a declining society’
I don’t usually quote myself for #QuotableMondays, but I made an exception this week. Talking about the reaction (and the reaction to the reaction) to Indiana and Mike Pence’s Religious Freedom Act:

“We have to love each other. The first knee-jerk reaction is to shut each other down and not listen to each other. and that’s the first sign of a declining society when we just preach in a silo and we don’t listen to each other. I don’t agree with their position, but I also want them to be able to express their religious beliefs without them being persecuted. We’re better as a society with a conversation.”

Related: read my post, #PizzaforAll, right here on the book blog

Listen to the full first episode of “The Pizza Dish” below, and thanks for sharing with your pals! – Will Pollock

Between Christmas & New Year’s Eve, A PFG Fund-raising Challenge

"Pizza for Good" chapter-heading design for the print version

“Pizza for Good” chapter-heading design for the print version

For those who celebrate, Christmas means many things to many people. I like to think of December 25th as a culminating day of giving back and starting to figure out what lies ahead in the coming year.

Here’s my way of finishing the year strong: buy Pizza for Good by Will Pollock in print on Etsy for $20, and I’ll give $5 to a charity of your choosing. This means that I still make some money from the sale of the book, and a deserving organization gets a token of goodwill from me before the end of the year.


Is $5 a ton of scratch? Of course not. While most charities welcome donations of any size, every bit helps.

So, here’s how to play:

1. Jump on my Etsy page and place your order.

2. Mention in the notes which charity you’d like me to support and why.

3. I’ll update this post with each and every charity we support in the coming week.

4. This challenge ends on 2 Jan. 2015, so get cracking!

Hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season. We’re gearing up for another great New Year’s Eve pizza bash, so stay tuned for a recap.

Opening page in PFG's preface

Opening page in PFG’s preface

[VIDEO] Happy Thanksgiving from Will & ‘Pizza for Good’

As we enter the 2014 holiday home-stretch, just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate the followers of the Pizza for Good book blog… past, present and future! Here are a few pieces of video candy for you to enjoy in the days leading up to Thanksgiving:

“There’s a joy in reaching for something more.” Have a look at the PFG mini-doc:

Also (with a h/t to Jason Maynard), here’s a gal named Mary Risely whose no-nonsense approach to Turkey Day is rather refreshing:

Finally, have a look at my gal pal Nancy Giles as she test-drives a new, wifi-enabled crock pot that is now on my shopping list:

Pizza for Good is a great way to enjoy pizza and to bring people together for the holidays. Buy it today—the eBook OR the print version—and you won’t regret it! As always, online reviews are greatly appreciated.

Most of all, cheers to a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

Pizza for GoodBuy it for the recipes, use it to build community #GoodRising

‘Pizza for Good’ #QuotableMondays: High-tech Pizza? Yes!

graphic courtesy AndNowLaugh on Pinterest

graphic courtesy AndNowLaugh on Pinterest

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.


5 Reasons to Come See Me at Decatur Book Festival!

I have the great privilege to appear at the Emerging Authors Pavilion tomorrow (Sunday) from 3:20 – 3:30 p.m. My great thanks to Philip Rafshoon and Cindy Ellsbury for the opportunity! Why should you come to DBF during my appearance? I’m glad you asked!


1. The event is awesome. DBF is the largest independent book festival in the country, and one of the five-largest overall. I’ve attended in past years and it’s tremendously rewarding and fun—even if you’re not a book nerd. (more)

2. Free swag. I’m offering either a free t-shirt or baseball cap to the first 10 folks who buy a signed copy of “Pizza for Good” in print. For more on what these look like, go to my Etsy store. Just after my presentation, I’ll be signing books at the signing table.


3. Learn about “Chowfunding.” In the brief time I have on stage, I’ll retell the moment when I explained—on a tennis court no less—how “Pizza for Good” is a new combo-model of fundraising and chowing down. Hence, “Chowfunding.” I wrote a whole post about it here.

4. Mingle with great peeps. The atmosphere at DBF is friendly, vibrant and inviting. You’ll make new friends and have the opportunity to see some very cool up-and-coming folks, as well as some established authors and writers.

5. Digital bonus. Buyers of the print edition also will get a 75% coupon on the PFG digital edition, which has embedded video, additional professional photography (by me and Lorikay Stone). I’ll include a card with the coupon right there on-site. Here’s a video with bloopers in the making of the embedded video:

6. Hugs. You get a BONUS sixth reason to come see me: hugs. I’m darn good at them, and I want to thank everyone for supporting me through this crazy ride of first-time authorship. Come and get ’em!

(Cartoon courtesy of Buzzhunt)

(Cartoon courtesy of Buzzhunt)

Click over to my profile on the DBF website, or have a look at the Explore tab on this site. Both will give you great background as we go in to the fall season—which will be chock full of PFG events and news. Hope to see you tomorrow!


(photos courtesy of Brenda Knosher)


(photos courtesy of Brenda Knosher)

Executive Chef David Bradley Leaving Lure Atlanta

Chef Bradley in the kitchen at Lure (photo credit: Will Pollock for Stone Four Media)

Chef Bradley in the kitchen at Lure (photo credit: Will Pollock for Stone Four Media)

The very talented executive chef of Lure—part of Fifth Group restaurants—is leaving the restaurant to join Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School as chef and nutrition director. Bradley was quoted within the pages of Pizza for Good, making common-sense suggestions on how to eat fresh and plan ahead when cooking at home. Here’s the passage from the book:

For your Pizza for Good party, try to think of it this way: choose local where it counts, and fill in with readymade items that can make your life a lot easier. There are ways to create an authentic experience pizza experience without killing yourself over the minutiae (see also Chapter XX).

David Bradley, executive chef of Lure in Midtown Atlanta—part of Fifth Group restaurants—urges Pizza for Good readers to build relationships with local purveyors, whether at a green market or another local establishment, to buy local, then fill in where you have to with easy-to-buy stuff.

“Not every single thing on a plate or in a dish has to be 100 percent local for me,” he says. “I’d much rather use a canned tomato than a fresh one, probably nine months out of the year. If I’m going to make sauce I’ll make it with canned tomatoes and then try to buy locally made mozzarella. Or buy some really nice milk and make my own ricotta or something like that.

“You can still have that element and a handmade feel to it, but again it goes back to quality,” he adds. “The ambitious and proper thing would be to make it at home. But that’s probably not most people’s reality.”

And it might not be yours—you can decide that as you go. The main thing to remember is that this is an ambitious project that will suck quite a bit of your time. A labor of love, to be sure, but you can save some energy here and there and still endeavor to search or locally sourced ingredients.

Remember, PFG is way more than a blueprint for building community and fundraising. The book gives you lots of tips on how to cook fresh at home, and make some creative pizzas in the process. Good luck to Chef Bradley!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish… Pizza?

a wedge of delicious Cashel Blue cheese, offered at specialty shops and some Whole Foods locations

a wedge of delicious Cashel Blue cheese, offered at specialty shops and some Whole Foods locations

Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese—it’s far to funky for my taste. The one exception, though, is Cashel Blue, crafted right in the historic town of Cashel, Ireland. The finish is so smooth and bright that it goes beautifully with apples or crumbled in a salad.

When traveling with a group through the country, we visited the factory and got to meet the company’s owner—as I reported in the pages of Pizza for Good:

“As research for the book, we had a tour of the Cashel Blue factory in Fethard, County Tipperary, and we learned that the iconic maker of blue cheese is led by the family’s second generation, Sarah and Sergio Furno. The milk used to craft Cashel Blue comes from the company’s herd of pedigreed Friesan cattle.”


So why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by making an Irish pizza? When writing PFG, I was explaining the “Cashel Rock” recipe chapter to a friend of mine. “Irish pizza?” he remarked, incredulously. “There’s no such thing.”

“Exactly,” I replied.

The pizza is decidedly low-tech, incorporating a sauce I had while over there, and two cheeses: the aforementioned Cashel Blue and any cheddar with marbled stout. But you have to buy the book to get the full recipe! As a bonus, you’ll get some snazzy photography and a Irish history lesson from author, Ireland scholar and professor Dr. Debbie van Tuyll.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and make it a great week. Coming this week: “Only Child II: Gorgeous Gougères,” complete with video intro and full recipe.

Enjoy! – WP

Make fresh. buy local. raise money. #GoodRising