Our pizza is powerful. It satisfies hunger. It nourishes the body. It brings peace to the soul. It gathers us around a shared table. It builds a vibrant local economy. It supports our farmers. It heals our broken food system. It creates jobs. It builds community. It seeds love.
That’s going too far. “It seeds love?” Come on. Really?! Pizza seeds love. That’s just silly.
Yes, love. Pizza’zza seeds love. As in the love bird kind. Pizza’zza grows love birds. Just hear me out please.
I suspect you know already that lifelong friendships, international treaties, and carpool schedules are crafted over a fresh, hot-from-the-oven pizza. But, did you know that a shared pizza can transform into a shared life? Blame it on the oven flame or the aphrodisiac properties of basil, but pizza begets love. You don’t get any more romantic than Dean Martin: “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” Indeed, that’s amore!
Don’t believe me? I have living, walking, breathing, (embracing) proof that this is so. Dave and Cara worked together at Pizza’zza in 2009-2010, and they just got married! See. Married. Our pizza was obviously the driving force behind their union and deserves the credit for a life lived in blissful harmony. They are Pizza’zza love embodied.
Let’s take a quick look at their story. Now Seattlelites, I recently caught up with Dave via that other uniting force: Facebook. Here’s what I learned. Take note, pizza lovers. This too, could be you.
Erica: How did you and Cara meet?
Dave: It was at a now defunct bar, “Hot Shots.” I was doing live-band karaoke, and hating every minute of it. Being a sucker for brunettes, I saw my guitarist talking to Cara. I asked him, “who’s THAT!?” I learned that she plays bass too, and is very well-spoken and fun to talk to. Here’s the rub: little did I know that she’d had her eye on me for a month. Talk about serendipity, huh? It wasn’t a “setup” at all; I found her on my own.
Erica: Do you have an engagement story?
Dave: Indeed. I’d procured a ring in late October, and was understandably getting worked up about it (in a good way). Then, I hear that Cara’s sister’s boyfriend proposed. “God#*@$!%” was pretty much my sentiment. I move on, and stick to the plan. Well, here’s the funny part: after having a few too many white wines, I tell a stranger/“new friend” at the bar about my engagement plans, but I forget that Cara’s within earshot. Uh oh. So I throw her off the scent. We went to the Nutcracker ballet, which seemed like an obvious time. But I held off. Then, on December 21, after a surprise birthday party for a friend, I got inspired. When we got home, I went to grab the ring and snuck up on her by sliding behind her all “Footloose” style on one knee. The rest is history.
Erica: You and Cara were recently married. What can you tell me about the wedding?
Dave: Oh, it was grand in all senses of the word. The lead-up was insane, but it was a good kind of stress. On the one hand, it was a traditional marriage, but not in a “Royal Wedding” sense. But suffice it to say that it was more formal than “holding hands/barefoot on the beach/only four people there” sort of thing. The morning of, my best man Dwayne (who worked at Pizza’zza for five minutes ’08) was great, except he forgot my overnight bag. So, I’m stuck with a swollen eyeball, white tux shoes, blue socks, camouflage cargo shorts, and my dress shirt the next day.
Erica: I heard you visited New Orleans for your honeymoon. Can you tell me about it?
Dave: We love that town. A Jazz music, NYE vibe at 10am on a Tuesday morning. Can’t beat it. For starters, I lived there for a while. I was only a toddler, but my first two birthdays were there, and my tonsils were removed there… benchmark after benchmark, etc. Well, back in ’08, Cara mentioned that she got a distant relative’s wedding invite… in NOLA. Normally, we’d have just declined, but with that “W” stimulus check ($600), we decided that we’d make a go of it. We had a blast (thanks, Will, for letting me take time off), and honestly it’s kind of where we fell in love.
Erica: What do the two of you like to do?
Dave: For Cara and me both, it’d be bowling (although we’ll never have a 300 game like Will. LOL.) I myself am tempted to say music, but my ego won’t let me. I see it as a career (cough—Nectar Lounge on November 1, the Ill-Legitimates—cough). We honestly just like sitting outside on our porch and tending our chickens. No quilting or model train-building to speak of.
Erica: Have you found anywhere in Seattle that is as good as Pizza’zza (said with the upmost humility)?
Dave: While there are good pizza joints in the area, nothing is of the Pizza’zza ilk. At least not in the “ohmygoditssogood” artisanal sense. Whenever we muse about visiting Bellingham, all we talk about is the BBQ Chicken and “veggie A” slices. And those meatball grinders. EVIL (in a good way)!
So, there you have it, folks. Pizza=a lifetime of bliss. Open your life to pizza, and you open your life to love. Try it. Like Dave and Cara, you won’t be sorry.
Next up: Pizza’zza’s new wedding chapel. No, wait. I’ve got it. How about a pizza delivery and online dating service combo that matches prospective love birds by favorite topping? Okay, okay. I hear you. It’s probably best to stick with what we know.
If you’re lucky love birds like Dave and Cara, we should talk though. We’re just about ready to go live with onsite catering via our mobile pizzeria. Check it out here. That’s amore!
Copyright © 2015 Pizzazza, All rights reserved.
Last year, Will and I hosted our wedding in our backyard. It was intended to be simple, not to drive us crazy, and to jive with our busy lives. Still, it occupied every spare moment. From interior painting to sangria tasting to prettying up straw bales to cutting cloth napkins from old bed sheets, it was a whirlwind of Pinterest searching, errand running, decision making, and detail priming. Every. Spare. Moment.
As exhausted as we were (finishing sangrias ‘til 2 a.m. the night before), there was a little brain-magic that happened as we spied on our guests gathering in the backyard before it began. Suddenly and without warning, it all became worth it. A little like birthing a child, I suppose. All that stress, all that work, all that pain, and it was suddenly worth it. (Forgive me birth mamas. Childbirth and event planning are, at best, loosely relatable.) Point is, the hardship fades into the background and you realize that something very special has happened that makes all that work suddenly worth it.
I suspect many events are like that: the planning, the headache, the stress, the heartache, the lists, the minor and major freak-outs, the sleepless nights, the backache, the pleas for it to just—for God’s sake—be over already. And then. The smiles. The laughter. The joy. The relief. (I once read that people somehow stave off death until after major holidays and events. Perhaps we are evolutionarily wired for ensuring that we all come together, even for one last hurrah.)
Last fall, the Northwest Washington Chefs Collaborative gathered around southern delicacies of pork, red beans and rice, grits, and biscuits at Chef Gabriel’s dining room table. A simple monthly meeting of this young group was hijacked by their building excitement as they got a collective bee in their bonnet to host an event to celebrate local farms and local food. The conversation and initial planning was electrifying. From its genesis over grits, this group spent the next nine months planning, procuring, and preparing the Field-to-Flame feast on August 30.
The chefs included our very own Will Annett, owner/chef of Pizza’zza; Mataio Gillis owner/chef of Ciao Thyme; Patrick Durgan, executive chef at Western Washington University; Josh Silverman, former chef/owner of Dashi Noodle Bar and Nimbus; Gabriel Claycamp of Jack Mountain Meats; Arlene Mantha, chef/owner of twofifty flora; and Crave Catering. Artisan beverages were prepared by Sara Sutherland, owner of the Electric Beet Juice Company and Sustainable Connections Food and Farming Program Manager; Onyx Coffee; and Boundary Bay Brewery.
Consider for a moment that these are folks who have full-time (plus some) jobs running and building businesses, managing programs, and in Sara’s case, both. To make an event like this happen, they stepped away from busy restaurants, personal commitments to family and friends, and myriad other responsibilities. They overcame obstacle after obstacle all in the name of good, local food. And for this, I just want to take a moment to give tribute to their work and dedication.
No event goes off without a hitch. There is always something that tries the patience of even the most serene and seasoned event planner. But these guys faced more than their fair share of turmoil. For starters, after all the promotional materials had been posted and printed, the original event site fell through. Fortunately, the beautiful site at Boxx Berry Farm was available on short notice.
Despite planning their menus well in advance to allow plenty of time to make connections with local growers and ensure that everything was in place for the big day, they ran into multiple sourcing issues due to our unusually warm summer, farmer relocations, meat processor recalls, and other unforeseen complications. Despite these issues, they kept the meal 100% locally sourced. 100%, folks. That's a huge accomplishment and took hours of dedication to a singular purpose.
These struggles are enough in and of themselves, but add the worst wind-storm in a decade and multiple power outages the day before the event, and you have a prescription for crazy making, for sure.
But here’s the thing. No one lost their marbles. As far as I could tell, no one even blinked and not a single feather was ruffled. And this isn’t just the view of a guest who can’t see the chaos of the kitchen from her comfy seat. I was in the kitchen all weekend helping with prep and clean-up. There were no tears (as far as I could see). No one threw up their hands and walked out when we lost power. No break-downs when it didn’t come back on. No tantrums when they found out we could only run off a single generator at the farm. This was a kitchen full of cool cucumbers, I tell you. And here’s the kicker – they were all smiling. I kid you not. Even at the end of the day and after only a one and a half hour nap that served as a substitute for a full night’s rest, they were pleasant and smiling.
And all those volunteers who generously gave their time on the day of and in the days leading up to the event, I bow to you as well. You left your homes and responsibilities to join others in a feast to celebrate the thing that brings us together time and time again—our food. Thank you.
In simple celebration for the bounty our little corner of the world provides, this event was a tremendous success that goes well beyond the actual dollar amount raised and speaks to the connections made between people, connections between those growing our food, those cooking our food, and those eating our food. So, I pay simple homage to this amazing group of growers, producers, chefs, and the fine folks at Sustainable Connections. Without you, our hearts and bellies wouldn’t be filled with the bounty of this incredible slice of land we call home.
Thank you for everything you do!