Edible Manhattan shows where on the Lower East Side New Yorkers can go to learn how to make a perfect pizza pie at home. Rachel Wharton of Edible Manhattan filed the following report.
Season by season, Edible Manhattan brings New Yorkers a taste of Big Apple food culture. on the Lower East Side at the city's first and only pizza school.
Pizza A Casa is the life-long passion of Mark Bello. The New York native moved to Chicago for college. Desperate for a skinny city slice in the Windy City, he started making his own.
After a decade of of tinkering with mozzarella, red sauce, flour, water and yeast, he's perfected the art of pizza at home, teaching four-hour master classes on Grand Street.
"At Pizza A Casa, we teach you how to make an awesome pizza given the limitations of you your own normal home kitchen," says Bello. "I don't know if you noticed in the back right there, but what we have is not a pizza oven, it's a normal 550-degree electric home oven. So throughout the class, we teach you the dough. As the dough is rising, we show you stretching, we show you topping, we show you sauce, we make a couple of example pizzas and by that time your dough has fully risen up and the full-on pizza-making madness is in full gear.
"And together we're making a bunch of pizzas, eating pizzas, sharing slices," continues Bello. "Students leave with dough, if they wish, a box of pizza for later, a detailed handout with all the details we handle in class and really, aside from just having an amazing time, they leave with pizza self-sufficiency for the rest of their life."
Bello's school is full of quirky paraphernalia and old photos, but when it comes to slices, Bello is serious. Students learn everything from how much an unbaked dough should weigh to the proper ratio of cheese to sauce. They also eat tons of pizza.
"Each student can make up to four pizzas themselves, in fact we've been counting the pizzas we've made with our students in this classroom -- our second anniversary is April 15 -- and we are just under 9,000 right now, so we're thinking we're going to hit 'Pie 10K' by our second anniversary," says Bello.
Next Wednesday, catch Bello and other city pie experts at Edible's pizza-making 101. To RSVP, visit ediblemanhattan.com.