Let me just start by saying this without a doubt this was most the delicious Brite event thus far. True, this was not so hard to do with Seattle pizza powerhouse Via Tribunali graciously hosting the event plus the creative (albeit amateur) culinary skills of all the event's participants. For every part deliciousness, Tricia Martin of Eating is Art and Food Loyal (her new venture!) added equal parts fascination, experience, and social interaction with her big picture concept:
How can a pizza tell a story?
The rules were simple (and the results awesome...more on that later):
- Share a short story with the group (150 words or less).
- Pick and bring pizza ingredients to the event that will tell you story.
- Come to Via Tribunali the day of the event. Pick someone else's story at random.
- Interpret that person's story on the pizza using their ingredients (adding or subtracting as necessary)...lotsa room for creativity here.
- Cook your creation to perfection at 1000 degrees F in Via Tribunali's wood fired oven.
- Share your the story and pizza with group...drink vino...converse...revel...enjoy.
To shake things up a bit, we added an improv edition at the last minute for those unprepared without stories. These were short stories, quotes, limericks, even tweets chosen at random from a hat.
The results were amazingly beautiful and delicious as well as accurate at telling their corresponding stories. Here's the play-by-play of the day: It was a perfect pizza day at lovely Georgetown (south Seattle). Via Tribunali was the perfect spot for the event with lots of rustic charm and "little slice of Italy" feel. The space was perfect: a long communal table and plenty of room to make some mess.
In true Brite style, Jean laser-cut some signs in cardboard and of course made Brite merit badges for each participants...neatly arranged at the sign in table. As people began too arrive, the ingredients table turned into a cornucopia of amazing ingredients. Everything from heirloom tomatoes to grapes to pork belly to chocolate and everything in between.
Tricia handmade and illustrated these amazing peels for every pizza including cute drawings of each ingredient and the story of the pizza.
Once we were situated, Via Trib brought out the wine and a parade of their signature pies and anti-pasti plates. Leonardo, their GM (and a real Italian of course) introduced us to the history of the resturant, telling the colorful story only as a true Italian can with great expressive hand gestures. We learned how pizza began, it's importance to Italian culture, and how Via Trib's owners had a dream of bringing that to Seattle, decided to buy a defunct pizzeria in Naples, shipped it here, and started their very own Napolian pizzeria right here in Seattle.
Andrew was contemplating what would happen to Tortilla chips at 1000 degrees.
Chika was confidently crafting a pizza loosely based on a poor Elvis impersonation... Leonardo and his staff carefully showed us how work dough into a thin-crusted pie letting us try and succeed in some way, shape, or form in making our own vessels for our stories. 3 at a time we went to the dough station to try our hand at it and artfully arranging our ingredients.
Roughly 2 minutes after plunging each pizza into the via tribunali inferno, the group was blessed with steaming hot pizza...charred perfectly around the edges. Triumphantly, the pizza makers would reenter the dining hall proudly presenting their creations. After a photo op, each pizza had it's story read aloud to the group then we dug in. It was amazing just how much more each story resonated after tasting the pizza and going through the whole ritual Tricia had orchestrated. I've never tasted so many different types of pizzas in my life! I think everyone went home and took a pizza nap after the event, and some leftovers, too.