January 22, 2011

I'm a Bonci Girl- Lezione part 2

I feel a little crazed after the second class with pizza maestro Gabrielle Bonci. I couldn't get to sleep until around 2am, thinking and re-thinking about everything that he has said.

I came to the class not really knowing anything about him, except his was the God of Pizza al Taglio in Rome. The pizza made in trays and sold by the slice and paid for by weight.

I did better my second try working with the dough, still a little too rough with such a delicate dough, but I was happy with the results.

the man is possesed about pizza

The class was a sort of organized mayhem--- as the school has just opened, these are sort of trial by error. An amazing amount of money was spent on setting up 15 set-ups to cook- 15 sinks, 15 burners that move up and out of the way when not needed, 15 spaces to work, 15 stools. WOW.

It was a little too crowded for all of us to gather around the bench space where Gabrielle was working. He is of course larger than life so I could see him while he was talking and moving around some get to see what he hands were doing. But as a teacher- I moved to the back of the space letting the others stand in front.

I learned a lot. I know a lot- but now I know more. I will be dangerous!

Day two, we worked the dough we had made the day before, our own, which were marked with our names on them. The set-up and prep at the school is fabulous.

riccardo- was a great help!

The lessons were really about the dough. Flour and water, lots of water.

What impressed me was Gabriele's enthusiam for what he does. You can see in creating his "flavors" he uses the dough like a blank canvas, and then builds layers of flavors-- and color.

If you can speak Italian, he is on a TV show where he shares his secrets- all of them.

Day two was a little more roomy as a couple of the students called in sick. We each had our dough, and Garbriele also has quite a bit where he made the larger sheet pans as he would for work. We also tasted a foccaccia dough "foggiana" from Puglia. So much information and food.

There were about 20 different pizza's and  we all got take-home boxes. I am in a hotel, so just took very little, but you could feed a family!

After lunch on Friday with Semsa and Katie, Katie shared one of her  Rome favorites SAID chocolate Factory. One of the FAVORITE ways I love to eat bread is with chocolate. Remember the movie Pane e Cioccolato? So knowing we were baking again, I bought some of their artisan chocolates to share in class. If you have never tried eating a piece of good chocolate with a nice piece of salted bread- DO IT NOW. Gabriele got all excited  for the chocolate with the bread with the tomatoes too. In Tuscany we do dolce-forte sauce for wild boar and hare, which is a variation of mole. Chocolate with savory.


I hope to  have Gabriele come to Tuscany for a workshop soon- write to me if you are interested!
In Rome, we can arrange to have a translator for custom programs.

I warn you, he is a volcano of ideas! Italy's version of the "dough boy".

I need  a vacation after this!


  1. Ah, learning from a specialist can be daunting, but satisfying. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Oh man...that guy's a monster! He can probably taglia my neck in two!

  3. Wonderful write up Judy! It was great having your knowing and experienced hands as a classmate, and thank you so much for putting down your notes here. I'll work on mind today, an post them, post haste, promise. And let's work on getting this class going in Rome, in English!

  4. I hope he is not sweating on the pizza !

  5. I completely want to take that course.

  6. what a great post..looked like alot of fun! chocolate and bread is the breakfast of champions!

  7. I'm a huge chocolate fan and have never tried it with bread-thanks for the tip. Your pizza looks gorgeous!

  8. Whoa ...that's some hunka dough! Wish there were a trip to Italy this year.

  9. It WAS delicious, that u share some with us!!
    Pizza Equipment