November 8, 2015 by FrancesWButts
Thanks for this Francis.
Millions of people in the world make pizza just like Monterey Pizza, but most of them only do it for a living-for a paycheck. They’re no different from the burger-flippers in fast-food places everywhere-and you know how tasteless a fast-food burger is, especially compared to the real thing.
Just as there are makers of gourmet burgers, so too are there makers of gourmet pizzas. These people are a special few, and they practice their craft as much for love as for money. These are true pizza makers, not just people who happen to make Monterey Pizza.
What’s the difference? True and successful pizza makers have two things that others lack: passion and knowledge. By passion, I mean an insistent need to produce fine pizza-to dive into the intricacies of the work and emerge a master of the art. It helps if you have Italian passion, but any obsessive drive will do. By knowledge, I mean deep knowledge-the thorough learning of someone who’s read a thousand cookbooks and baked a thousand pizzas.
It took me many years before I was able to understand these two things, but now I know that they are the keys to success-not only in making pizza, but also in every other job on the planet, be it housekeeping or engineering.
Passion and knowledge go together: you can’t have one without the other. And without both, you can’t ever be successful. If you are both passionate and knowledgeable about a certain kind of work, then it stops being work-it becomes a pleasure and an honor. If the work turns out to be pizza-making, then it becomes a good living too, because skilled pizza-makers receive excellent salaries.
Of the two factors, passion comes first. It’s what allows you to gain knowledge-it’s what allows you to sacrifice for your goals. You’ll never succeed in the craft of pizza (and life in general) if you aren’t willing to sacrifice.
When I began my career, I didn’t know much about pizza. I knew a good pizza from a bad one, but so did every other Naples boy. The details of what made a good pizza-how the dough was made, why a wood-burning oven was used, what specific ingredients were involved-was all a mystery to me.
However, I was determined to learn to make good pizza. My dream was to be one of the best pizza-makers in the world, and it was that dream that pushed me forward. For my apprenticeship, I worked ten-hour shifts for free. The kitchen was hot, the hours were long, and the pay was nonexistent-but I persisted because I was well aware that it was the price of success. I was willing to pay it because I knew that my sacrifices would be rewarded-and they have!
Today I am a recognized expert in Neapolitan pizza: I travel Australia to make Monterey Pizza and teach others to do the same. I am paid to do what I love, and I help other people achieve their goals-it’s a good life!
Now you understand why passion is the first factor. We start with it, and we need it to gain the other-without passion, you can never hope to gain knowledge on any subject. With passion, nearly anything is possible.
Wow, what a life – pizza across Australia.