Last week we opened the book on an exciting new chapter here at the taproom. Thanks to a recent change in state legislation, we now have food regularly available for purchase!
Our friends at Pizza By Gianluca will be set up here at the taproom every Friday through Sunday from 12-8PM (unless otherwise noted) as well as select events. The menu includes personal-sized pies of Neapolitan-style pizza, artisan meatballs, and limited edition specials.
A long-time friend of the brewery, you may know Chef Gianluca from Parsippany's Best Pizza. We’ve been working closely with him for the past few weeks to plan this new undertaking. For those who don't know him like we do, we wanted to take a moment to talk with Gianluca a little bit about himself and how he came to work with us. Below you'll find a short interview with the man behind the pizza...
Q. So, Gianluca is a very Italian-sounding name, can you tell us a little about your background?
A. Both my parents were born in Italy, my father from Naples, and my mother from Calabria. I grew up in Woodland Park, NJ. I have a one-year-old named Nico with my wife Ashley.
Q. Coming from Parsippany's Best, how long have you been making pizza and how did you get started in the industry?
A. I’ve been in the industry since diapers, my parents have always owned/worked in the restaurant business. I’ve done it all from being a dishwasher to a cook. I started making pizzas in my early 20s. I went to school to become a chef and at 26 I opened up Parsippany’s Best Pizza.
Q. When it comes to being a chef with cooking or coming up with new ideas, what inspires you?
A. Food is my love language and I love to watch people’s reactions to something I created. I love bringing people together for a nice meal.
Q. You and the owners of Brix (Joe & Pete) have known each other for a while now, how'd you guys meet?
A. Joe, Pete, and I met about 10 years ago when Joe was one of the first delivery drivers for the pizzeria (Heights Pizza). They were just two best friends who would bring beer for us to try.
Q. Now for a fun question, what's your favorite pizza topping of all time and what's something that should NEVER go on pizza?
A. I’ll put anything on a pizza, it's a canvas for endless creations. I don't think I have a favorite topping.
Q. Since you're working with Brix, you know I gotta ask, if you had to pick your favorite Brix City beer, what would it be?
A. My favorite beer from Brix City is Ciao Bella.
Q. Before you go, do you have any other interesting projects that you're currently working on that we should look out for?
A. Cheech’s Bagels is a new bagel concept opening at 176 Erie Street in the Swift + Co. building — near Hamilton Park. My long-time friend John Ballan and I asked ourselves, “In a lively city where hangovers are a promise and bread is nearly a right of passage, where the heck do we get breakfast?” Faced with limited bagel options in the area, we decided to make that change together.