Dan Richer—the alumnus behind the Jersey City, New Jersey, restaurant Razza, which The New York Times deemed to have the best pizza in the New York City region—has authored a cookbook (with Katie Parla) that reveals the secrets to his sublime creations. By following the steps outlined in The Joy of Pizza: Everything You Need to Know (Voracious, 2021), he believes that readers will be able to make great pizza at home. It starts with abiding by his Pizza Evaluation Rubric: “Every time we taste a new brand of canned tomatoes, oil, or mozzarella, my staff and I analyze it and take copious notes about its characteristics and potential,” Richer LC’02 writes.
“Success is the product of the raw materials you start with, and the techniques you use to transform them.” The Joy of Pizza covers the gamut: choosing ingredients; cooking techniques for different types of pie; pizza dough recipes; and classic and seasonal pizzas, sauces, and condiments. No detail is left to chance. “I love a crust with nice open holes separated by thin, pearlescent cell walls. I want toppings that are not only balanced in flavor, but also sourced from farmers and food producers I have relationships with, care for, and support. If this all sounds very specific—it is!” Who can argue with the results?