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TourismIamA professional pizza historian and Guinness World Record holder for largest collection of unique pizza boxes. AMA!

Feb 9th 2018 by scottwiener • 25 Questions • 379 Points

I eat pizza for a living. Seriously. I’ve been running tours of significant pizzerias in NYC for nearly 10 years, write an award-winning column for Pizza Today Magazine, judge and emcee at culinary pizza competitions, run a hunger relief nonprofit called Slice Out Hunger, and hold the Guinness World Record for largest collection of pizza boxes. There's even a documentary on Hulu about my pizza world called Scott's Pizza Tours. Loving pizza is my full-time job. Here's the proof!

***NOTE: I'll be here until about 3pm, then I'll check back periodically to answer any great hanging questions. Thanks for visiting!

Q:

I just did one of your tours about two weeks ago and had the most fun EVER!

What pizzeria is your "old reliable" place when it comes to your tours? If not one, where would you say you've visited the most?

Also, any recommendations near Grand Central Station to properly celebrate today?

Thanks!

A:

OH WOW in GCS I like Prova down on the dining concourse. There's a Two Boots nearby as well. As for old reliable... I love Sam's Restaurant in Brooklyn. And Arturo's in the Village. And John's in the village on Bleecker. SO MANY RELIABLE PIES!!


Q:

You were on the Best/Il Porto/Sam's circuit? If so, that's awesome!

A:

And Joe's Pizza for a rockin slice.


Q:

What's your stance on eating pizza with a fork?

A:

Eat in whatever way makes you feel good. Pizza is not a food of judgement. If you don't want to eat pizza with a fork, don't eat it with a fork. But the moment you think less of someone because of the way they eat a slice of pizza, that's when you need to reevaluate your priorities.


Q:

Hi mate, massive pizza guy here also. Went on your tour back in 2010, and will definitely be back if I ever come back to NY. Loved it.

What are your favourite foods away from pizza?

A:

Calzones.


Q:

When did you start collecting pizza boxes? What fascinates you by having them?

A:

I started collecting around 2009. Pizza boxes are pieces of ephemera that, when saved and viewed as art, take on new meaning as reflections of the cultural atmosphere in which they are created. Things that are destined to be thrown in the garbage say the most about the people who use them.


Q:

What is your thoughts on square cut pizzas? My wife thinks that I am weird for getting square cut pizzas from time to time

A:

I don't get it, but I respect it.


Q:

What do you think of all the "quick serve" places like Blaze, Mod, etc?

A:

I get what they're doing, but focus is on speed and not quality. That makes me a little sad.


Q:

Hi Scott,

I attended your Pizza tour in December for my birthday and it was SUPER fun and knowledgable, I can't wait to go back. Here's my question: I work in NYC midtown and we cannot find a good pizza parlor to save our life. Where do you recommend we go, even if it's a short subway ride away?

Thanks!!!

A:

Give me an intersection and # of blocks radius or time you can take.


Q:

What’s the first pizzeria I should try when visiting New York?

A:

Joe's and NY Pizza Suprema are serious new york slices. Start there!


Q:

Although you said you're based in NYC, do you like Chicago or New York pizza better?

A:

I personally prefer NY style because I grew up in NJ and thin slices are my comfort zone. But I like any pizza that tastes good.


Q:

I'm franchising 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria in Atlanta. The corporate store is in Bridgewater, NJ. I'd love to hear your opinion of it after you've tried it. I personally tried 12 other Fast Casual Pizzeria's before making my decision to go with 1KDP.

A:

I gotto check it out!


Q:

Scott, I’m going on the Brooklyn tour next Saturday. Can it be with Alexis and can we go back to Sams please???

A:

I think Alexis is running that one! Sam's might be a no-go because Louie just had surgery but we'll do what we can. Great place!!


Q:

Whet is the worst pizza you’ve eaten?

A:

I'll just say it was a pizza buffet. I know, bad idea in the first place!


Q:

What's your favorite pizza topping?

A:

sausage. Sweet italian sausage with garlic, pepper, and fennel seeds


Q:

What’s the “do it right” secret?

A:

Use fresh pineapple and prepare it, don't just toss it on the pie. Grill it or something. And don't mix pineapple and tomato sauce!


Q:

I love tomato sauce with pineapple!! What do you use instead?

A:

nix the tomato. too much acid for me


Q:

Hi Scott, saw you on TV not too long ago, very cool thing you are doing!

Have you had a chance to explore the pizza geography of Boston and/or Massachusetts? If so, any thoughts? Are we doing okay?

A:

Yeah I love South Shore bar pies! So fun! Also Galleria Umberto on Hanover St is awesome!


Q:

Scott!!! Went on one of your tours and wanted to let you know again how fun it was. Anyways my question is have you tried eating pizza in East Asian countries like Korea or Japan? If so how'd you like it?

Pizza culture there is definitely weirder cause they don't usually eat/view them as a quick easy meal. Pizza huts in Korea I remember were very fancy and sit down.

A:

NEVER BEEN but it's a dream of mine to eat in a Chinese Pizza Hut.


Q:

What a dream job...hanging out with people and eating pizza. I can easily imagine why it'd be so great, but I'm super curious---what's a bad day like on the job itself? Do you have any "Dirty Jobs" kinds of moments or is it all a walk in the park?

A:

I have to do bookkeeping and other boring things that come with running a business. Updating the website. Posting on all the social media. A bad tour is when people just don't care about the science and history of pizza. It's rare, but it happens.


Q:

What are pizza historian conferences like? You guys must be a wild group.

A:

We get sauced.


Q:

How much pizza do you eat per day and how do you stay so skinny?

A:

15 slices/week and I ride a bike a lot and eat oatmeal for breakfast so that helps. Also no sweets during the week, lots of water, and no eating after 9pm


Q:

Are you a fan of Cuban pizza?

A:

Never been to Cuba! What's the pizza like? I've seen pictures and it looks like rough stuff.


Q:

What's your favorite frozen pizza?

A:

I raaaarely eat them but I think Chicago pizzas hold up well. The Lou Malnati's is almost like eating it in Chicago. As for the standard brands, Frescetta is alright. But nothing is as good as actually baking the pizza yourself. It's not hard. STEP UP!


Q:

Do you ever get sick of pizza?

A:

not yet


Q:

Scott, you’re my hero. 75% of the reason I want to go to NYC is to take your tour.

Thank you for all you’ve done for pizzakind.

I now live in what you might call a “pizza desert”, with dominos being the only option for miles.

What do you suggest to make my own quality pizza at home?

A:

I hope the other 25% is the Lion King!