I grew up with a love for pizza. My mother would cook it at home in the oven and I would eagerly look forward to any time we would get to have it for lunch or dinner. But for the first 25 years of my life, my experience with pizza was limited to what was available at home in Pakistan. In 2012 I finally had the opportunity to travel to New York City! During that trip, I befriended the owner of Scott’s Pizza Tours, Scott Weiner, who became one of the greatest influences behind what I do now.
We ate pizza through the five boroughs at some of the oldest, most popular places. My expectations were exceeded by the quality of flavors and variety of styles in NYC. After spending a lot of time with the owners and the staff, listening to their stories, learning their craft and trying their pies, I decided to enroll in the ‘Pizza a Casa’ School and got a foundation in the basics of pizza making from my instructor, Mark Bello.
Back home in Karachi, I put my skills to the test and started experimenting with the techniques I’d learned in my home oven, trying to recapture those wonderful flavors I had experienced in New York. Unsatisfied with my initial results, I built a makeshift brick oven in my backyard. As time passed, I noticed that more and more family and friends would stop by asking for a slice.
My passion and effort to make great pizza had led me to a place where there was demand for my food but I knew that I still had much more to learn. So I traveled back to New York where I worked in the kitchen of Goodfella’s Pizza School with pizza master Andrew Scudera Jr.
Over the years I continued seeking more pizza knowledge and experience in New York and had the honor of befriending and learning the art of pizza making from many notable pizzaiolo in the US pizza industry. I went on to refine my craft at NY Pizza Suprema in Manhattan. When it comes to pizza, “Less is always more” In the words of NY pizza Suprema owner Joe Riggio. Pizza is about the balance between crust, sauce and cheese, “The Holy Trinity” (as Scott Weiner called them). Joe became a mentor and taught me the techniques, and art of pizza making over the the years. Coming back to Pakistan, I laid the foundations of what would become Famous O’s Pizza.
IF YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF IN NYC THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE PIZZERIAS:
May Pizza be with you