Pizza Week wouldn't be complete without a few Q&As with serious pizza professionals around town. And well, since generations of Dallasites have shoveled slices of Campisi's pizza, David Campisi definitely seemed like someone from whom to procure the low down on dough, or rather, the "dough down."
How long have you been making pizzas — in general and/or professionally?
Since I was 4 years old. I used to stand on beer cases in the kitchen so I could reach the prep table.
Who taught you how to make dough and how long did it take you to really master it?
My grandfather Joe Campisi taught me how to make dough. We didn't have measuring cups then, so we would use porcelain coffee cups to measure out salt, sugar etc. And then after graduating college, I began to standardize everything based on size/quarts. And it's an ever evolving process, but the key to great pizza dough, is the temperature of the water.
Tell us your worst or best pizza making story. Or weird or funny, for that matter.
I'd have to say the weirdest story, actually started off with us thinking we were getting prank called. Every Sunday evening for 5 weeks, someone would call in and order a $60 pizza. It had like, quadruple toppings ... It was huge and kind of a process, because with our thin crust and all of those toppings, it was a challenge. And of course, the first time they ordered it, we thought it was a prank, but they actually did come and pick it up. Then they proceeded to order the same thing for four more weeks. We ended up then finding out, that person had actually been writing us hot checks for those $60 pizzas each week.
What is your favorite pizza to eat when you don't have to make it?
My favorite pizza is a Campisi's Light Cheese & Veggie ... I don't eat pizza from anywhere else. Unless, I sneak over to Coal Vines and break bread with my good friend Joe Palladino.
David Campisi. [Photo: Campisi's Restaurants]