LFP Pizzaiolo Raises $1,800 With Pop Up Fundraiser

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LFP Pizzaiolo, Derek DesVoigne

Slice Out Hunger is a nonprofit organization in NYC dedicated to solving food insecurity through everyone's favorite food, pizza! It consists of professional and amateur pizza makers across the entire United States. It hosts several fundraising events throughout the year and ongoing programs like “Pie It Forward.” On Instagram, you can find more info at their site, www.sliceouthunger.org, or @sliceouthunger.

We hosted our event on Friday, August 26th, at our home in Lake Forest Park.

Wood fired pizza from a custom made pizza oven

Our original goal was to raise $500 for the "Pizzaioli Pop-Up” event, and we more than tripled our goal, raising over $1800 that went directly to Slice Out Hunger! We made roughly 60 pizzas, a mix of takeaway and folks eating on our patio. Overall, I’d say the event was a big success, and I continue to learn and hone my dough recipe and techniques. Who doesn’t love cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven with a bunch of kind and generous people from our community?

"My pizza-making journey began around 20 years ago, the same day my professional wine-making journey began. I’d taken a job with a small winery in Lake Chelan in, Summer of 2003, where I met a now very good friend, Art Sill. He was the founder and then owner of the famed Local Myth pizza joint and was serving slices off a cart at a festival in the park. I tasted his pizza and knew I was destined to go down the pizza path at that moment, but I had to make wine for a living for the next 19 years!

Anyway, the obsession quickly took hold, and I was making pizza regularly while running a small winery in Woodinville. Fermentation is pretty much my passion, whether it’s grapes or grains. Many experiments over the years with different flours, hydration levels, pizza gear, sauces, toppings, and cheese manufacturers…. you get the point. The fast way forward to 2020, my dream was finally going to be realized, and then the world imploded big time! So, what do we do? We pick up our pizza oven in Santa Barbara on a late April road trip (roads empty), bring it home, and start baking and baking. I’ll leave it at that, but I’m sure there’s more to the story if we want to "nerd out."

We'd like to take it to the next level, but as with most businesses in our area, finding staff equally as excited about amazing pizza isn’t easy. Nor is finding commissary kitchen space that’s close by and affordable. If anyone in LFP knows of underutilized, licensed, commercial kitchen space, please DM me @therealmothercruster; there’s a need and demand in the post-pandemic world for small food operations like ours to be able to operate without huge budgets.

As of this time, we plan to do future events with Slice and on our own as a pop-up oven. We’ve hosted parties for local school fundraisers, birthdays, graduations, etc., but wouldn’t mind finding a long-term location, so we’re not packing up our kitchen and moving it after every bake! If you know a dive bar that needs a really good pizza kitchen, don’t hesitate to contact me; who knows what might happen!

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