North Beach being my regular beat here at Joe Content, naturally I’ve spent some time over the years writing about the work of local pizza ace Tony Gemignani. Along with the still-flourishing Sotto Mare, I’ve credited the local chef’s Tony’s Pizza Napoletana with helping to revive the neighborhood’s restaurant scene when it opened here in 2009. And as Tony has gradually expanded his footprint, I’ve become no less enamored of his dapper Capo’s Chicago Pizza and dangerously convenient Slice House

So as you can imagine, I’m particularly excited to introduce to my readers the brand-new Seven Ovens Blog….created by yours truly.

The Seven Ovens Blog

Here is the lowdown: I’ll be posting at Tony’s main website twice each month, writing about local restaurateur and 12-time World Pizza Champ Tony Gemignani. The blog will cover his exploits in both the food and entertainment businesses, including recipes, personal history and of course regular features on his award-winning restaurants. We debuted the blog over the summer, so we already have some great stuff lined up for you. To wit:

The Seven Ovens Blog’s inaugural post, Respect The Craft: The Tony’s Pizza Story Begins, traces the pizza chef’s path from plucking the trophy at the 2007 World Pizza Championship in Naples (he was the first non-Neapolitan to win) to opening his first pizzeria here in North Beach two years later. This piece should give you some sense of the hard work that went into this unique, genre-redefining restaurant–and be forewarned, it may also make you very hungry.


Tony Gemignani wins at Naples - 2007 - at - Seven Ovens Blog

Tony in Naples in 2007, where he snared the World Pizza Championship in an upset. | Photo courtesy Tony Gemignani

Next up on the blog, The Birth of Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Slice House. Fact: while making pizza has become a well-respected skill, many don’t realize how challenging it is for even the most talented pizzaiolo to sell slices. It requires an entirely different model than selling by the pie, which helps explain why there aren’t as many good slice shops here as there are back East. It’s hard. And here’s another thing you don’t really see here on the West Coast: coal-fired ovens.

This piece charts the beginnings of Tony Gemignani’s second restaurant here in North Beach, and explains exactly what the ambitious pizzaiolo did to change all that. Grab a slice, and give it a read.


Tony's Coal Fired Pizza & Slice House at Joe Content - Seven Ovens Blog

The counter at Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Slice House in a rare quiet moment. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

Finally, of all the pizza styles, there is one that divides the pizza-loving community more than any other: Chicago Deep Dish. People either love it or they don’t, and I suspect one of the reasons for the naysayers is quality; in my experience, few really know how to bake a proper Deep Dish pie. Tony Gemignani is one of those people, and Capo’s Chicago Pizza is the place to get it.

Having spent a lot of time in the Windy City, Tony has eaten more than his share of Deep Dish pie. He’s also a big fan of Chicago Thin Crust, which is actually the more popular style among Chicagoans. And headed up by fellow pizza champion Matt Molina, Tony’s kitchen at Capo’s turns out world-class examples of both of these. They also specialize in another of my favorites: Cast Iron Pizza, a once-obscure version of Chicago pie that boasts a wickedly crunchy caramelized cheese crust. This crust will have you eating your slice backwards, it’s so good.

The diabolical Dillinger Cast Iron Pizza at Capo’s Chicago Pizza in San Francisco’s North Beach. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

Pique your interest, pizza lovers? For more details on this essential neighborhood restaurant, read our third installment: Tony Takes Chicago: The Genesis Of Capo’s Chicago Pizza.

There’s plenty more to come at the Seven Ovens Blog, so make sure to visit soon. And for your always reliable dose of the vocal and local, don’t forget to bookmark our blog. Cheers, and I’ll see you in The Beach!