This Is the Place I Was Telling You About
Arizona's Preeminent Pizza 'Pedaler'
A few years ago, much to the shock of New Yorkers and Chicagoans, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine picked Phoenix as the best city for pizza in America. As the story goes, pizzaiolo Chris Bianco—winner of the James Beard Award and pizza maker to the stars—raised the bar so high in Phoenix, it lifted the quality of pizza across the city, turning it into a place of pilgrimage for pizza lovers.
So all you really need to know about Pizzicletta, in Flagstaff, is that folks regularly drive 2½ hours from Phoenix to eat pizza there.
Pizzicletta owner Caleb Schiff doesn't have a James Beard Award. He didn't even go to culinary school. He's a geologist who taught himself to make pizza by trial and error, after taking a 1,600-mile bicycle tour through Italy and then building a pizza oven in his backyard. He never intended to open a restaurant, but Pizzicletta—the name is a play on bicicletta, the Italian word for bicycle—has been going strong since 2011, and the soft-spoken Schiff is now a local celebrity in Flagstaff.
In this episode, Schiff gives a pair of his cycling buddies a taste of Flagstaff's spirited culinary scene—a scene he helped elevate in a mountain town better known for hiking, star-gazing and high-altitude training.