Loved by all ages and devoured by the pickiest and most sophisticated palates, there is one food that pretty much everyone can agree on — pizza. If you are getting ready to plan your next party or event, chances are you have already added this fan-favorite staple to your menu. Let’s face it — pizza really is the perfect party food. It works any time of year, regardless of weather, and creates a comfortable and casual environment.
I order takeout pizza for my family on the regular, but serving up the same old sheet pizza at every party can get pretty monotonous. When it comes to events, it’s fun to shake things up and serve something completely unexpected for your guests. Enter Chef Tony Carbone, certified personal chef and owner of The Urban Epicurean — my new favorite go-to for the perfect pizza festivity.
I recently decided to throw a party for my fellow Boston Moms Blog contributors and contacted The Urban Epicurean to cater the event. My vision was to throw a casual backyard party at my house and weave in my own theme for the party (which I decided would be “Boston,” naturally). Tony described himself as a one-man band who would bring his “pop-up pizzeria” to my house — no big food truck or elaborate setup required. It would just be Tony, his portable stone ovens, and the freshest pizza ingredients. Sounded like the perfect way to spend an afternoon with some fellow moms!
Tony arrived before my guests and went into prep mode while I put some finishing touches on my Boston-themed setup. Preparation was quick and seamless, and the ovens were warming up in no time. We had a bit of rain that afternoon (spring in New England, of course) but luckily Tony can set up his pizza prep station anywhere outdoors — rain or shine.
As my guests started arriving, I introduced them to Tony and we quickly got down to business — food, beverages, and some much-needed adult conversation. Tony kicked things off with a traditional cheese that was the most mouthwatering yet simple combination of tomato, mozzarella, and Parmesan you can possibly imagine. Take it from me, you can hear a pin drop when a bunch of moms (who rarely get to eat a meal while it’s hot) are devouring pizza of this caliber. The ladies were both impressed and curious about the talent behind the ovens, and Tony passionately shared some of his experiences in the catering business in Boston with us. We even learned a little bit about his experience finishing as a top 10 finalist on Gordon Ramsay’s hit reality cooking show “MasterChef” on Fox. Reality TV was just as impressive a topic as pizza when it came to this group of moms, and we had a great time chatting with Tony, who was engaging and entertaining but also kept the conversation light and casual.
Tony went on to serve up the best Margherita pizza I have ever tasted (for the record, I did a great deal of pizza sampling in Italy on my honeymoon). One of my fellow writers admitted that Tony had officially ruined traditional takeout pizza for her. Tony was even able to serve a dairy-free option to a guest with a dairy allergy — there really was something for everyone.
Before we knew it, the party was, sadly, coming to an end. Tony had come fully prepared to serve endless amounts of custom-made, fresh, hot pizza pies, and everyone left happy and full. A few of us inquired about booking parties for kids and were impressed at how affordable his options are. As a dad himself, Tony shared that he loves to engage with kids at his parties as they curiously watch their pizza stretched, tossed, and baked on site.
In the following days I received so much positive feedback about my non-traditional pizza party and what a memorable experience it was. Since I have enough chaos in my life with young kids, I am looking forward to planning my next party through the Urban Epicurean and actually being able to ENJOY another stress-free party!