Posts Tagged ‘joel fair’

A Matter of Perspective

In my 30-plus years in the food industry, several hilarious incidents stand out in my memory. These are staked on my ceribral cortex in bright blinking neon, and never fail to cheer me up during serious moments (or tax time.)

The latest involved an employee and a customer who participated in the age-old practice of mis-communication. But this incident was more of a topsy turvy discombobulation that brought both persons (channel Rod Sterling now) into the Twilight Zone.

At 6:45 p.m. on  November 24th, Joel Fair, my stellar general manager, took an order for a small Godzilla pizza. The Godzilla is the pizza that won at the World Pizza Championships in Salsomaggiore Italy in 2004. It is adorned with sundried tomato, feta cheese, chicken and spinach, with mozzarella and provolone. The woman who ordered it (a certain Ms. H). requested our new local spelt crust and also requested that it be cut into squares as opposed to pie shapes.

After Joel printed out the order, Ms. H called back and requested it be available for pick-up at 7:45 p.m. Joel hurriedly wrote the time on the ticket and went about his duties. The ticket is below.

When Ms. H. came in to retrieve her requested pizza, Joel quickly jumped to the front counter with her pizza and dipping sauce. She was well dressed and courteous, obviously accomplished at whatever profession she practiced. He double checked to see if the pizza had indeed been cut into squares as requested, and continued with the transaction.

“That’ll be ten dollars and eighteen cents please,” Joel said as he set the ticket on the counter in front of her.

“Can I ask you a question?” she said, sounding concerned.

Joel looked up saying, “Why yes, ma’am.”

“Why does my ticket say ‘Shit’ on it?”

Joel looked at the ticket again. Then the woman turned the ticket upside down.

Joel was dumbfounded and stammered an apology and explaination. The woman was cool about it and continues to be a good customer.

Like life, this ticket depends upon the viewer; our time on this earth only becomes shit when you look at it the wrong way. It’s just a matter of perspective. Nyuk Nyuk.

Bakesgiving for United Appeal

Wow!  That’s all I have to say about this years bake-fest to benefit United Appeal of Athens County. I am so thankful for all the people who came out from 5:30 a.m. until noon to buy our bread products.  By our unofficial count, Avalanche Pizza raised over $2500 from the people of Athens on Thanksgiving day.

John Dillon, (left), United Appeal Board member and AFSCME Union President, came in at 3 a.m. and formed a monstrous amount of spelt rolls. Randy Davis (right) became adept at forming ciabatta, egg-washing croissants, proofing ciabatta and together, he and John even made some pizzas.

Aaron Thomas, United Appeal Board President, did the dirtiest job of washing hundreds of trays that had piled up over the night. He took time away from his business, Class A Sounds, to help in this great cause.

Even got the sheriff’s department came by to show their support. Is it me, or does Aaron (middle) look like he’s been cuffed?

Joel Fair, Patty Nally and Danny McVicker volunteered to work through the night to produce some great baked goods. Patty nailed her fabulous croissants and even the stuffed croissants filled with nutella, pecans and bananas. Joel and Patty did a great job making croissants, baguettes, ciabatta and baking over 500 loaves.

A special shout out goes to Chris and Angie Pyle, who donated coffee for us, and to Constantine Faller, who donated cheese to be sold. Robin Barnes of Power 105 F.M. was spectacular for getting the word out, along with all the fine folks at the Athens News. Starline Organics donated vegetables. We used Harmony Hollow ham in some of the fougasse.

If you see this man, hold him (please use bailing wire.) He is my dad, Tom Gutekanst. He played a major role in what he called “testing the product,” which entailed consuming at least 17 cheese-topped croissants while exclaiming “This better be imported Brie!”  Then he ran off through the darkness.

Here are a few sights of this year’s bake for United Appeal of Athens County. Here’s a video of a burnt out middle aged freak who, despite his goonish appearance and spacy presentation, can still handle baking all night (barely).

See you next year!