On last night’s Cooking Channel episode of “Pizza Masters,” hosts, cousins, best friends, and super nice guys, Sal Basille and Francis Garcia are in the City by the Bay to mark a special occasion. As they drive down a street in San Fran, they are in a convertible, but surprisingly; it is not a Cadillac.
They surprised their staff at Artichoke Basille’s in Berkeley with a second anniversary celebration in Napa Valley. Before the celebration began, they went to Goat Hill Pizza, a place that has been there for 75 years. As they emerge from the car, it starts to roll down hill, but fortunately years of eating good food gave them strength to hold it back, and Sal put the emergency brake on. When asked by Fran why he didn’t put it on first, he said he thought it was only for emergencies!
They went inside and met with Philip De Andrade, who told them the story of the area and invited them back to watch their chef make them a Portuguese pizza using their famous sourdough and topped with linguica, green onions, black olives and roasted garlic. The guys loved it and when they told Philip that they should make a Portuguese pizza in their shop, he told them he would come to their place and steal their recipes too.
On the way to Napa, they spotted a food truck called Choke Coach. They had to stop and check it out. They met the Philippine family who owns and serves French-fried artichokes with their homemade sauces, a po’boy artichoke and even artichoke soup along with other food truck fare. The guys enjoyed the lumpia that is a Philippine version of a spring roll, a tri-tip sandwich and went on their way with full bellies; that is, if there is a bottom to those bellies.
They arrived at Charter Oak Winery and were greeted by Leyla Fanucci, an artist and winery owner. They met the rest of the family, Robert, Michelle and David along with their friend Nathan. They were using clubs to crush the grapes in a big vat. They are the only winery in Napa that still makes wine the old-fashioned way. They had a delicious meal that Leyla made using Grandma Matilda’s recipes. A mashed potato alternative was mashed cannellini beans with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper was a great accompaniment to the Wagyu beef grilled with fresh herbs. Sal picked vegetables for the salad right from their garden. The rigatoni with pesto was so colorful and delicious that the entire crew from the Berkeley shop was in its glory, just like the guys on this episode of “Pizza Masters.”