Happy New Year
By Laura Aiken
I’ve got a good feeling about 2012.
I’ve got a good feeling about 2012. For starters, we’re cooking up something over here at Canadian Pizza that the industry is going to love. We can’t tell you about it just yet but we’re up to something.
I can tell you that we’ve decided to go from eight editions a year to seven. We’ve done this to funnel our resources into a special new project that will help ensure we’re serving the pizza industry in the best way we can. We’ll give you more details about it in the March/April issue!
Although the biggest non-surprise of the year is that dairy prices went up 1.5 per cent, the good-news angle is the determined lobbying of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association over the price of milk. I’ve got to applaud the organization, which started a website called Free Your Milk and has been tireless over the years in pushing for equal costing for frozen and fresh pizza cheese. Nonetheless, there was still an increase, and with the Harper government fiercely guarding our protectionist tariffs in Trans-Pacific trade talks, let’s call this battle ongoing for the foreseeable future. Best be measuring your cheese.
On a brighter note, there is much to be excited about on the events front. Our columnist Tom Stankiewicz shares some great tips in this issue for navigating Pizza Expo in March, and if you’re not excited about or considering attending this great event after reading his words, I’ll be surprised. I share Tom’s enthusiasm for the expo, and his sentiment that it’s a wonderful and worthwhile experience for any pizzeria owner. Plus, it’s Vegas. What more can be said?
Closer to home, here at Canadian Pizza, we start the new year with a look at your top 10 pizza trends on page 12. There are some surprises on this list, some that even go against conventional thought, so it’s a must-read.
A lot of the looking ahead comes down to how important innovation is. Innovation is a funny, loaded word. I’ve found that people often think it means doing something revolutionary or never seen before. We think of the late Steve Jobs as the dictionary definition of innovator. But innovation has subtler levels, and perhaps best relates to pizza in terms of how to continually keep things “fresh”: not just fresh food, but a fresh way of looking at your menu and your operation. A lot of innovation merely comes from twisting the existing to keep it fresh, and in doing so, making it new again. It’s the job of the boss to be tireless in looking for a better way to do things – perhaps the most important aspect of the job.
We’re also exploring the science of taste and how to fine-tune this critical sense on page 20. I love science and this is an area we haven’t explored much in Canadian Pizza yet, but we plan to bring you more stories this year that focus on the combination of ingredients and science: a little molecular gastronomy for the pizzeria, if you will.
Welcome to another year of Canadian Pizza magazine. This is my fourth January/February edition as editor, and I’m very happy to be ringing in the new year with our readers again. A toast to all things pizza (cue raising glass of adult beverage) and Happy New Year!