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Spotted: Another contender enters the Pizza Wars (The Kind Pie)

posted on March 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

The Kind Pie has opened in Buckhead. You gotta love the story behind the place:

The Kind Pie was actually born, in theory, in the winter of 1989.

At that time I, being a recent alumnus of The Culinary Institute of America, was working as a Chef for the President of The University of Richmond (VA) and the school’s catering department.  I was also moonlighting a few nights a week at a local watering hole that served, among other things, pizza.

The pizza was nothing to brag about, frozen cardboard crust, canned sauce, pre shredded cheese, and low end toppings. However, I got paid more working two nights a week there than I did working 5 to 6 days at the university, so I dealt with it the best I could.  It was strange; the customers actually loved that pizza.  When I told people where I worked they would inevitably respond with something to the effect of, “ Great Pizza!”,  as I would appear to blush, though the reddish hue that would fill my cheeks was most likely due to an impending rage.

In any event, it was also at this time that I was greatly inspired by a PBS documentary concerning the growing organic food movement.  The show used the infamous chef, Alice Waters (one of my many mentors, though she does not know it) and a small organic farmer, Ray Chino as backdrops.  This show affirmed what I had been thinking while studying in Hyde Park – that an all organic, all natural restaurant would be a huge smash.  The show was recorded on my VCR and watched over and over again, still have the tape somewhere.  The black gold soil of Salinas Valley and surrounding regions is a sight to behold.  I was extremely fortunate to visit a few times and tour the fields… Wow.

Couple these two events in history with a VCU kid named Ken, don’t remember his last name, my dishwasher / assistant at the before mentioned watering hole.  We shared a space that was in a word – “compact”, and that is being generous.  Anyway it was Ken that etched the word “kind” in my brain, because with Ken everything was “kind this” or “kind that”.  I remember his nickname now… “Kind Ken”.

There I was making hideous pizza with “Kind Ken” and I kept yearning for the black gold produced products from the PBS show.  “That’s it!”  “Kind Pizza…. No, that doesn’t sound good”….  “The Kind Pie.”  “Yeah that’s it.”  “That’s it.”

So there you have it. If you made it this far and are still awake – that’s how I came up with the name.

But remember, this was 1989 and sourcing product on the east coast, much less making it affordable, would be and was virtually impossible.  Today, organic and all natural food can be found everywhere, and it’s still growing.  I am amazed and feel somewhat justified at how far we have come.

At The Kind Pie we try to make everything organic, whenever we can.  Some items can be found on a regular basis, while some are harder to come by daily.  The one fact that is consistent throughout is that all products served are of very high quality (See “Our Product”).  For example, we have looked at several canned organic tomato products for sauce, but none were better than San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy.  So, that’s what we use.  This may change and I hope does.  All breads and pizza crust are 99.9%, as the yeast is the only product not certified organic, but is all natural, none the less.

The menu looks very promising and I love that they take their product sourcing seriously. Stay tuned for my report.

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2 comments

  • Re: Spotted: Another contender enters the Pizza Wars (The Kind Pie)
    posted by: theresa · March 18, 2010  11:21 AM

    Where is this place located? It’s not mentioned on the website that I can see.

  • Re: Spotted: Another contender enters the Pizza Wars (The Kind Pie)
    posted by: Edward · March 22, 2010  6:06 AM

    252 E. Paces Ferry Rd.

    http://www.tkpie.com/index.html

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