Pizza Expo Podcast Episode 2: Nino Del Greco

September 02, 2021

Pizza Expo Podcast Episode 2: Nino Del Greco - Incredible Bags

[00:00:00.000] - Rev and Eric

So we're back. We're here doing some interviews at Pizza Expo. We've got Nino del Greco with us. He competed today for the second time.


[00:00:07.410] - Nino



[00:00:07.860] - Rev and Eric

So how did you do the first time when you came?


[00:00:09.610] - Nino

I got top ten.


[00:00:10.720] - Rev and Eric

Did you? What style was it?


[00:00:14.130] - Nino

It was traditional.


[00:00:15.520] - Rev and Eric

And is that what you competed in today?


[00:00:17.680] - Nino

I did, yes.


[00:00:18.220] - Rev and Eric

All right. So you show up. Are the nerves, like, the same as the first time? Is it a little more comforting? What's it like the second time around?


[00:00:27.620] - Nino

For me, it was about the same. I don't get too nervous, I guess you could say, but there's still nerves that you get nerves. You're still thinking, like, is it going to bake well? Am I going to drop something? Is it going to be too cold? There's a million things going on in your mind, and you're, like, just break it down in small increments. Do this right. Do this right. Keep your eye on this. And it should kind of help level everything out. Otherwise you drive yourself crazy.


[00:00:54.700] - Rev and Eric

What traveled with you? Like, what did you bring from the shop to here?


[00:00:57.940] - Nino

So I duct taped an Igloo cooler with my dough.


[00:01:01.660] - Rev and Eric

Completely wrapped it.


[00:01:02.540] - Nino

I took more care of those things than I do my kids at home.


[00:01:05.370] - Rev and Eric

I've heard this before.


[00:01:07.280] - Nino

So we packed a cooler with some ice. I had a little refrigerator thermometer in there in a nice location so I could check the temperature. It didn't help that we missed our flight on the way out here, so we were delayed a few hours. So, of course, the first thing I did, as soon as I get to the hotel room, open the cooler up, check all the ingredients, the temperature, everything. And luckily, everything was fine. But my dough and toppings came with me in the cooler.


[00:01:27.980] - Rev and Eric

So you got to run to the hotel ice machine...


[00:01:31.200] - Nino

Yeah, I knew that. I go up to the front desk. "Do you have a cooler I can use, another cooler?" "Of course, no, we don't". So, yeah got to raid the ice machine.


[00:01:38.440] - Rev and Eric

What did you do different from the first time to the second time you competed? Did you see something like, "Oh, I got to do that"? What did that look like?


[00:01:45.330] - Nino

Not necessarily. Just because I'm always trying to challenge myself with my different dough formulas and stuff like that. I wanted to push the envelope with the dough that I normally do. So I did a Biga style dough, that I don't always do.


[00:01:58.630] - Rev and Eric

Really cool. So as far as, like, when you get here is your first thought, I don't know what I would think my first thought would be, to to look at the oven. And is it up to temp? Is it what I want? What does that process look like when you sit down and you start to do what you do?


[00:02:15.050] - Nino

Well, it actually starts a day before. So there's a meeting the day before, and I'm sure a lot of people do this, but I scan the floor just to check. Okay. I like Pizza Master ovens. Are the Pizza Master ovens there? What temperature they have them at? And just listen and everybody here, they do a great job helping you out. So if you have questions or if you need something done a certain way, they usually can accommodate it. So knowing that I saw the oven that I'd like to use, it was very comforting to me.


[00:02:38.950] - Nino

And then, of course, when I got here today, I went out and just to check the temperature, knowing if it was going to be close to what I would launch it at.


[00:02:44.840] - Rev and Eric



[00:02:45.200] - Nino



[00:02:45.520] - Rev and Eric

How do you feel you did?


[00:02:47.580] - Nino

I think my pizza, my own opinion, tasted really good. If I had to do everything over...


[00:02:54.360] - Rev and Eric

It's got to be, you better say it's really good, right?


[00:02:56.510] - Nino

Well, I think I was really happy with the way it came out.


[00:02:58.560] - Rev and Eric

Okay. You started to say if I had to do it over.


[00:03:01.500] - Nino

I would do a couple things differently. Just aesthetically-wise.


[00:03:07.020] - Rev and Eric



[00:03:07.410] - Nino



[00:03:07.700] - Rev and Eric

And what would that be? I want to run down this rabbit hole because I'm curious.


[00:03:11.370] - Nino

That's totally fine. I would have stretched it out a little bit more. One little thing, because we were kind of rushing, again, they're doing a great job and they're trying to get everybody through, so my dough didn't to room temperature like I would have liked. So you have to be very careful when you're baking a cold dough. So that's why I wish I would've stretched it little bit thinner, so I would have more of a better bake across the middle of the pizza.


[00:03:33.100] - Rev and Eric

Why traditional? Why not one of the other categories or? Is that your comfort zone?


[00:03:39.520] - Nino

That's my comfort zone.


[00:03:40.450] - Rev and Eric

Yeah. All right.


[00:03:42.060] - Nino

You know, this is a side job for me, so I don't feel like I can get too crazy and compete with that just yet.


[00:03:50.040] - Rev and Eric

Yeah. What is the main job?


[00:03:51.960] - Nino

I'm a bank manager for Chase.


[00:03:53.440] - Rev and Eric

Alright. God bless.


[00:03:54.840] - Nino

Yeah, this helps get out the creative and all that stuff that I have.


[00:04:01.400] - Rev and Eric

But you've got your biggest cheerleader right here.


[00:04:03.600] - Nino

She's awesome.


[00:04:04.640] - Rev and Eric

Wearing pizza pants and everything. Collectively, are you guys, like, incredibly stressed out, like, wait for the results. Today or tomorrow?


[00:04:13.380] - Nino

Probably tonight. I'm thinking usually it's the night of. If I didn't have her pushing me, I get too comfortable with things. If I don't have my partner pushing me, I probably wouldn't even be here. The first time I came to Expo 2018 is because she pushed me.


[00:04:27.740] - Rev and Eric

Well, I think I told you that she's clearly out of your league.


[00:04:30.140] - Nino

Of course. I'll take what I...


[00:04:31.980] - Rev and Eric

No, take it. Take it.


[00:04:33.790] - Rev and Eric

This is your second Expo?


[00:04:35.510] - Nino

Third. Second competing.


[00:04:36.930] - Rev and Eric

Second competing. What do you think is different this year, other than massively less people?


[00:04:44.120] - Nino

To me, it seems the same. I think the feeling is a little better when you go up and you see your friends that I've networked with across the country and stuff like that. There's always that good feeling. This year, it's even tightened more because of everything we all went through last year.


[00:04:58.600] - Rev and Eric

Right. I agree with that. We were talking about that earlier. For me, we've never met. But I see you guys. I come here and you get in this industry, and you see people. You become friends with people on Facebook for social media or whatever. And then when you see them, it's like we're all old buddies. I met him for the first time the same day I met you guys. And I feel like we're friends you know. So it is one of the other cool things about social media, sometimes is you see people that post content, and it almost becomes like you're watching TV shows.


[00:05:26.180] - Rev and Eric

Like it's not even real. There's, what's the pizza place? The one that was on Saturday Night Fever back in the day with John Travolta.


[00:05:37.640] - Nino

Is it Joe's? or Pat's? John's?


[00:05:38.750] - Rev and Eric

Anyway, so her. I'm trying to think of her name. I can't think of it off the top of my head but she does, she goes live on Instagram every day, right? Every day she's talking about something. And so one day I thought she had posted something. I had a bad day. You're not believe what happened. And I thought, you know what? So I picked up the phone. I called her pizza shop, and I just said, hey, look, I hope you're doing well. I just saw your post on Instagram. She's like, oh, my God, that's awesome.


[00:06:03.300] - Rev and Eric

And I'm like, it's a real person. But sometimes we don't look at it that way. We see it, but we just feel like we're watching TV.


[00:06:10.920] - Nino



[00:06:12.390] - Rev and Eric

So look, we won't take up too much of your time. Thank you for being a Perfect Crust customer. Thank you for that. You have some of our bags, too. Good luck and hopefully you'll be back competing again next year after you win this year. And the stress level goes down, right?


[00:06:27.670] - Nino

Oh Yeah.


[00:06:28.070] - Rev and Eric

Thank you to your wife who pushes you to be better.


[00:06:33.891] - Wife

I'm competing next year


[00:06:34.260] - Nino

She might go non-traditional. We'll see.


[00:06:36.600] - Wife

Just so there's no pressure.


[00:06:40.640] - Rev and Eric

Good luck. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.