Do you dream of pizza constantly? Is your mind on stretchy mozzarella and pepperoni when it should be on spreadsheets and meetings? Do you pick your holiday destinations based on the quality of pizza available?
If so, you could be the perfect candidate for the job of International Pizza Consultant. The job is a unique combination of designing pizza kitchens, selecting the best equipment and tools to make great pizza, training others to make pizza, perfecting recipes for the ideal dough and creating pizza menus.
You can’t apply for the job, per se, but the fact that others have created similar roles for themselves proves that, if you wanted the job, you could definitely make a career out of it.
Anthony Falco is one of those people. His official title is International Pizza Consultant. He created the role for himself, thanks to a deep love of pizza and a knowledge of the industry that many would envy.
After working for 10 years as a pizza chef at the famous Roberta’s in Brooklyn, he launched his own pizza-consulting business in 2016. Since then, he’s travelled to nine different countries and helped restaurant owners in a number of American states build shops that make and sell incredible pizza. He spoke to Travel and Leisure about his job, and how you can create this dream career for yourself.
Falco explains that, in a typical day, he could be ‘writing recipes, working with architects to design kitchens, and making phone calls with either the principals on a project or chefs I’m training.’ He travels a lot, spending a lot of time at restaurants, working with his hands and kneading dough. And of course, he eats a lot of pizza.
He says that, if your dream job is being a pizza consultant, you have to really, really love pizza. And travel. And design and working with customers – because those are key facets of the job. He said: ‘If you are challenged and interested in the work you do, you are more likely to throw all of yourself into it. I didn’t start off making great pizza – I spent 10 years just straight doing it because I loved pizza. It was magic as I learned. I was trying to get better and reading about it when I wasn’t doing it. I thought about it in the shower. I talked to other people about how they were doing it and how I could be doing it better. To spend that much time focusing on something, you have to love it and stay in love with it.’
You’ll also have to work hard, because you’re slicing yourself a career that isn’t very well known. You’ll need to know your craft inside out. The nature of pizza – perfecting the dough, simmering the tomatoes – means that there are no shortcuts. Falco, for instance, spent hours teaching himself Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator so he could design kitchens for his clients.
He explains: ‘Stuff is hard, and if you want to stand out you have to be willing to work harder than the next person.’
Contacts are important, of course. And we don’t just mean have your local delivery place on speed dial. Falco says: ‘It’s very important to be known as reliable, competent, and respectful to people above and below you.’ You are your own business, after all.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Falco says: ‘You don’t want be self-aggrandizing, but if you are working hard, you deserve to receive proper credit for your work.’ A good referral from one client could get you a lot more work – and word will spread about your talents fast. Especially considering the pizza-consulting community is so small.
So for any pizza fans out there who are ready to take their love of dough, cheese and tomato up to the stratosphere, take note. We’ll be watching out for you in the future.